Posts Tagged ‘Josh Freese’

Returning for their 17th year, The Vandals brought back their annual Christmas Formal show this past weekend at House of Blues in Anaheim and Hollywood. As one of the few punk bands to record an entire album based on Christmas music, it only feels natural to host a show around Christmas time and play Christmas music. This annual tradition now draws crowds from far and wide to partake in the merry festivities of a Vandals show, mosh pit and all.

This year, the show ran two consecutive nights, each with a different set of opening bands. I attended Friday night, where Indian School (formerly Audio Karate) and The Gears opened the show, while The Implants and Angry Samoans opened on Saturday night.

Indian School kicked off the show first with their 30-minute set. Formerly called Audio Karate, they recently changed their band name for reasons unknown. Since I found out about Audio Karate, I had not heard anything from them in many years until now. Indian School seems to have mellowed out a lot from their older faster songs. However, they still know how to rock the stage, and kept the momentum up the entire time.

The Gears set off next in the night, playing their classic fast-paced punk rock music. The Gears represent living proof of “Once a punk, always a punk,” showing that age means nothing when it comes to rocking out.

When the venue finally opened the curtains for The Vandals, the entire room rushed forward to greet them. The Vandals performed their entire Christmas album from start to finish for this show. The utter chaos in the pit meant little as The Vandals went on with their totally unrehearsed show. Each band member got at least one turn on the mic for a song, but no one expected to see Stan Freese, drummer Josh Freese’s father, walk out on stage as a tuba-playing punk rock Santa Claus. Forget banjos and whistles – only one band would ever dare to bring out the tuba and call it punk rock, and yes he actually played punk music on that tuba. At the end of their set, they all returned for a jam session encore while Warren, the guitarist in red, contemplated life and the so-called end of the world, just to fill the time until just before midnight when they finally took their bow and closed the night.

The Vandals prove once again that punk rock does not have only one sound. Their style of unrehearsed madness translated well into the punk rock culture, and has remained iconic in the punk rock world. Stay tuned for the next Vandals show by following them on Facebook or Twitter, and you will not regret the show you will go to see!