Still finding Bad Religion after all these years
Traditionally, punk bands are angry, screaming, political rabble-rousers who vent their frustration toward "The Man" through angry, lyrical protest rather than true civil disobedience. The bands rise, they rage for a few years and ultimately fall pretty quickly as the artists mellow with age or reach new tax brackets via success.
Bottom line: Few can maintain their creative, youthful angst year-after-year.
Then there's Bad Religion.
Formed in Woodland Hills, Calif., the group is one of the pioneers of the late-1970s West Coast punk scene that featured such long-gone — but still revered — bands like the Jello Biafra-led Dead Kennedys and Black Flag. Bad Religion is one of the only remaining punk bands with roots that stretch back to the original British punk movement. They also were the punk pioneers who blazed the trail for the music to go mainstream via bands like Green Day and The Offspring in the mid-1990s.
Hell, The Vans Warped Tour probably never exists without Bad Religion who inspired thousands of young, budding artists to picks up guitars, thrash about and make a difference. Decades later those kids are now in bands like My Chemical Romance, Rancid, No Use For A Name and GBH.
Best of all, Bad Religion not only is still performing, but still virtually intact. When their bus arrives at Warehouse Live Friday, the original core of vocalist Greg Graffin, guitarist Brett Gurewitz and bassist Jay Bentley, who formed the band in 1979, will all be on board. There have been personnel changes behind them over the years, but even the "newest" member of the band — drummer Brooks Wackerman — has been around for nearly a decade.
(Sidenote: Aside from being interesting trivia, the previous sentence was necessary just so I could include one of the best drummer names in the history of music: Brooks Wackerman.)
What that means is any song from one of the most voluminous punk archives by any band in history can be played . Bad Religion has 15 studio albums including the recently released, The Dissent of Man. (I tried to tally how many songs they had, but lost count around 220. I don't think that includes anywhere near the entire catalog.)
I would say blistering new single, "The Devil In Stitches" is a lock for this show. I wouldn't doubt that one or two of their hit singles from a brief mid-90s flirtation with radio might show up too. Possibly "Inflected?" Or maybe 'Stranger Than Fiction."
With 30-plus years of music years of two-minute songs to choose from, it's hard guess what might be played. It's gonna be a rush finding out though.
Bad Religion, 8 p.m. Friday at Warehouse Live