It truly blows my mind that Bad Religion are still around, and not only are they still around performing shows, but they're actually making good, new music that's leading them to sell out venues around the world. Remember that time I said that I was amazed that Green Day have twelve albums? Bad Religion have sixteen. And that doesn't include the three EPs or the two live albums that they've released since 1981. Among an unbelievable amount of lineup changes since their inception they are still one the longest reigning punk bands in the world.
One of the aspects of Bad Religion that stuck out to me was actually something the band said in an interview several years ago when they were promoting The Dissent of Man, their fifteenth studio album released on Epitaph Records back in 2010. Vocalist Greg Graffin referenced the fact that they never got bored of writing new material because they were (to paraphrase) "never one of those bands that would write about being on the road". This fascinated me. There are certain bands that are exemplary when it comes to writing about being on the road, while there are others that I've seen that turn to this particular subject when they honestly have nothing else they can think to write about. The lyrics of Bad Religion touch on topics surrounding the ideas our world, our culture, and our way of living; all while being sung over three heavily distorted guitar lines, a punk bass line, and fast-paced drums.
Now, when it comes to live shows, I'm very outspoken when I've said that theatrics are a big deal to me. However, there are certain bands that truly don't need a great deal of "shock and awe" and visual bravado to accentuate their live performances. Bad Religion is a band that can truly walk out on stage with nothing but their instruments, perform, and make every head in the room turn and give them their full undivided attention. I've been to indie rock festivals where Bad Religion was added to the lineup (on the side stage, for some odd reason), and they've still manage to draw around the same number of people as the headliners on the main stage. People go batshit crazy for these guys, and upon seeing them perform, it's not hard to see why.
This next point goes back to something that I referenced earlier: Bad Religion is a band that mixes simplicity with complexity. By saying this, I mean that this is a band that keeps songs to their most true nature (drums, guitar, bass, vocals) while adding thought-provoking lyrical themes and topics into the mix. A lot of bands have the option to take an easy way out (and I'm not knocking this; I love songs about relationships, partying, and having fun as much as the next person), but these guys have never done that. To me, they truly showcase the inquisitive human nature that we all have, and manage to use their music to bring out their thoughts on the world in wonderful way.
Tonight, Bad Religion will take the stage in San Francisco, CA at The Warfield Theater. In turn, they will be joined by none other than Against Me! and Dave Hause. If you are still for something to do to occupy your Hallow's Eve, find a ticket and go (and even if you already have plans, think about coming out anyway; seriously, this will be cool). They are a band that is worthy of your attention and your time, particularly in the politically unstable climate our world is living in right now.
To purchase tickets for the band's show at The Warfield in San Francisco TONIGHT: http://www.thewarfieldtheatre.com/events/detail/31226
This has been another Shameless Promotion.