Pennywise - The Observatory - July 16, 2014

Categories: live review

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Alex Distefano
Jim Lindberg of Pennywise
The Observatory

Hermosa Beach punk rock took over Santa Ana last night, as Pennywise played a sold out show at the Observatory, with special guests the Originalites, Special C and General Fucking Principle (G.F.P.)

OC ska band The Originalites opened the show playing a very up-beat, classic 'skunk' sound that he crowd began to dig immediately. Michael Belk tool lead on vocals and Saxophone, and also jumped and skanked around the stage more than once, running around flailing his arms. This on stage moshing, got a young kid in a Descendents shirt and a 40ish-looking man in a Misfits shirt to ignite a circle pit, which went well with the faster, NOFX-meets-Madness style of ska punk songs The Originalites performed. The band also features bassist Tim Frankeny, drummer Peter Fontes and guitarist/vocalist Daniel Tello.

See also: Pennywise Dig Into Their Vault For 'Yesterdays'

Alex Distefano
Special C was up next, and this Redondo Beach based trio also performed a very laid back, but vibrant set of Reggae, roots rock influenced punk, essentially merging the sounds of Sublime, Slightly Stupid, Black Flag and Pennywise. Friends, Dustin Jones, Vocals/Guitarist Jason McMackin, bassist and drummer Evan Pershing, formed special C. Although the crowd enjoyed the band's set, things didn't really get moving in the crowd until the band performed a cover of the Black Flag classic "Jealous Again." Special C definitely has talent, and are keeping the legacy and tradition of Reggae infused punk alive and well. The only thing missing was the reefer.

G.F.P. took the stage next and threw down a crushing set of hardcore skate punk. With guitarist Greg Hetson (Bad Religion, Circle Jerks), Tony Alva on bass, Joey C on drums and vocalist Crazy Tom, G.F.P. raged through a set of a punk, metallic tinged hardcore set that got people moving their feet on the floor. "We were just added last minute," Tom said to the crowd, in between songs. The bursts of punk energy were rampant throughout the band's set, with songs like 'False Respect,' 'Kick Flip Grind' and 'Fuck This Whole System."

By the time Pennywise took the stage the security had their hands full. The photographers in the photo pit had to be kicked out shortly after the band started, as several people tried to jump on the stage-to-stage dive but the guards grabbed them and pulled them down.

Pennywise is made up of guitarist Fletcher Dragge, bassist Randy Bradbury, drummer Byron McMackin and singer Jim Lindberg, and formed in Hermosa Beach in 1989, under the umbrella of other South Bay punk bands before them: Descendents, Circle Jerks and Black Flag. Taking heavy from these bands, the band crated their own unique sound and a rabid fan base locally and internationally.

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