OC Punk Rock Picnic - Oak Canyon Ranch - 4/28/12

Categories: Last Night

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Javier Cabral

If your vehicle was sturdy enough to get you to this year's Punk Rock Picnic at Oak Canyon Ranch (aka the middle of nowhere) -- meaning your car didn't overheat during the uphill slaloms or get stuck in the makeshift loose-dirt road parking lot -- then you experienced what was probably the best Punk Rock Picnic to date.

Thousands showed up for the all-day, early-bird punk rock festival. The crowd included just about everybody in the punk rock pantheon of fans: full-fledged punk rock families complete with mohawked little ones, middle school kids who just heard their first Black Flag song, even old-school veterans with walking canes. The gates opened at 11 a.m. and the first band went up at noon. There were 10 stages with eight bands set to play on each, guys on bikes doing backflips off ramps and a "Punk Dogs" food stand. It was pretty much the place to be for any alternative-minded individual in Southern California.

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Javier Cabral

Tailgating was half the fun. People brought things like homemade lemon Hefeweizens to share, and security was minimal. 

The event seemed to be organized a bit better than the years before. For starters, four of the stages were set up in a type of street roundabout fashion, making it way easier to hear your favorite bands if they happened to be playing at the exact freaking time.

As far as bands are concerned, where to start? El Nada, a punk band from Mexicali, rocked on the Old School Stage, as Dirty Filthy Mugs and their Celtic-slanted working class punk did on the same stage later in the evening. On the Redneck Stage, Social Conflict from East Los Angeles gathered a small crowd as they performed their classic "Razorblade Mary." And right beside that stage was MLCH Skate Stage with Battalion of Saints!

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Javier Cabral

An honorable mention goes out to Downtown Brown from Michigan for being the first band to get a breakdancing pit going for their gnarly funk punk songs. Their fans came out to hear them play "Skynet is Real," complete with Terminator's doomsday drumbeat as the beat. They wrapped their set after being heckled for "going way over your set time, man" by The Angry Samoans. They immediately wrapped it up with their outro, a performance of the Home Improvement theme song.

Location Info


Oak Canyon Ranch

5305 Santiago Canyon Road, Silverado, CA

Category: General

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Punky Cheezster
Punky Cheezster

OC Weekly never fails to bumm me out on their coverage of this event. I am not sure if it is because it is still sort of a grass roots promotion and the promotors cannot pay for coverage or what? But the Punk Rock Picnic is the biggest all day outdoor punk event going on and the only one of its kind in Orange County. Yet OC WEEKLY blows when it comes to covering it prior to the event, and after reading the post show coverage just now, I am totally bummed. I walked the entire venue and did a pretty good job at catching all the bands ( the ones worth catching as there were a ton of shitty bands too) and was hoping to read something that I may have missed. Something insightful to read from an experienced writer who's job is was to cover this event. Instead I had to read the obvious watered down horse shit. "The Yeastie Boys Stole the Show"??? Really??? They dress like clowns and play punk covers while throwing confetti at you.

 But they do have a member that works for OC Weekly so I guess I can see why the temptation was there. But seriously! On the same stage that these clowns played on (which by the way was the only stage to be at besides the headliner stages NOT JUST MY OPINION AS IT WAS THE ONLY STAGE WITH A CROWD AND A PIT ALL DAY) There was a killer up and coming band called DIME RUNNER. They are a younger (Not in their 40's) breed of punk with a great frontman who was actually fun to watch and the songs were a nice blend of old and new styles of punk from The Buzzcocks to Diguster, this band was refreshing to see.

Then the never dissapointing So Cal Skate Punk band Doggy Style. Sure they are a bit older and not as many original members. But this band put out a solid set. Even with the bumbling bonehead sound guy completely fucking up the sound (at one point there was no power) and the band kept playing and the pit kept churning. Did I forget to mention that they staged the worlds largest donut fight? Ok, maybe it was just a very big donut fight but it was fun as hell. The pit got slippery and the band were not a bunch of pussies when they were pelted with their own donuts. They played new songs that the entire crowd seemed to know the lyrics as well as old favorites such as "Nympho Maniac" and "Rookie Cop" The set was solid.

After Doggy Style was another killer set by The Grim. These guys just played the coveted GV30 (Goldenvoice 30t Anniversary) Any punk band would have killed to get on that show as it was sort of the whos who of California Punk history. Guess who didnt play the GV30? D.I. or the Yeastie Boys. The Grim fucking rocked! The frontman set up shop in the pit area and made friends with the punks! The bass player was awesome. He is the really freakishly tall skinny guy that just looks really cool when he plays his bass. He jumps really high and ripps on bass. I wish I knew his name but it is not my job to know his name. I had not planned on writing this. But Cabral or whatever his name is really missed the boat on this show. Maybe next year he can take a notebook with him.

But hey, he was hit on by a "milf" and became the boss with bossview so you cant really judge him. It is just that I saw the punk "milfs" at this show and they were not much to look at. But whatever. OC Weekly sucks. Bring back the gay guy from the 90's that used to cover bands. Even if he hated a band he still gave them honest coverage. (forgot his mame but he was gay) Rich Kane!


What a fun filled day with sick bands galore! El Nada is from Santa Ana by the way! Not Mexicali.


This event was straight up awesome..when you think of punks some snarly people come to mind but that couldn't be more wrong. I have been in many a pit in my life and typically people just don't know what the hell they are doing. In this one when people fell down they got picked up, if they lost a hat or shirt someone would make sure they got it back. Great vibe all around, I will be there next year for sure.

Stefanie Williamson
Stefanie Williamson

The Picnic was a first for me, and honestly, I can't wait to attend again next year!  Everyone was there to have a good time and make new friends.  I will never forget watching the Security guys having an absolute blast holding up the fence from the moshers while D.I. was onstage!  Priceless.  I bet the mohawked kid in the plaid shirt in pic#3 has a really cool mom!


Ur an idiot. I was there and the sound guy was trying his best to get this crappy ass bands to sound decent. 

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