This past Saturday, I headed to Asbury Park NJ to catch day 1 of Punk Rock Bowling. It was a pretty tough decision, with The Suicide Machines playing a free show nearby here in Philly, but the allure of seeing both Dag Nasty and The Descendents won out.
I got to The Stone Pony’s outdoor Summer Stage rather late. I wanted to make it in time for both 88 Finger Louie and H2O, but unfortunately I was walking up as H2O was finishing up “Nothing To Prove” which rang throughout all of Asbury.
Next up were UK’s The Subhumans. Now I’ll be completely honest, I’ve never really listened to their albums much, but I remember catching them live nearly 5 years ago with Millions Of Dead Cops here in Philly and remember it being a damn good show, and they definitely didn’t disappoint this time around either. From the second they started, a large circle pit broke out, and while it was clear that the majority of the crowd was either drunk or exhausted in the all day summer sun, things definitely got pretty rowdy.
Singer Lucas took some shots at the high price of Asbury beaches ($7 to go on the beach), jokingly encouraging the crowd to storm the beaches… which was pretty ironic considering the high cost of everything involved with this all day fest. But regardless, it was around this point too that apparently bands were told to not curse in between songs, because residents of Asbury were starting to get upset (up the punks!)
Next up were Dag Nasty, and one of the main reasons I came to the show to begin with. Reunited with their original singer Shawn Brown, who was on the demos and wrote a lot of the songs that were later re-recorded on What Can I Say? The band took the stage, and a decent amount of us older in the crowd immediately went off, two-stepping and shouting along. Their blend of melodic hardcore inspired many of the post-hardcore bands like Texas Is The Reason that pretty much shaped the emo scene today.
The majority of the set consisted of songs off What Can I Say, but they threw in a few from Wig Out At Denkos and a few new songs (did I mention that Dag Nasty is recording new music?!) as well. The newer songs definitely had more of a heavier edge to them.
A solid and fun show, it’s great to finally be able to see Dag Nasty live. I’m hoping that they’ll do an east coast tour soon and come up to Philly, playing a non-fest environment.
Setlist (From what I remember)
Under Your Influence
Can I Say
All Ages Show
One to Two
Little Friend (Minor Threat cover)
Never Go Back
Do The Descendents really need any introduction? A staple of punk and one of the earlier punk bands, Milo and company have been pumping punk anthems about girls and the tribulations of growing up ever since the early 80s, and those songs still resonate today.
From their opening chords of “Everything Sux”, chaos ensued as a huge pit broke out. This was my second time seeing The Descendents, and they definitely sounded tighter this time around from when I first caught them at RiotFest East a few years back.
Playing songs spanning their entire history, they also included a bunch of new songs as well with an album coming out I believe later this year. With the first new songs coming from the band in over 12 years, you might be skeptical about how they sound, but rest assured… at least live they sound like they could have come off any Descendents album and doesn’t lack any of the energy from their previous songs.
Ripping through as many songs as possible in an hour, things got a bit strange at the end when the venue tried to not let them have an encore, and then finally after having permission to play a few more, the venue stopped them after their 2nd encore song. Milo seemed surprised and pretty much said “Oh I guess we’re done! Thanks guys!” before leaving the stage and leaving the crowd a sweaty, sun drenched, yet elated mess.
Victim Of Me
I’m The One
I Wanna Be A Bear
I Don’t Want To Grow Up
My Dad Sucks
When I Get Old
I Like Food
I’m Not A Loser
Nothing With You