Punk rockers united at The Glass House in Pomona recently to watch the legendary punk band Propagandhi. Due to COVID issues, the band was forced to miss this stop on their original tour. Instead of canceling altogether, in true hero form, the band came back to our area just to make up the handful of shows they had to reschedule.
It was a Sunday night, so there was some thought that a number of the original ticket holders wouldn’t show up and the crowd might be thin. This was not the case! Upon arrival, it was obvious people were excited to see this show finally happen. Black attire everywhere, band shirts, even a few metal heads, but no matter their appearance, everyone was smiling and banging their heads from beginning to end.
Opening the show was La Armada, a band from the Dominican Republic. They brought the spice to the show with their English and Spanish lyrics, even starting a song off with maracas, which you wouldn’t normally hear at the beginning of a punk song but they did a great job pairing it nicely!
Next was Seized Up, a “who’s who” punk band that includes members of Bl’ast, Good Riddance, The Distillers, The Nerve Agents, and Fast Asleep. A song they called “Become Christian, Move Inland” got the mosh pit moving. Drinks went flying, the dance floor opened up in the middle like a swirling vortex of bodies, and cheers erupted. It was clear Seized Up was the perfect choice for a supporting band.
Between these bands, people used their last chance to grab a drink, look at merch, and greet each other so they didn’t lose their place in the audience while the next band played. We saw lots of hugs and conversation with people that only see each other at shows and come for the love of these bands. It was a great sight to see.
After guitar techs finished sound checking the instruments and the fog machine penetrated the venue air, Propagandhi jumped onto the stage and went right in to “Failed Imagineer,” one of their biggest hits off their last album, 2017’s “Victory Lap.”
Since front-man Chris Hannah was stricken with COVID the month before, he was still feeling the effects of the virus, telling the crowd that he has lung trouble which affects his voice and singing ability. To the audience, he sounded just as great as ever.
Rescheduling your plans in the middle of a trip can be a real pain. Rescheduling a tour that includes instruments is an even bigger pain. Hannah shared with the crowd that upon their arrival to The Glass House, they realized they packed everything for their short trip except guitar stands and therefore couldn’t put their guitars down while onstage. Whether or not this was an actual fact, we could totally see this happening in the chaos of packing and while onstage, they never took their guitars off.
“Night Letters,” off their 2009 album “Supporting Case,” was their second to last song. This song has a beautifully slow build that drops right into heavy guitar then slows down again a minute later only to leap into strong and loud music that will rip your face right off in the best way. The crowd ate up every second of the tempo change and moshed their hearts out. Those that weren’t moshing were rocking out in their standing place. This helped the energy from the band feel palatable.
Last but certainly not least was the song “Victory Lap.” This song has every iota of what we love about Propagandhi; the harmony, the fast, heavy punk guitar, the well-placed tempo changes, and of course a unique philosophy on government and politics.
There was some chatter throughout the crowd in hopes of the band playing some of the older songs that people grew up listening to and have loved for so many years. Unfortunately for some, this was not the case as they played songs from more recent years… if you count the last decade and a half as recent. That’s probably the hardest thing for bands that have been around for so long, how to choose a set list with such a wide catalogue. Whatever the reason is, it was a great show and these Canadians know how to rock even without guitar stands.