Punk in the Park - Ventura, CA - 3/25/23
The Punk in the Park festival features some of the biggest and best punk bands around. Headlining the festival are punk rock legends Pennywise. There were plenty of bands playing and needed two stages just to be able to handle everything. This stop of the festival was on the west coast in sunny Ventura, California not even a quarter of a mile from the beach. Even before doors opened, a big line had formed with punk rock fans from around the area just waiting to enjoy punk rock again. Doors opened at 12pm and the show was underway. Attendees had a variety of things to do while there. There were plenty of food options ranging from chicken strips to seafood to carne asada fries. One of the main attractions of the festival was the craft beer tasting from 12pm-3pm. There were a variety of breweries both local and international. Everyone that went into the venue was handed a little plastic souvenir cup for the beer tasting. There also several vendors selling their products which included shirts, handbags, stickers, glasses and skateboards. At 12:15pm, the show had officially started with Raptors kicking things off. The sun was out with a few clouds in the sky and the setting was perfect for an outdoor festival. Around 3pm was when the festival grounds started getting fuller of people. Drain brought the energy to the second stage and got a good crowd to watch their amazing performance as well as got a mosh pit going. Following them was The Bronx who also put on an electrifying performance. The second stage was headlined by the Cholos in Manic Hispanic who had one of the biggest turnouts of the day. The main stage had its own slew of great punk bands. One of them were The Dwarves who kept the crowd going wild with mosh pits and crowd surfers. Singer Blag Dahlia kept pointing out a fan in attendance who kept repeatedly causing trouble with people in the pit. Dahlia would repeatedly talk smack to him and eventually got into a small fight with the fan. Other legendary punk bands playing stage one included FEAR, Strung Out and The Bouncing Souls. The second to last band on the main stage were the legendary hardcore punk/crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. By this time at night, it started to get cold and windy being next to the beach. This show was extra special for them because playing for them on the bass was Tye Trujillo, son of Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo. Rob played with ST in the 90's. They drove the fans extra wild as they played ST classics like You Can't Bring Me Down, Send Me Your Money, War Inside My Head and Subliminal. The headlining act of the night were punk rock legends Pennywise. Their shows are fun and loud with fans once again moshing, crowd surfers and singing along. Fans went extra crazy as Pennywise breezed through classics like Unknown Road, Same Old Story, Pennywise and Fuck Authority. Near the end of the show, frontman Jim Lindberg gave the fans the terrible news that their family friend Pat "PC" Carr passed away that morning. Carr was the best friend of Jason Thirsk who was their original bassist from 1988 until his death in 1996. Pennywise finished up their show with their usual ending song Bro Hymn and the day-long festival came to an end. As always, fans rush to the stage as Pennywise plays Bro Hymn. As the ground cleared up from people, you could see trash and cups everywhere from people drinking. It was a good day for live music coming back and just as good for punk so people in denial will see that punk is not dead!
Photos and review by Misael Ruiz
The Bouncing Souls