One For the Bucket List

Bucket lists are things made to keep track of events, activities, or actions we want to achieve in our lives. Sometimes they are ever rotating things in and out and other times remaining pretty stationary in who sits on the top. Since I started doing photography with a DSLR camera, concert photography has created a bucket list of bands I want to photograph. One of those would be Youth Brigade, the Stern brothers who not only have left a mark with BYO Records and Punk Rock Bowling, but on East Coast punk rock. Luck have it, they were in town with Good Riddance and The Last Gang to help fulfill one off the bucket list.

The night was opened up by our local No Gimmick. This was my first opportunity to see how their new drummer’s, Ray, skills matched to what Johnny talked up when announcing him. Furthermore, it marked another notable change of the band going to the three piece again.

Johnny brought the snarky remarks between songs as they raced to fit their entire set into a strict time. Josh performed with the superb vocals that have kept me listening to them since high school. No Gimmick’s set had all the makings of a great opening of this night.

Next was the O.C. four piece, the Last Gang, and the first of our tour package of the night. Their last visit was with another energizing band, Street Dogs, at this same venue last year. At the time of that show, Ken was a brand new addition and in my wrap up I could not find his name to include in my writing. Though now that I can tell you his name, Ken adds depth to their sound and another smiling face to their performance.

Brenna was wonderful on lead vocals and Sean bouncy all around that stage. The set including familiar songs from their freshman Fat Wreck release, like “Sing For Your Supper,” and older tracks I was less familiar with. With every time I can catch The Last Gang, they continue to be a band I get excited to see come back.

Then it was one of the legends of punk rock, Youth Brigade, for my first time outside of a Punk Rock Bowling. If you’re doing the math, then you know that means the lineup I have always seen has included the Stern brothers and John Carey, of Old Man Markley fame. In addition, that means this is the first time I’ve seen them play my hometown of Phoenix.

Shawn early on made sure to address everyone nostalgic about how they played Rebel Lounge when it was the Mason Jar. Though between smiles and jokes, the banter mainly focused on our horrible politicians and why we need to make our voices known. Playing songs like “Believe In Something” and “What Are You Fighting For?” further reinforcing his message. I’d wager this was the most intense the mosh pit got of the night and it is no surprise Youth Brigade was the cause.

To think, just the three would make for an amazing show and then it was time Good Riddance took the stage. This was most definitely the smallest stage I’ve watched Good Riddance on over the years. You saw Russ Rankin and Chuck Platt taking full advantage of the intimate crowd to the edge of the stage. Interactions with fans were plenty, including catching a smiling Chuck go in for a close up for another photographer this night.

They played “Letters Home” and “Libertine” among a lengthy set.  It was the first time seeing them since Sean Sellers’, on drums, son was diagnosed last month with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. With that mind, if you want to help support them with the expenses you can click here to find the fundraiser. Even with that weight, Sean played like the beast he is on those drums for this set. By the end, Good Riddance tied a bow on what was a killer night of punk rock.

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