Live at Denver’s Fillmore venue, the gang plowed through 40 years of hits, touching on all eras of the band.
BY TIM HINELY
The last time the Descendents played this venue was in late January 2012. I remember because we had moved to Denver a week later, Feb, 4th, 2012 and I was beyond bummed that I missed it by a week. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get a chance to see ‘em again, but alas, they have played Two of the four Denver Riot Fests here and having two of the guys in nearby Ft. Collins, well, they’re almost like a local band here (almost).
It’s funny how after all these years, I still think of guitarist Stephen Egerton and bassist Karl Alvarez as “the new guys” (these days both of ‘em sporting the Mr. Clean look). None of the other early lineups lasted more than a few years so this is easily the longest lineup of the band (and in their alter ego, All, too having Chad Price on vocals). So no, they’re not the new guys , but the first time I saw them, Summer of ’86, Ray Cooper and Doug Carrion were still in the band so that strange thought is still in my head.
The band (with original members Milo Aukerman on vocals and drummer Bill Stevenson in addition to the two above-mentioned “new” guys) rarely disappoint though. At this point they’re a well-oiled machine, running through nearly 40 years of hits (hits in my mind, anyway).
They opened with “Everything Sux” (from their 1996 album of the same name) which seems to be their requisite opener these days and plowed through an hour and a half of melodic, gritty punk. For some of the old classics we heard “Hope,” “My Dad Sucks,” (written by original guitarist Frank Navetta who apparently had a very difficult relationship with his dad), “Coolidge,” “Suburban Home” (first Descendents tune I ever heard and the one that made me a fan), “Silly Girl,” “Pervert,” “Get the Time” and too many more.
They came out for not one but two encores as the first one included “I’m the One” (also off ‘96’s Everything Sux) and “Bikeage” off the classic Milo Goes to College). For the second encore we heard “Sour Grapes” (off Enjoy) and they ended it with an elongated version of Catalina” and called it a night.
After decades of obscurity its great to finally see these guys getting the respect they deserve (something that has eluded their alter-ego, All, thus far).
I’ll go ahead and say it. These guys are welcome back to Denver anytime.
Photo credit: 2014 by IllaZilla – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38020669