Weekend of Punk In San Francisco
San Francisco has been a home to the Punk Rock scene for quite some time, stretching from the The Mabuhay Gardens in the 70’s and 80’s to the Bottom of the Hill, Slim’s and Thee Parkside from the 90’s into today. This past weekend Fat Wreck Chords put on a 25 year anniversary concert and celebration. Closing down the street next to Thee Parkside for 2 days of punk music.
Now 25 years is a lot of time to stay ‘punk’. I first heard NOFX when I was in elementary school, later in junior high I was shaving my head, bleaching the stubble, and sneaking into sweaty little punk shows up and down the coast of California. Fat Wreck Chords was always a staple in that scene, supporting good bands, and putting on great shows. Back when I was a little rubber person running into mosh pits and shaking my skateboard at ‘the man’, I worshiped the music they produced. The label never got muddied in the main stream and it will forever sound like the West Coast to many of us.
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There was a special moment in the show on Sunday when No Use For A Name came on with no lead singer (Tony Sly passed away in 2012). So the lead singers of Lagwagon, NOFX, Good Riddance, Strung Out and others took turns singing lead vocals to No Use songs, it was a special collaboration, and the crowd went nuts for it.
These punk rockers are now in their 40’s and perhaps 50’s but they still can rock’ it, and a big crowd of 30- somethings loaded with nostalgia and Racer 5 IPA kept the pit going all day long, singing the choruses with fists raised, and holding up crowd surfers like it was 1996 again. What a great day. Hopefully they will keep doing this show annually and we can bang our heads down memory lane again next summer.