Odd combination of bands right– At least that's what I thought when I bought my ticket. This show was on May 23, 2014 and it was the first of two that both bands were playing at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA before they went on to play Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas that weekend.
The first thing that I noticed when Leftover Crack hit the stage was that Ian MacDougall (also of River Boat Gamblers), who replaced Ezra Kire, was not there, but rather it was Chris Mann, formerly of Intro5pect, on guitar. And of course Brad Logan was on guitar, too. Interestingly, the band started not with "Clear Channel (Fuck Off!)," but rather with "Heroin or Suicide," which was probably a good idea because seeing how they only had about an hour–long set, it got the crowd pumped really fast. The played through their great anthemic anti–authoritarian/anti–religious songs like "Born To Die," "Rock the 40oz," "Life is Pain," "One Dead Cop" and "Crack City Rockers." Unfortunately, they did not play "Gang Control." That's probably my only complaint about the show. However, LOC did play a few Choking Victim songs like "500 Channels" and "Crack Rock Steady," but the audience went absolutely crazy when they played "Infested." When the band played "Crack Rock Steady" it was interesting to see Chris Mann take over Popeye's vocals. He performed them quite well as well as the shared lead vocals on "Burn Them Prisons," which is the song that the band closed with.
There were a few instances that made this performance a lot more memorable for me than when I saw Leftover Crack a year ago. First, during "Atheist Anthem" Sturgeon was standing on top of the barricade between the stage and the pit and put the mic right in front of my mouth for me to yell the lyrics, "Dead! Dead! Dead! Dead! God is dead to me!" which was a real thrill. Also, during "Stop The Insanity" Sturgeon perfectly timed his jump from the tallest speaker on stage into crowd with the mic in his hand right as the chorus was starting. He must have been about nine or ten feet in the air at the peak of his jump. And finally, during one of the songs, Sturgeon sat down in front of the drums and mixed a drink for himself from two used water bottles, which I found to be hilarious.
So now the show goes from themes of suicide, lice and killing cops to the lighter and happy(–ish) side of punk rock. Before The Adicts get on stage and their slide show of pictures of them from 35 years ago begins. Then the band gets on stage and their new violinist starts off the show with their cover of "Ode to Joy" and the rest of the band soon joins in. Once they were done with "Ode to Joy" Monkey (wearing his glitter–covered suit and hat) finally gets on stage to sing "Smart Alex" and as they played the song scenes from A Clockwork Orange played in the background. They played some of their newer songs from their latest album, All The Young Droogs, like "Horror Show" and "All the Young Droogs" and a lot of their classics like "Angel," "Numbers," "Songs of Praise," "Chinese Takeout," "Fucked Up," "Let's Go," Troubadour" and many more.
During just about each song some sort of confetti was shot into the crowd. Monkey also sprayed silly string onto the people in the pit. He also threw a deck of cards out during "Joker in the Pack," and even threw out stuffed animal monkeys into the audience as well. They even turned off all the lights at one point and Monkey came out in a suit that lit up with small green, red and blue light bulbs on it. It was the complete opposite of Leftover Crack's performance, but it was all in good fun.
For their encore, The Adicts played three fantastic songs. They played "Viva La Revolution" first. Then they played "Who Spilt My Beer–" and in the middle of the song the whole band stopped the music, Monkey bent down and balanced a pint of beer on his head and their lead guitarist, Pete Davison, then proceeded to knock the pint off Monkey's head and into the pit with the headstock of his guitar and then the band started the song back up again. For their final song of the night the band played "You'll Never Walk Alone" where they threw giant inflatable soccer balls out into the audience and they brought out a huge inflatable soccer goal on stage.
The Adicts got on stage around 11:30 p.m. and finished up their encore around 1:15 a.m., so I definitely got my money's worth for the price of my ticket. They put on a fantastic show, but I have to say that Leftover Crack put on just as good if not better of a performance than The Adicts, which shows that you don't need gimmicks like confetti and stuffed animals to put on a great show (obviously), you just need awesome songs, which both of these bands have. But again, both of these bands are on fairly different sides of the punk rock spectrum, so to each their own.
The first three bands that went on before Leftover Crack and The Adicts were The Dictions, Die Trying! and Night Birds.