Bad Religion: Age of Unreason Tour at The Van Buren

I caught the Bad Religion show at The Van Buren on October 5. It’s been a while since I’ve been to the venue and something looks different. What is this? A pizza shop! Ziggy’s Pizza Shop opened up about 7 weeks ago adjacent to The Van Buren. Since it would be a while before the doors open for the show, my husband runs inside to grab us a few slices of pizza and some chicken wings. We eat our food and I am thinking this is really good. The pizza slices are large, the wings were meaty and the cups are eco-friendly with their paper straws. I decide to take a look inside this little pizza shop with 90’s alternative rock music playing. At first glance this appears to be your average ‘grab a bite and go’ kind of spot, then I start noticing these little details of old school Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hanging from pizza racks and nostalgic artwork on the wall. Their menu is full of variety from salads to whole pies, even pizza fries. I am then shown a secret door leading to the Stardust Pinbar. With an 80’s vibe of a colorful dance floor and several pinball machines, this is the perfect spot for food and drinks before or after a show with your friends, or if you simply have a craving for New York style pizza.

Doors open for Bad Religion: Age of Unreason tour with fans grabbing their drinks and merchandise. The fan base is a wide range of all kinds of people and ages with some visiting Arizona all the way from New York to Russia, lucky enough to catch the show during their vacation. The show begins with Emily Davis and The Murder Police to perform their debut album Same Old World (2018). Starting their set with the upbeat tempos of “Bruised”, and “Heartless”, I realize her sound is a unique blend of folk with alternative punk rock. Emily Davis (vocals, guitar) has a powerful clean voice hitting a range of notes to compliment her use of acoustic guitar and the band’s electric guitar (Tomas Tinajero), bass (Jose Macias) and fast beats of drums (Jorge Torres). She slows it down with “Overcome” and brings it back up with “Pillar of Salt”. The stage presence is lit up with the crowd enjoying the music and feeling connection. Emily’s lyrical writing will make you think and feel! She shares a story of how she battled depression as a teenager and discovering Bad Religion, with the irony to now be touring with them, she flows into her song “Circles” and ending the set with “Same”. If you are a fan, be sure to follow on facebook for updates.

Kicking off the next set is Dave Hause and The Mermaid with “Eye Aye I”  from their latest album Kick (2019). Following with songs  “We Could Be Kings” (Devour, 2013) and “Saboteurs(Kick, 2019). Grasping the heartland rock and roll style of the band I personally enjoyed this band live, despite a few spectators yelling out Metallica and Slayer in between songs. Eventually, Dave Hause acknowledges the yells for Metallica, quoting “There you are, here’s a Metallica song” and continued playing his own original songs. Dave let the crowd know his political views by performing “Dirty Fucker” (Bury Me In Philly, 2017) and finishing off with “The Ditch” (Kick, 2019). The majority of punk rock fans attending the show did not have the same reaction as was given to Emily Davis and The Murdering Police. However, at the rail were supporters of the band and Dave personally handed his guitar pick to a lucky fan.

As the stage crew is preparing for Bad Religion, the standing room at The Van Buren is getting tight with more fans entering the venue to find a spot and get a glimpse of the band.  This is my first time seeing Bad Religion live, and not knowing too much about the band (don’t come at me) it is obvious the punk rock legends with nearly 40 years of history do not need any fancy lights (except the occasional strobe) or effects to put on a good show. Opening with “Them and Us” (The Gray Race, 1996) the crowd is cheering and screaming with an immediate mosh pit forming and non stop crowd surfing. With a whopping 27 song setlist and the release of their seventeenth studio album Age Of Unreason everyone’s favorite songs were performed. The show was seamless with nonstop fast tempos by drummer Jamie Miller and bassist Jay Bentley, each song having a meaning behind politics or science. The songs sounded repetitive after a while, yet I could not quit watching. I loved the performance of guitar riffs played by Mike Dimkich and Brian Baker (guitar, backing vocals) each having their solo moments. Greg Graffin (lead vocals) let Phoenix know how special we are by telling the crowd that we were the first out of town gig that they played all those years ago. They then began playing classics such as “21st Century Digital Boy” (All Ages, 1995) and ending with “Sorrow” (The Process of Belief, 2002). The crowd is not ready for the set to end by yelling One More Song! The boys come back out to encore their set with “Infected” (Stranger Than Fiction, 1994) and giving Phoenix the last song “American Jesus” (Recipe For Hate, 1993). When I asked people what they thought of the show, the typical answer sums it up; “It was great, as usual!”

Them and Us
End of History
Fuck You
Stranger Than Fiction
Recipe For Hate
Chaos From Within
LA Is Burning
My Sanity
Automatic Man
New Dark Ages
Lose Your Head
Only Gonna Die
No Control
Modern Man
Do What You Want
Conquer The World
Digital Boy
Paranoid Style
Fuck Armageddon

Infected, American Jesus

Bad Religion

Dave Hause

Emily Davis

Ziggy’s Pizza

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