It’s crazy to think that Bad Religion has been a band for thirty-five years. THIRTY FIVE YEARS. So what do they have to show for it? Sixteen albums, numerous world tours, and an unbelievably loyal fan base.
For a band that’s released as many albums as they have, with their feet planted firmly in both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, how do you decide which songs to add to the set list? Book two nights, of course. I witnessed the second night of the band’s stop in San Francisco on what they’re dubbing the “Battle of the Centuries”. Night one, where I was not present, consisted of songs that spanned the band’s catalogue from the twentieth century only, and the next night consisted of the twenty-first century). The tour also featured an opening spot from The Adolescents on the first night, with OFF! joining the bill on the second night.
I’ve seen Bad Religion twice before, and both prior performances were at outdoor festivals. While they were fun to watch, the indoor venue environment seems to be their element. (I may just be saying that because they went on towards the end of the day at each festival and it was really freaking hot outside, but I digress.) After thirty-five years, they still sound sharper than ever.
Bad Religion don’t look like rockstars. They look like five (or six, depending if Brett Guretwitz is filling out the lineup on third guitar) genuine, regular guys that love doing what they do. That vibe emanated itself from the stage into the audience for the entire night. The band played nearly two hours, about thirty songs, and not a single moment was boring. Their lyrical content is as thought provoking as ever. And dammit, they’re still one of the loudest bands in existence.
Sincere congratulations on thirty-five years, guys. Here’s to thirty-five more.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.