Bad Religion @ House of Blues San Diego – 03/18/2017
LA based punk rock legends Bad Religion played their very first live show of 2017 on March 18th at House of Blues San Diego. Starting as a group of teenagers in the early eighties, this talented band has managed to churn out their own progressive brand of punk for over thirty years, and they have only gotten better with age. Playing a lean one hour and twenty minute set to an absolutely packed and sold out crowd, the band managed to run through twenty nine blistering songs featuring a variety of rarities and hits from throughout their career.
Singer Greg Gaffin, famously a professor who has lectured at UCLA, certainly gave the San Diego audience a lesson in Punk Rock 101. His impassioned vocal delivery and cutting lyrics are always a standout and are a huge part of Bad Religion’s sound. Songs in the set included hits like “American Jesus” “21st Century (Digital Boy)” and the crowd favorite sing-along “Sorrow.” The audience on the packed House of Blues floor started moshing early in the evening and didn’t give up until the set was over. Drummer Jamie Miller, who filled a slot left in the band when Brooks Wackerman left to join Avenged Sevenfold in 2015, was on point for all the songs in the band’s catalog as he demonstrated his talents. He is a welcome new addition to the group’s live sound.
Serving almost as a warm-up gig for the band’s Musink (Tattoo and Music Festival) appearance the next night in Costa Mesa, Gaffin exclaimed to the crowd that while he certainly knew a lot about punk rock, he didn’t actually have any tattoos. The many tatted up fans in the audience certainly didn’t seem to mind, with diehards from as far away as Brazil packed up against the front of the barricade. After ending their set the band quickly came back on stage for a short encore that mirrored the evenings diverse tracklist. “Infected” from 1994’s Stranger than Fiction album came first, followed by closer “Fuck Armageddon… This Is Hell” from the band’s 1982 first full length How Could Hell Be Any Worse?
Seeing a Bad Religion show is a like trip through the group’s history. From adolescent aggressive punk to their more polished hits that led to mainstream success, hopefully a new album will be on the way from the newest lineup of this classic California band.
Bad Religion Set List:
American Jesus | Supersonic | Prove It | Can’t Stop It | Stranger Than Fiction | Against the Grain | Recipe for Hate | Generator | Too Much to Ask | No Direction | Atomic Garden | The Answer | You Are (The Government) | Suffer | Delirium of Disorder | Do What You Want | Fuck You | 52 Seconds | Heroes & Martyrs | I Want to Conquer the World | 21st Century (Digital Boy) | Only Rain | The Streets of America | God Song | Wrong Way Kids | You | Sorrow
Encore: Infected | Fuck Armageddon… This Is Hell