Photos by Josh Lind and Angel Aguilar
On Sunday April 8th, 2018, punks, skaters wrestling fans and rock fans of all ages congregated at Papa Murphy’s Park for an afternoon and evening of great music, Mexican wrestling, tacos and beer at the Sacramento edition of the Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival.
In what turned out to be a warm sunny day with a light cool breeze, the festivities began early in the afternoon with craft beer tasting and gourmet tacos. At 2 pm Los Kung Fu Monkeys took the stage followed by Unwritten Law.
In between sets, a wrestling ring on the right side of the stage featured Mexican style wrestling which got the audience pumped up for the next band.
We arrived in the middle of The Vandals set, which was in full swing with the band powering through hits like “My Girlfriend’s Dead”, “I’ve Got An Idea For A Movie”, “And Now We Can Dance” and others and finishing up with “I Have A Date”. The Huntington Beach band was well received as it could be seen by the many bodies surfing towards the stage.
With each band the momentum kept rising and with Me First and The Gimme Gimmes, it was no exception. The San Francisco based band, that is comprised of members of other well-known punk bands such as Re-Volts, NOFX, No Use For A Name, Ladwagon and other guest musicians is known for their punked up versions of pop and other genre hits. Lead singer Spike Lawson masterfully lead the band through fast and commanding versions of hits like Gloria Gaynor’s disco hit “I Will Survive”, Cher’s “Believe”, Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down By The School Yard”, John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads”, Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man” and others; but without question, the highlight of Me First and The Gimme Gimmes, was their sing along version of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”, it was an amusing and surreal moment to see all these young and old punks singing along to one of the most iconic 70’s pop hits.
By the time veterans of the punk scene; Pennywise, took the stage, the crowd was ready for some serious moshing and crowd surfing. With Jim Lindberg on vocals, Fletcher Dragge on guitars, Randy Bradbury on bass and Byron McMackin on drums, Pennywise took charge of the stage and showed that they are still one of the best live bands as they played a furious set that got the crowd into a frenzy with iconic punk anthems like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “Bro Hymn”, “Fuck Authority” and their cover of “Stand by Me” and many others. To close the set, members of the other bands that played earlier in the day and members of their crew and entourage joined Pennywise on stage for some a surprise ending.
As the sun went down, the air began to cool off, which helped energize the tired sub burnt bodies that had been jumping, moshing and body surfing all afternoon. As headliners, The Offspring, took the stage, the crowd action went into overdrive and at the end of the 4th song, the band had to ask the crowd to step back so they could alleviate some of the pressure against the barrier and those stuck in front of the barrier that separated the audience from the stage, luckily the crowd complied with the band’s request and the show went on without any problems.
The Offspring began their set with a bang as singer Dexter Holland guided the audience through a hit filled set that started with “You Are Gonna Go Far, Kid”, “All I want” and “Come Out and Play”. With Noodles on guitar, Greg K on bass and Pete Parada on drums, The Offspring sounded as tight and strong as ever. One of the many highlights of The Offspring’s performance was a haunting rendition of “Gone Away” starting with Dexter at the piano and eventually the rest of the band joining. The hits continued with songs such as “Bad Habit’, “Why Don’t You Get A Job?”, “Americana”, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy” and closing out their set with “The Kids Aren’t Alright and “Self Esteem”.
We have to give props to the organizers of the Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival as everything went on schedule, technical problems were kept to a minimum and the band selection was top notch. Although there was a decent size and very enthusiastic crowd, we expected a much larger crowd, especially with the caliber of acts headlining the show, we just wish more people in Sacramento would appreciate and support these types of events so they can continue to come back.