Featuring: RANCID / L7 / SUICIDAL TENDENCIES / PENNYWISE / MADBALL
Old Bridge Township Raceway
L7 Set List: Andres, Fuel My Fire, Everglade, Stadium West, Shove, Shit List, Pretend We’re Dead, Fast And Frightening
Suicidal Tendencies Set List: You Can’t Bring Me Down, I Shot The Devil, Institutionalized, Lovely, Freedumb, Subliminal, Pledge Your Allegiance
Rancid Set List: Roots Radical, Radio, Journey To The End of The East Bay, The 11th Hour (cut)
Pennywise Set List: Peaceful Day, Fight Til You Die, My Own Country, Rules, Same Old Story, It’s Up To Me, Minot Threat, Pennywise, Society, Live While You Can, Fuck Authority, Stand By Me, Bro Hymn
When Rancid announced the inaugural run of their new festival simply titled, "The Bash" shows began selling fast and the concept was super simple; Craft Beer & Punk Rock would rule the day!
The New Jersey show was plagued with two major issues; bad weather and bad communication. The show was stopped at 2 different times due to lightning warnings and during both situations there was no true, clear communication as to when/if the show would resume.
We arrived as Madball were taking the stage and their set was straight up NYC hardcore. The craft beer stands outside the venue were selling beer and packing up their tents; the craft beer part of the fest started to end a little after 4 PM. A bad storm was heading this way and the national weather service issued a high wind/severe lightning warning which caused the venue to cut power towards the end of Madballs set. An announcer asked the entire racetrack to seek shelter in their cars until the storm blew past.
About 20 minutes later venue employees drove through the parking lot declaring the venue was reopened and the show was starting now. The odd thing is that there was no social media presence addressing the situation so everyone could see on facebook/twitter/instagram/official site what was happening.
L7 were onstage as we walked into the concert area and their first song, "Andre" was plagued by minimal pa volume and at times only guitar and bass were audible. By the second song in L7's set the audio issues were fixed and Donita and company were rockin’ hard!
L7 performed a slightly shortened set due to the venue evacuation but when Mike Muir and Suicidal tendencies took the stage all Hell Broke Loose!
Former Murderdoll/Dope member Acey Slade was slinging coffee at his stand; His coffee company Is named Deadsled and they offer an interesting assortment of delicious brews. The iced coffee he served on this day was amazing!
At the merch tent Rancid were selling a limited edition (150 only) numbered, hand signed concert poster for $40 and the same artwork was also available on a limited edition red concert shirt.
Suicidal Tendencies were a rabid animal from start till finish and their energy set the bar for all performances at this show.
Opening with "You Can't Bring Me Down", ST had a massive circle pit throughout their entire set and Muir told the crowd stories about his Dad's wisdom throughout their set.
"Institutionalized" was the third song in their set and featured Muir singing the entire song in the crowd. Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo brings dynamic power to the ST live show and his presence is impossible to miss.
Pennywise delivered an amazing, long set which sounded great and by this point in the show it felt like the weather was finally under control. Most fans were anxiously awaiting Rancid to take the stage at 8:50 pm.
The stage was set and a minute before 8:50 pm Lars took the stage with a huge smile on his face. Lars went directly into "Roots Radical" and by the time the song was over a steady downpour of rain had begun.
Tim Armstrong is a unique rockstar; his heavily tatted head and his hillbilly beard match his battered to death Gretch guitar and his scratched leather jacket. Holding his guitar at various oddball angles while jumping about on the stage, Tim has grown up but not grown old.
Into the 5th song of Rancid's set the power was cut and an announcer said to the crowd:
"Attention Ladies and Gentleman. Due to Approaching Severe Weather we will be pausing the show. All Patrons Must Exit the venue in an orderly fashion and seek shelter in your vehicles immediately. The show will resume once the weather has cleared. Thank you."
Lars then took the mic to say: “Alright, listen, shhhhh, be quiet please. Listen, we want everyone safely, we give a fuck about our people, do you understand what I’m saying? We’re not going to put anybody in danger at all, so please ladies and gentleman, listen to the announcement, be safe. I guess there’s a big storm coming. We’re gonna come back and we’ll play for you if we can, okay? So everybody please be safe tonight, okay? We don’t need any ego shit tonight."
A heavy torrential downpour hit Englishtown, New Jersey hard and fans began leaving the show. We waited for about 30 minutes and no official word was ever given as to whether the show would happen later that evening, if there would be a rescheduled date, or if they would issue refunds. This is where the extreme lack of communication happened because no one knew what was actually happening and some concert goers reported that venue staff were telling them to go home as soon as they sought shelter from the storm. If they had updated their social media accordingly and kept everyone in the loop this confusion could have been avoided.
The Bash was a fun day despite the bad weather. If this review comes off as being negative in any way towards The Bash it is not meant to be that way. The Bash was a fun day for punk rock and beer; the sad reality of outdoor shows is the uncertainty of the weather which can change at any moment.