Surf City Blitz Day 2 @ Huntington Beach – 10/28/2018
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 2 on Sunday picked up right where Saturday left off with featured punk rockers Bad Religion, Rancid and headlined by Social Distortion. Surf City Blitz Day 1 coverage can be viewed here.
Gates again opened at noon with temperatures in the mid 70’s as 2nd Rate Kings, Aaron Lee Tasjan, The Wrecks and the highlight of the afternoon The Interrupters. The difference between Saturday and Sunday was that MANY more fans were present earlier in the day on Sunday.
Not only was this an amazing festival for the fans but for the bands as well as the punk rock community is like a big family and all the bands got to hang out with each other and catch up backstage as well as around the festival grounds. Mike Muir who performed on Saturday with Suicidal Tendencies was at the ST merch booth all day just hanging out and meeting fans and Fletcher Dragge from Pennywise was also seen just hanging out.
The moody, doomy rock n roll of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club kicked off the late afternoon music at about 4:00pm. A bit of a slowdown from all the previous music, BRMC certainly put on a great show but not quite sure Surf City Blitz was the right event for them – definitely a bit of a strange band to have smack dab in the middle of a punk festival.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Photo Gallery
After Black Rebel Motorcycle Club played it was obvious the festival grounds were packed and everyone was anxious for the last three acts of the weekend. Los Angeles’ Bad Religion re-energized the entire crowd when they hit the stage as vocalist Greg Graffin led the band through a 19-song set that started with “Recipe for Hate” and ended with “American Jesus” and included all the expected Bad Religion anthems in between. The capacity crowd had several circle pits going and it was a massive sing-along throughout – definitely one of the crowd favorites of the weekend.
Bad Religion Photo Gallery
Bad Religion is a tough act to follow but Rancid was up for the challenge and they put on an extremely fun entertaining 21 song set led by the alternating vocals of Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen. Again this entire set was a massive sing-along with the crowd. The setting sun over the ocean at the beginning of their set made for an epic backdrop to the band performing onstage.
Rancid Photo Gallery
At long last, after 16 bands over two beautiful days on Huntington Beach, Sunday’s headliner and Southern California favorites Social Distortion took the stage to a roaring crowd obviously hitting their second wind. Mike Ness appeared smiling with a black flat cap and no doubt overwhelmed with the size of the crowd on the beach. The band kicked things off with “Reach for the Sky” and it was 75 minutes of punk classics from the SoCal based bad boys. A new song was thrown into the set to give the crowd a taste of things to come from an upcoming new Social D album to be released in the future and of course there was “Ball and Chain” and “Ring of Fire” to close out this amazing festival.
Punk rock is alive and well as proved by 40,000 fans over two days in Huntington Beach. We all eagerly await a 2019 Surf City Blitz announcement, but this inaugural year will be tough to beat.
Social Distortion Photo Gallery