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The Offspring, Bad Religion, Pennywise and The Vandals @ The Electric Factory.

August 4, 2014

offspring4Text by Gabi Chepurny. Images by Jesse Marass.

On Saturday, the Electric Factory opened up its back parking lot for the punk extravaganza that was the Summer Nationals Tour.

SoCal punks The Vandals opened the show amidst a mix of fans that couldn’t be more excited and crowd-goers who continuously told the band that they’re old. Despite the hecklers – who were obviously unaware that the night’s headliners are a mere four years younger than the openers – the band was pleased with what they saw in the audience.

“Did you see the dancing?” Guitarist Warren Fitzgerald said. “It’s passionate but not threatening. It’s perfect.”

Not to ignore the entire lineups age, lead singer David Quackenbush dedicated “Anarchy Burger” to “Bad Religion and all the other old people on this tour.”

Pennywise, celebrating 25 years as a band, brought more than one punk legend along with them. Former Bouncing Souls drummer Shal Khichi joined them onstage for a cover of the seminal Ramones tune, “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Unbelievably, lead singer Jim Lindberg also brought out Milo Aukerman of Descendents so the two could sing the one word song, “All,” together. Aukerman reappeared later to add vocals in a Minor Threat cover, and the crowd was in awe.

Before launching into “Fuck Authority,” guitarist Fletcher Dragge reminded the crowd that the people elect and pay government officials, adding, “You are in charge. Stop letting them take shit from you!”

Veterans Bad Religion stuck mostly to their set list, giving fans everything they asked for and more. With tracks spanning a 35 year history, we couldn’t help but imagine that they sounded just as good as they did decades ago. The only difference between Saturday’s show and one from a hot summer weekend in the 80’s is the band member’s attire. While some now choose to wear golf shirts on stage, the energy, songs and crowd remain the same.

Following the trend of album anniversary shows, headliners The Offspring celebrated 20 years of Smash, playing the album in its entirety, including the spoken intro “Time to Relax.” They halted halfway through the second track, “Bad Habit,” just so lead singer Dexter Holland could tell Philly that we were the best stop on the tour.

Once reaching the end of Smash, guitarist Noodles said, “We’re already at the end, but I’m having so much fun, I could play all night!” so the band played tracks pulled mostly from 1998’s Americana, including “Pretty Fly For a White Guy” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright.”

While we’re sure the band gave it their all regardless, Noodles confirmed it was all done with love.

“I have it a little extra – one hundred and ten percent,” he said. “But that’s just ‘cause I like each and every one of you!”

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