Surf City Blitz Day 1 @ Huntington Beach – 10/27/2018
One of the largest punk rock festivals took place over the weekend of October 27 & 28 at historic Huntington State Beach. Surf City USA hosted the first annual Surf City Blitz, a two-day event with some of punk rocks biggest bands with most rooted right in Southern California as well as the Roland Sands Moto Beach Classic featuring flat track racing, drag racing and stunt bikes and also a vendor village, beach games and all-around fun for the whole family. Day 1 on Saturday featured punk legends TSOL, FEAR, Suicidal Tendencies, Pennywise and headlined by The Offspring. Surf City Day 2 Coverage can be viewed here.
Gates opened at noon on a warm overcast October day with temperatures in the mid 70’s as Lost in Atlantis, Sharp Shock, Voodoo Glow Skulls and Mad Caddies kicked off the day as fans trickled in throughout the afternoon. With the stage facing the Pacific Ocean and fans right on the beach, you were able to dig your toes into the sand, kick back a cold brew and enjoy punk rock music that originated right in Southern California.
The crowd started to get rowdy midafternoon when Long Beach natives and hardcore punk veterans TSOL took the stage as Jack Grisham and band took the crowd through 35 minutes of angsty punk rock with songs like “Abolish Government”, “Superficial Love” and ended their time on stage with a little love song about the dead “Code Blue”.
TSOL Photo Gallery
Feeding off the angst of TSOL, early California hardcore punk legend Lee Ving took the stage and led FEAR through a rowdy set that had the crowd kicking up sand with a large mosh pit. At 68 Ving is still as pissed off as he was in the 80’s and he kicked things off with “Fuck You Let’s Rodeo” and played the classic “I Don’t Care About You” and many others including a cover of The Animals “We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place” ending the set with “More Beer” and that’s exactly what the crowd did prior to Suicidal Tendencies – they got more beer.
FEAR Photo Gallery
No doubt things got rowdy with TSOL and FEAR playing back to back but when Venice beach crossover thrashers Suicidal Tendencies hit the first note of “Suicide’s an Alternative” Huntington Beach erupted with an intensity that continued their entire 45 minutes on stage. Vocalist Mike Muir is like a caged panther onstage as he paces back and forth while bassist Ra Diaz, longtime guitarist Dean Pleasants and second guitarist Ben Wienman (Dillenger Escape Plan) are also running around the stage jumping off everything in site and somehow still playing their instruments all while former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo is beating his drum kit with the same energy.
The band focused on older material that included “I Shot the Devil” (also known as I shot Reagan), “I Saw your Mommy” and the classic “Institutionalized”. Suicidal Tendencies was without a doubt the highlight of day 1 of Surf City Blitz.
Suicidal Tendencies Photo Gallery
By the time Penywise hit the stage at 6:25pm, the fenced off area of the festival was t its 20,000-person capacity with people everywhere. Definitely a fan favorite on this day based on every word of every song being sung out loud in unison by the capacity crowd, vocalist Jim Lindberg along with fellow original member guitarist Fletcher Dragge and original drummer Byron McMackin along with bassist Randy Bradbury were obviously having a great time onstage. In addition to the expected Pennywise hits they played a cover of The Beastie Boys “Fight for your Right (To Party)” and then were joined on stage by Orange County natives and fellow punk rockers, The Vandals for a rendition of “Urban Struggle”.
The set ended magnificently with “Bro Hymn” that had 20,000 fans singing their hearts out.
Pennywise Photo Gallery
After over 7 hour of music, the day 1 headliner The Offspring kicked things into action with a cover of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and then from there took Huntington Beach through a timeline of their hits. Noodles stated, “usually a hometown show is in LA or Irvine, but that tonight was a REAL hometown show”. Dexter Holland sound excellent as he led the band through such songs as “The Kid’s Aren’t Alright”, “You’re Gonna Go Far Kid” and even played a new song ““It Won’t Get Better” from their upcoming album and ended their set with the massive “Self Esteem”.
Day 1 of Surf City Blitz was a HUGE success as all exited the venue, some to continue to party and some heading home to rest up for Day 2 featuring Social Distortion, Bad Religion and Rancid.
The Offspring Photo Gallery