It’s been a minute since Bad Religion traversed the landscape of Southern California from the hills of Los Angeles to land back in Anaheim, but last weekend, it finally happened.
The band has played a few shows, but for some time, shows were scheduled, then canceled and re-scheduled only to push repeat again and again. In all fairness, that happened to every band in the music biz no matter the genre. Now that life is slowly getting back to some semblance of normality, music fans are beyond excited to see bands like Bad Religion.
It was April 8th and the crowd lining up outside the House of Blues was wrapped around the exterior, waiting to get a glimpse and sing along with their sonic heroes. It was a nice night out, maybe cooler than expected, but it paled in comparison to what was about to take place inside the majestic music hall.
Up first was Los Angeles-based metal quartet, Slaughterhouse. The crowd was still filing in when they took the stage, but concertgoers quickly paid attention as the metal quartet started the show. Immediately the band had a great beat and their guitar licks were electric, so the crowd quickly came to life as lead singer Veronica Molidor encouraged them to get louder and louder.
As the concert hall filled, the concertgoers did as encouraged and electrified the atmosphere, setting the stage for Bad Religion.
After a short intermission, the crowd was amped and ready to go. The lights dimmed, the preshow music stopped, and the distinct sound of crowd roar filled the air as Bad Religion took the stage. With silhouettes of rock stars taking the stage with guitars, the lights took hold and the crowd got a glimpse at Mike Dimkich and Brian Baker on guitar, Jay Bentley on bass, and Jamie Miller on drums while lead vocalist Greg Graffin took his spot behind the mic as they opened to “Generator.”
Perhaps the time off from live performances did the band some good, because not only did they sound electric, Graffin sounded fantastic and the entire band seemed energized. The band was eager to please and play as they immediately segued into “Recipe for Hate” and “New Dark Ages.” By now, the crowd was fully engaged in Graffin’s lyrics as everyone in the house was singing along to every word in each song with clenched fists in the air.
After a few more tunes, Graffin finally took a short break. He said hello to everyone and reminded them that when Bad Religion first started out, they played a lot of shows in Orange County, and that drew a big response from the crowd. Graffin went on to explain that while they were still developing their sound in the hills of Los Angeles, they played Anaheim, but at the old venue, and this was their first show at the new location, which drew another loud roar from the crowd. As fans reacted to the mention of Anaheim, the band went into “Los Angeles is Burning,” which made the crowd lose their minds. The audience definitely got their money’s worth as Bad Religion played nearly 30 songs which included classics “Struck a Nerve,” “Suffer,” “Fuck You,” “No Control,” “Modern Man,” “Infected,” “Sorrow,” “21st Century (Digital Boy),” “Anesthesia,” and “You.”
April 8, 2022
In the end, Bad Religion – and I mean the entire band – seemed to be so happy to be back on stage doing what they love to do; play for their fans.
Of course, their fans couldn’t be happier to see them.
As they ended the set, fans continued their roar. The crowd was sincere in asking the band to come back out for an encore. Graffin popped his head out from the side stage to cheers while the guys came back out and belted out “American Jesus” and “Fuck Armageddon, This is Hell,” and the House of Blues erupted with joyous screams!
Needless to say, Bad Religion brought their “A” game and their fans appreciated the effort. What a great night for music in Anaheim!