Punk music festival hosted by Tempe Beach Park
A total of 10 punk bands came together on Saturday night for a one-time concert at Tempe Beach Park in Tempe. Crowds of skaters gathered near the North Stage while walking into the festival, leaving the remaining metalcore fans to linger on the south side.
Strung Out opened the festival and sought to encourage movement from a large group of hot, warmly-dressed punks after standing in line for hours in spring’s foreshadowing heat. They did surprisingly well in perking up an already inebriated crowd with moshable, fast-paced rock.
Next, Chiodos surprised by continuing the energetic scene while maintaining the attention of both metal and punk fans. Both openers strongly introduced their respective genres while grasping equal attention from both sets of fans.
The Vandals were third up and absolutely killed their set by interacting continuously with their diehard fans, encouraging requests as old as them. They truly represented the punk lifestyle by disregarding the prearranged set of songs and playing whatever they liked, including “My Girlfriend’s Dead” and “Live, Fast Diarrhea,” poking fun at the young metal bands across the way and going over time without a care for Memphis May Fire.
Having to follow up after such prestige, both Memphis May Fire and Falling in Reverse failed to reinvigorate the crowd. The punks craved NOFX and Rancid while booing weak metal bands.
NOFX performed many popular songs and drew in the largest crowd up to that point. Although its set was nothing special, it was not distasteful, either, and its song selection was unsurprising. NOFX stuck to crowd favorites and encouraged the same disrespect for the South Stage bands, which stuck with their fans, despite Memphis May Fire’s attempt to encourage a more loving environment.
But the concert finally took way when Rancid and The Used performed incredibly revitalizing sets. Rancid completely blew the crowd away by performing song after song with almost no discussion between, contributing to a huge mosh pit. “Ruby Soho” and “Time Bomb” became the band’s biggest successes as it was joined by longtime friend Fat Mike from NOFX.
Finally, after a pick-me-up from Rancid, The Used, The Offspring and A Day to Remember finished the festival with energy and spunk. The Used played a very similar set to its concert in Tucson this past winter, relying on theatricality, like most of the metalcore bands, but its more substantial music still brought both punks and metalheads together in harmony.
This set up The Offspring perfectly, as they are everyone’s traditional favorite. By sticking to the classics, they stole the show as every concertgoer sang along to “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy),” “Self Esteem,” “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” and others. Photographers even tapped their toes and banged their heads to an all-time favorite while in the press tent across the venue.
A Day to Remember, though not as universally popular among the crowd, played off the energy of The Offspring by opening strongly with fast-paced songs like “The Downfall of Us All.”
Overall, the concert remained upbeat while maintaining both a punk and metal environment. This lineup, with some obvious changes, should tour the country together, as the different styles all mesh well.