It’s Not Dead Festival @ Glen Helen Festival Grounds – 08/26/2017
On August 26 deep in the mountains of San Bernardino, CA a punk rock movement of immense magnitude struck swiftly and powerfully. It’s Not Dead 2 drew thousands of people out into the triple digit heat for a hard-hitting lineup featuring more than thirty punk bands, spanning four stages. At the helm of this ferocious tour were none other than punk rock idols Dropkick Murphy’s and Rancid. Those that arrived at Glen Helen Amphitheater early in the day were lucky enough to catch acts such as True Rivals, The Adicts, and The Casualties. It’s Not Dead 2 proved that the punk scene is still alive and kicking, and that not even the scorching heat can stop the die-hard fans from raging all day long! (Oi! Oi! Oi!)
The gates of Glen Helen Amphitheater opened at 12:00 noon, and thus the festival began. Scores of liberty spikes, Doc Martens, and patched-up denim vests flooded the festival grounds as far as the eye could see. One of the first bands to play was True Rivals, who hit the Cuckoo’s Nest (Stage 4) promptly at 1:40PM. This is a band that has been around for a few years but for those who might not have heard their music, it’s safe to say that they have landed on the radar of all those in attendance at It’s Not Dead. Despite the increasing heat of the day, True Rivals played with high energy and were able to get their audience moving to the music. Their new EP entitled Look At Me was just released on August 25th of this year. One thing is for certain: we are definitely looking at you, True Rivals!
True Rivals Photo Gallery
As Off! finished their set on the main stage at 6:25PM (exactly the time The Adicts were set to play), the stage began to slowly rotate counter-clockwise to reveal The Adicts’ stage set up. Drummer Michael Davison stood behind the drum kit, a drum stick in hand with a cigarette in his mouth. When he and guitarist Pete Dee Davison came into view, along with vocalist Keith Warren, screams and “I love you!” chants could be heard emanating from the crowd. When the stage came to a full stop, the band began their first song, and Warren outstretched his arms to reveal massive and colorful makeshift wings. The Adicts have an incredible stage presence, and the audience was entranced from the beginning of their set until the end. Warren even threw playing cards into the audience, and the entire band played a phenomenal set.
The Adicts Photo Gallery
The Casualties are one of the most well known bands in punk rock, and at 6:30PM, they hit the Fenders Stage (Stage 2) with an explosion of energy and charisma. Colorful mohawks and gritty punk songs characterize this beloved band. The audience sang along during the entire set, and the music was accompanied by mosh pits galore. The band breathed new life into the crowd that at this point had spent several hours in the sun, and the crowd seemed to feed off their energy. There was a strong camaraderie among the fans in attendance, and when you are in the crowd at a Casualties show, you are at home and among friends.
The Casualties Photo Gallery
This summer, Dropkick Murphys have been making their way From Boston to Berkley, and they concluded their tour at It’s Not Dead 2. The American Celtic punks, hailing from Quincy, Massachusetts, took the stage at 8:15PM and began their set with “Barroom Hero.” They could not have picked a better date for their tour finale, as a massive crowd gathered in front of the main stage to watch them play. As the band started their second song “Never Alone,” the audience was completely amped up. A giant mosh pit formed a few rows back from the barricade that did not stop until the end of the set. Dropkick Murphys released a new album earlier this year titled 11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory, and it is sure to be as much of a hit as their others. The band played a mixture of both old and new songs, and their fans went crazy for each one. Vocalist Al Barr is an enigmatic frontman with a larger than life voice who knows how to entertain an audience. The entire band was animated, and had a great stage presence that commanded the attention of everyone that was near the main stage.
Dropkick Murphys Photo Gallery
Rancid is a major staple of the punk community that has been in the game since 1991. They have been out on the road with Dropkick Murphys on the From Boston to Berkley tour all summer, and the Berkley punks took to the main stage at Glen Helen Amphitheater at 9:30PM to close out It’s Not Dead 2. They opened with “Radio,” and as with Dropkick Murphys, a mosh pit immediately formed in the center of the crowd. The band released a new album on June 9 of this year called Trouble Maker, and the fans seemed to enjoy the new tunes. Along with the new material, Rancid played several classics including “Roots Radical,” “Journey to the End of the East Bay,” “Fall Back Down,” and “Time Bomb.” Vocalist Tim Armstrong seems to only get better with age, as he belted out each song like it was 1999. The fans watched the band play with smiles on their faces, and a few young children could be seen in the front row rocking out. Rancid ended their set with “Ruby Soho,” and it was certain that the thousands of patrons in the amphitheater were all singing along in unison.
Rancid Photo Gallery
It’s Not Dead 2 shook the mountains of San Bernardino to their foundation when the festival came to Glen Helen Amphitheater on August 26th. The thousands of punk rockers coming together to celebrate an entire subculture was a beautiful sight to see. Great music, food, and art made the day memorable and made the heat wave worth enduring. One of the great things about the punk scene is that when you are among punks, you are among family. This has been another successful year for the It’s Not Dead Festival!