The Vandals Effortlessly Headline a Punk Rock Night at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare

Posted: October 23, 2013 in Events, Inland Empire, Music, Punk Rock
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Every holiday has some sort of secret agenda hidden behind it. Where a holiday like Mother’s Day has corporate marketing written all over it, the auspicious holiday of Halloween indubitably carries a punk rock agenda behind it. No other holiday has as many punk rock songs about it, and the themes fit so well with the messages behind punk rock music. Naturally, at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, terrifying mazes would mix very well with punk rock bands. This attraction of haunting mazes takes place at the Fairplex in Pomona, an features three ghoulish mazes filled with unnatural surprises and terror around every corner, all based on movies by Rob Zombie. In addition, every night features a killer lineup of music acts, from punk rock to metal to EDM and more. Despite no age requirements, minors should brace themselves for an event geared towards adults, where everything goes uncensored, and alcohol runs rampant.

This past Saturday night belonged to punk rock, as The Vandals headlined the music stage on this night. The other acts of the night included T.S.O.L., The Dickies, and Duane Peters Gunfight. I had arrived during the Duane Peters Gunfight set, and spent the first hour walking through the mazes, so I had completely missed their set, unfortunately. As a minor spoiler alert, in the first maze, the event staff puts a hood over your head, totally obscuring your vision. This takes Halloween mazes to a new level, as without sight, you cannot see things coming, thus intensifying the feelings of fear in your heart. For the next two mazes, attendees could see normally, albeit in the dark. This made these two mazes far less scarier than the hooded one.

I returned to the music stage during a set by The Dickies. Having not seen them since late April, I looked forward to hearing more of my favorite songs by them, such as Paranoid and Banana Splits. From what I recall, they played a similar set from that last show at this show. Nevertheless, they still entertained everyone present and stirred up tons of energy for the pit, which left me with a handful of bruises all over my body.

When T.S.O.L. made their way to the stage, they did not hesitate to start their set. As soon as the band members had picked up their respective instruments, they dove right into their music. Vocalist Jack Grisham decided to go along with the holiday theme by dressing up for Dia De Los Muertos, complete with face makeup and a dress. The audience only really seemed to crank up their energy during the more popular songs, like when they played Superficial Love early on in the set, Abolish Government/Silent Majority in the middle of the set, or when they ended their set with Code Blue. With just the headliner left after T.S.O.L., everyone still got crazy in the pit.

As one of punk rock’s most recognizable bands, The Vandals had garnered a huge turnout for this show that filled the space to capacity. With their signature goofy fashion, they kicked off their set with It’s A Fact, immediately inciting the biggest pit this venue has ever seen. Their set continued to include popular songs like Ape Drape, Urban Struggle, Oi To The World, My Girlfriend’s Dead, and Anarchy Burger. Towards the end of their set, guitarist Warren usually switches off with vocalist Dave in a reversal of roles. With this altered lineup, they played I Have A Date before Warren went into one of his “moments” that he always gets during this phase of their set.

Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare runs for two more weekends, both filled with more great music acts, such as Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger this Sunday, and Jello Biafra and Agent Orange playing on Halloween night. Check out the website for a full lineup of music acts, and if you see something you like, act fast to grab a ticket before it sells out!

  1. […] for a bit, I returned to the main stage for the headlining act, The Dickies. Sure I just saw them a week prior, but why miss out on such a fun show? As a band from punk rock’s first generation, The […]

  2. […] Vandals performing Ape Drape at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare in Pomona, CA. Filmed on October 19, […]

  3. […] Vandals performing Urban Struggle at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare in Pomona, CA. Filmed on October 19, […]

  4. […] Vandals performing Anarchy Burger at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare in Pomona, CA. Filmed on October 19, […]

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