Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything and that’s not due to the pandemic. I’ve mostly been staying behind the camera and keeping my judgement to myself. I’ve come to realize ‘who the fuck am I to say anything negative about a band when I can’t play a god damn thing?’ So anyways, I went down to Irvine. Let me tell you, even without traffic that’s a long drive if you live in LA. Unfortunately, this was the closest stop on the Rise Against and Descendents tour. Seriously though, it’s far. You get to Disneyland and then you’re all like, “oh, I got another 30 minutes left to drive”.
The Menzingers opened the show right on time at 7:30. What an amazing band to have as an opener. They all played with giant smiles on their faces. The venue was filling in pretty decently before they played so clearly people were there to see The Menzingers.
A small break between sets and then came Descendents. Milo cruised out on a bicycle with a camel pack around his shoulder. Some one asked me if Milo had an oxygen tank and that cracked me up. Descendents are one of my favorite punk bands to see live. They play a solid set full of quick, witty banter. Milo has a voice sounds almost identical to when he was just a teen. Descendents played many of mine, and others’, favorite songs. They opened with “Sailor’s choice” and “Hope” going into “‘merican” from there. Around the middle of the set after “Coolidge” and before “Everything Sux”, Milo busted out some wienerschnitzel and started chowing down. Don’t worry, Milo had plenty to share with the crowd. They closed the set out with the bangers “I’m the One”, “Bikeage”, “Suburban Home”. I was a little bummed that the set didn’t include “Silly Girl” or “Good Good Things”. I guess I will just have to wait till Punk Rock Bowling.
Rise Against closed out. Now that’s a great live band. I only really listened to the first album when I was growing up but this was my second time photographing them. The stage was set with cool graphic displays on their speakers that were like TV’s displaying static and analog clocks counting down. They opened up with the song “The Numbers” off their new album. Between songs Tim McIlrath would make small talk about the crazy year we’ve all had. In the middle of the set they played “Give It All” and “Swing Life Away” back to back. That was the moment I was waiting for, that brief hit of nostalgia I went all the way to Irvine for.
Words and Photos by: Taylor Wong