(Hope you all enjoyed yesterday’s April Fools Post — thought I should point that out in case anyone read too quick and did not skip to the bottom!)
Bad Religion wasted no time once taking the stage, quickly starting the set with “Past is Dead” from their new album “True North”. They continued with two more songs after each other before even uttering a word to the crowd, leaving even very little room for cheering/clapping. After the first three songs, Greg chatted briefly about how it has been a little while since they were here (Montreal to be precise, as Greg did mention they had been close by not too long ago (Quebec City and Ottawa), and how they have a new album, and that segued to the title track from the new album.
The new albums seems to have been quite well received, with the angst ridden “Fuck You” being a crowd favourite from it!
I mentioned they wasted no time, and such was the case for the entire set, it was almost as if they had to be somewhere, which I know is not true. Regardless, they had the energy of a Bad Religion from 20 years ago despite their average age of 48.75 excluding drummer Brooks Wackerman who is 36 (46.2 is the average age with Brooks calculated!). They whipped through 26 songs in about 75 minutes, followed by a four song encore of around 15 minutes.
Greg Graffin’s stage banter was fairly minimal, as would need to be the case to get through all those songs! His gesturing was alive and well, although almost seemed like Jello Biafra’s gesturing, albeit not nearly as dramatic! He mentioned trying to think up some new stage moves, like standing on the speakers, but was getting old, also referred to the balcony people how he would be up there, as he has retired from the mosh pit!
Bad Religion also seemed to have brought their own lights, a set of four industrial style lights! One can be seen in the photo below (and more here). It made for an interesting if subtle touch. One of my favourites was played, the creatively titled “Robin Hood in Reverse“! And the lyrics.
Openers Polar bear Club and The Bronx proved mildly entertaining. I was surprised to learn that Polar Bear Club have three albums under their belt, as they seemed like a fairly young/new band to me. Both bands have interesting singers in their own rights, Polar Bear Club’s singer was thankful for everyone being there, and does not take for granted all the people there watching them perform, while The Bronx guy is more a party guy, including drinking milk, and semi-offering it to the crowd (he was drinking straight from the carton, so I do not think he was really going to give anyone his milk), and going into the crowd to sing a song too. Polar Bear Club played punk rock not too far from Against Me! in my opinion from what I have heard of each, and The Bronx play fairly aggressive punk, not sure if they could be deemed hardcore these days, they replaced Against Me! who were slated to open originally.
If you are new to Bad Religion, I recommend checking them out, if not for music only, but for lyrics!