The Vandals Say “Thanks for Nothing” at Their 18th Annual Christmas Formal

Posted: December 24, 2013 in Events, Music, Orange County, Punk Rock, Ska
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No matter the time of the year, punk rock never stops, regardless of any holidays. The Vandals prove that fact every year with their annual Christmas Formal, now in its 18th year running. Taking place last Friday night at House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, this year’s show followed in the footsteps of last year’s show that featured The Gears and Indian School as the openers, as this year’s show hosted GOGO13 and Knock Out as the openers. As one of the few bands, if not the only band, that dedicate a show entirely to Christmas, punk rock fans always look forward to this show every year to bring holiday cheer and delights to everyone present, whether they like The Vandals or not. After all, some fans honestly attend certain shows for a band other than the headliner, so kudos to them for still showing support for the rest of the community. At least for The Vandals, everyone present at this show went nuts for their beloved Christmas punk rock music.

I had arrived after Knock Out finished their set, so I unfortunately could not witness any of their music. I did manage to snake my way in to the front of the pit in time for GOGO13, a local ska band that I had missed out on multiple times earlier this year. As anticipated, a skanking pit initiated not too long after GOGO13 started their set, which slowly evolved into a standard circle pit, punk rock style. The kids in the pit apparently forgot about the skanking part, and just slammed into any visible person. This kept up for the remainder of GOGO13’s set, which included plenty of original songs and the occasional cover song.

Christmas cheer caught on with a lot of the audience members like a contagion, with little to no angst detected within the venue. That all went to the gutter the moment the lights turned off, as all audience members present immediately rushed to the front of the stage to throw their bodies at The Vandals. Sporting red tops with their band roles printed across the front, the audience could not wait for the first song to drop, as the pit enraged from the get-go, despite The Vandals playing their Christmas album songs out of order. No one seemed to mind – they just raged and shuffled as long as they could hear music running. The Vandals finished playing Christmas songs quite early in their set, and resorted to taking requests from audience members, which included It’s A Fact and Anarchy Burger. The Vandals made their bluffing exit quite early in the night as well, as they had not played some of their anticipated songs like My Girlfriend’s Dead or especially Oi To The World. Nobody fell for their exit, and remained put for the eventual encore, which lasted a lot longer than normal encores. I suppose that The Vandals do not follow conventional means when it comes to putting on shows, so encore rules do not apply to them. The alleged encore started with guitarist Warren Fitzgerald’s soliloquy, which he always performs at every show at the end of the show. Once the rest of the band regrouped, they finished off their set, finally playing their hits My Girlfriend’s Dead and Oi To The World.

We never know when The Vandals will play next! Make sure you Like their page on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for all the latest updates direct from the band. You may even discover a contest that may allow you to win tickets to an upcoming show, so pay attention daily!

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