The Bash Festival
Raceway Park, Englishtown Nj
June 2nd, 2019
Photos and review by Brian Berson
The Bash Festival brings legendary punk and hardcore bands to only seven cities and Englishtown No was one of the lucky seven.
All of the legendary bands on the bill are California natives with the exception of the show’s opener, NYHC legends Madball who play every show with the same intensity they’ve had for their 30-year career.
As Madballs set ended an announcement was made over the PA system to evacuate the venue due to an impending storm. Luckily the storm was just a slight drizzle and after an extended wait came the ladies of the Bash Festival, the recently reunited L7. They headbanged and shredded their way through songs off their classic albums “Bricks are Heavy”, “Hungry For Stink” and “Smell The Magic” and a new song “Stadium West” Off their first album in ten years, “Scatter The Rats”.
Suicidal Tendencies had the most energetic set of the festival with new guitarist Ben Weinman (formerly of Dillinger Escape Plan) climbing and jumping off everything on the stage, even standing ON the crowd to play. Singer Mike Muir runs around the stage in his classic all black Suicidal Tendencies shirt, hat and shorts with his trademark bandana. With help from ex Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo they fuse thrash metal, punk and funk and show the entire crowd what makes them legends. Playing classics such as “Institutionalized”, “Subliminal” and “Pledge Your Allegiance” the pit was raging, and the crowd surfers were flying.
As the sun went down and dark clouds rolled in Pennywise took the stage for the last full set of the night. Mixing SoCal punk and hardcore Pennywise whipped the crowd into a frenzy from the second they took the stage and opened with “Peaceful Day”. Front man Jim Lindberg sings about political issues, positive mental attitude and the death of their former bassist in the crowd favorite “Bro Hymn”. With a musical tip of the cap to their influences they covered “Minor Threat” and “Stand By Me”.
With a light rain after a supercharged set by Pennywise, Rancid took the stage to thunderous applause and excitement. Lars Frederiksen and drummer Branden Steineckert started the set with Roots Radicals and were joined by Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman for the middle of the first verse. A heavily bearded Tim Armstrong sang, played guitar and leaped off the monitors for what would only be a five-song set. Launching into “Radio” from their album Lets Go followed “And Out Comes The Wolves” classics “Journey To The End”, “Maxwell Murder” featuring a classic bass solo by Matt Freeman and “The 11th Hour” which was cut short by another announcement over the PA for everyone to evacuate the venue due to an impending storm. The crowd booed and voiced their frustration and desire for the show to continue Lars took to the mic to tell the crowd Rancid cares about its fans and their safety as well as the safety of their crew and promised to finish the show if safety allows. Unfortunately, the show ended when the skies opened up and lightning lit up the sky. Hopefully this first year of the Bash Festival is the first of many to come.