Bad Religion / Sparta / The Missing 23rd

Bad Religion / Sparta / The Missing 23rd: live in Ventura, CAlive in Ventura, CA (2003)
Bad Religion

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: BrandonSideleauBrandonSideleau
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I got to the Ventura Theatre at about 4pm on a rather breezy afternoon at the beach. This being my third time seeing Bad Religion, I knew what to expect, and knew it would rock. After a long and chilly wait out in front, which consisted of chatting with Jay and Hetson for a bit, the doors were open.

I got to the Ventura Theatre at about 4pm on a rather breezy afternoon at the beach. This being my third time seeing Bad Religion, I knew what to expect, and knew it would rock. After a long and chilly wait out in front, which consisted of chatting with Jay and Hetson for a bit, the doors were opened at 7pm. I got in and after an hour long wait, The Missing 23rd came on at 8pm.

I wasn't sure who they were as they had just been added to the show the day before and I was hoping for the best. They took the stage like a hurricane, the first beat and their singer jumped right into the crowd singing. Whoa. I could tell this was gonna be a great live show, the band reminded me of a Minor Threat as far as their live show. It was intense as hell and their singer is almost as physical as, say, H.R. of the Bad Brains or Henry Rollins during his Flag days. They played "Hate", "Know Justice", "On Your Knees", and a few others. I decided I'd pick up their CD at their merch counter and on album they sound a lot like raw, aggressive Good Riddance.....which is a good thing! Well, anyway, after starting the night off with a blast the Missing 23rd left the stage to a pleasantly surprised audience.

Next came Sparta, and I knew something was weird about this match up from the start. Sparta being an "emosih" band from Texas I had a feeling from the start that the audience wasn't gonna dig it, and neither would I. They took the stage and immediately were hit with insults from the crowd. A guy with a mohawk behind me was flipping them off and another person threw some shit at them. The guitarist was getting all bitter and was yelling back at the guys. It was funny, but the band brought it upon themselves. I mean, the singer kept yelling "I'm from Texas" and kept making heart hand motions. Overall I didn't enjoy their set and the only applause heard when they left was in rejoice for their set ending.

Finally, at about 10pm, Bad Religion took the stage and I thought I was gonna get smashed into the barrier. There must have been 600 people trying to reach the front and I was getting the brunt of all of it. But that didn't ditract from the show. They started the night off with "Kyoto Now". The band played alot of newer songs like "Supersonic", "Prove It", "Can't Stop It", "Epiphany", "The Defense", and "Sorrow" of course. They also played "The Grey Race", "Parallel", "Stranger Than Fiction", "Inner Logic", "Suffer", "Do What You Want", "The Handshake", "Struck A Nerve", "Fuck Armageddon..", "Recipe For Hate", "American Jesus", "Heaven Is Falling", "21st Century Digital Boy", "No Control", "I Want To Conquer The World", "Get Off", and, fittingly, "All Good Soldiers". So, as you can see Bad Religion knows how to put together one hell of a set.

Greg said some funny things during the performance about Michael Jackson and some talk about the war in Iraq before they played "Heaven Is Falling", which was written in contrast to the first gulf war. Brett did not attend the show, so Hetson had one whole side to himself. Jay is one hell of a character, he was smiling and yelling as much as possible.

Overall it was an awesome night, the surprising first band and the always amazing Bad Religion made the rather boring Sparta and long wait all worth it. If you haven't seen Bad Religion yet or have only seen them at the Warped Tour, then you need to see them at a club soon. And check out Missing 23rd if you dig Good Riddance style hardcore. Another funny fact, I have never seen so many hot girls at a real punk concert. It was kind of alienating since they all seemed to have guys with them. Oh well, once the music started I thought nothing of it.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 20, 2004)

"He was kidding... And they will never play Shattered Faith, The Positive Aspect of Negative Thinking or Hooray for Me. I can guarantee that."

How do you know that?

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

I'm going to see this show tomorrow night, except the casualties will be opening. I don't think sparta sucks... there music is just hard for me to get into, like most "emoish" stuff. I know I won't hate sparta, but I'll probably fall asleep while checking my watch.

Anonymous (April 15, 2003)

Didn't at this concert Greg say something along the lines of "If you need to throw up, throw up into the pit." I guess Greg realizes that there are a lot of numbskulls that come to any concert just to act like idiots. I mean, expressing yourself violently is great, but "moshing" has just become ego flexation, it doesn't mean jackshit anymore.

Anonymous (April 12, 2003)

skinheads are pussys. I saw a few and they were just either wayyy too skinny or wayyy too fat to do a damn thing. They only think they're tough when they have 20 of their friends with them. laughable. they'd be murdered at an LA show.

Anonymous (April 12, 2003)

FUCKING AWSOME SHOW...to the guy who said VTA attracts skinheads...your right. but i was at the show at cal poly and the kids were way worse.

M23rd is the best band ever.

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

"They played "the fast life"...god-fucking-damn it."

He was kidding... And they will never play Shattered Faith, The Positive Aspect of Negative Thinking or Hooray for Me. I can guarantee that.

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

I didn't stay 20 minutes later

Anonymous (April 11, 2003)

the ventura theatre definately attracts a larger boneheaded skate-nazi crowd than the usual run of the mill show crowd, as to why I am stumped.

sickboi (April 10, 2003)

They played "the fast life"...god-fucking-damn it.

Does anyone know if "Part 3" is part of this tour's setlist?

Anonymous (April 10, 2003)

Bad religion came back out on stage 20 minutes later and played "shattered faith" and "the fast life" .. how come you didn't mention those?

Anonymous (April 10, 2003)

i haven't seen Missing 23rd in a few years and its good to hear they aren't slowing down. Probably the best MinorThreat-ish band around..


Anonymous (April 10, 2003)

Hey, kiss my ass you little bitch. This was a show review not an album review. And there were alot of hot chicks there, sorry I didn't realize so many people on this site were still bitter little highschoolers.

evilash (April 10, 2003)

oh yeah fuck your stupid hot girls comment too you fucking loathsome scenester

evilash (April 10, 2003)

The whole first paragraph of shmoozing is uneccesary. idont give a fuck about what you did before the show and how warm it was outside. fuck you.

Anonymous (April 10, 2003)

indie rockers and punk rockers don't mix. the former think their music is better simply because it isn't straight ahead punk. the latter think their music is better simply because it IS.

Anonymous (April 10, 2003)

To the jackass 3 down. How is having a sound "similar" (not the same you dumbshit) to Good Riddance a bad thing? GR is one of the greatest bands of the past ten years....in my opinion atleast. And I love bands that try new things, and I'm not into "Oi, Oi" shit you assuming idiot. Sorry to break it to you, but Sparta just flat out suck. They aren't trying anything "new" there are a million bands out there right now doing the same boring shit. The singer was a stiff and motionless as a cardboard cutout and they lacked energy. The band themselves sounded solid, but nothing special. It's about as boring as any other run of the mill "emo", "screamo", "Indide" whatever the hell you call it band. The reason Missing 23rd made such a great impression is due to the fact that they put on a terrific live show and their singer is great. I may be a bit biased towards liking "hardcore punk" rather than this other stuff, but this is only my opinion. And there are plenty of intelligent BR fans as well, you cant judge an entire group of people by the actions of a few.....that's what george bush does (lol)

FortyMinutesWest (April 10, 2003)

Yeah, I sure Pennywise fans would be alot smarter if they listened to something else, since listening to Pennywise decreases your I.Q. exponentially. Bro jokes are just the funniest thing ever.

ClidesdaleScale (April 10, 2003)

Bad Religion is a band consisting of smart guys with a fan base consisting of fucking closed minded idiots who probably listen to BR because they think they are like "Pennywise with a sick vocabulary bro!"

ClidesdaleScale (April 10, 2003)

Since when is sounding like Good Riddance a good thing. I fucking hate how idiots disrespect bands who don't sound like the music they listen to. Sparta are kick ass musicians and they deserve props for being afiliated with At the Drive In. Next time you see a band that tries something original, other than whoa or oi oi choruses, let them play and let me enjoy it, you fucking morons.

Anonymous (April 9, 2003)

I think that Bad Religion likes to pick different types of bands to support them on their tours. I believe it was mentioned on their site or in one of Greg's interviews. Do you remember their past tours with the Promise Ring, Green Day, etc.? If Bad Religion respects these bands enough to invite them on tour, why can't their fans respect them just the same?

Peace and no fucking war.

FortyMinutesWest (April 9, 2003)

that should say wouldn't

FortyMinutesWest (April 9, 2003)

I would throw things at Sparta, I might fall asleep though.

Anonymous (April 9, 2003)

Wow, lets throw shit at the crappy slow "emo" band, fuck them man this a Bad Religion show!!! YEAHHH, FUCKIN PUNK ROCK DUDE!!!! Oh to be 12 years old again. Brings back memories of being a fucking moron. Grow up all ready.

ommaddon (April 9, 2003)

I was gonna make it out to this show but alas...work prevented the trip. I don't feel that bad...some good stuff on the set list, but once you've seen BR three nights in a row (with Brett) on the Sunset strip, and been there dead center on the front line to witness Graffin emerge onstage with slicked back 70s hair, take the mic, and proceed to lead the band in a show opening, completely blazing version of "Too Much to Ask"--- everything else seems kind of second-rate.

I do wish I had seen "The Defense" live though...damn.

- Jonathan

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

I wish I was at this show.......the reviewer is right, The Missing 23rd is sick, they are one of my favorite bands. Minor Threat crossed with Good Riddance is the perfect way to describe them. They are from Ventura.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Inner Logic and The Handshake!!!...I best be going to Hamilton....


Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

its so stupid how retarded bad religion fans are... they get music that is different (sparta, promise ring) to open and the fucking idiots boo them and shit. i saw TPR open for bad religion and the crowd was chanting BAD RELIGION almost the entire set!! i respect bad religion as a band, but i don't know if their fans could be an more lame.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Good thing I went to the San Bernardino show because I would have beaten the living shit out of every one of those idiots during the Sparta set. How can a band as smart as Bad Religion have such stupid fans? It's really incredible.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

If you want to hear music then buy an album. A concert is the physical manifestation of the music. If the music is intense, the live show better be fucking intense.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

ooh punk rock! oi oi oi! give me a break. watching a band go nuts gets really old fast. i go to a show to hear music performed live, not to see a circus.

his name is jim btw.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

i thought cedric and omar broke the band up?....mars volta is way more enetertaining then at the drive in....at the drive sucked because of the sparta guy (who knows his crappy name) and the bass player boo to them. AND WHY THE FUCK OWULD IGO TO A SHOW IF THE BANDS GOING TO DO EXCACTLY WHAT THEY DO ON THE CD? SOUND PERFECT EVERYSHOW? IS THAT PUNKROCK? ENERGY COCK FEST! YEA YEA!

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

bad religion's a funny band they lack any kind of threat nowaday....but i guess there content with being old. good for them. sparta is a joke right?....i saw a biggg white truck raised and everything with a cute "surfy" bad religion sticker on it....the guy's haircute resembled that of a penis....short in the back and on the sides poofy up top with his fair share of bleach.....BOO THE BANDS OF STAGE PLEASE...and a happy fuck you to the thread below me. sacapunta. mutafuka.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

sparta gets entirely too much shit for not being at the drive-in. cedric and omar certainly went nuts all the time, but it was the guys who formed sparta that kept at the drive-in sounding decent live. i don't blame them for wanting to do their own thing. not that i didn't love seeing those two guys go nuts, but there is something to be said for just going out and sounding perfect, which atdi never could do but sparta does every show.

at_the_drive_in_21 (April 8, 2003)

I'd never boo a band on stage though, that's ignorant shit.

at_the_drive_in_21 (April 8, 2003)

The guys in Sparta really should have stuck with At the Drive-In, but then again, I'm biased as hell. Never really got into their stuff.
Damn that's a sweet setlist for BR. Especially "Stranger than Fiction" - I always thought that and "Incomplete" were underrated songs from their slumping period...
Good Review

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

bad religion rules,sparta sux

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Bad Religion is by far one of my favorite live bands. Even in huge venues, they have this amazing, commanding presence. I saw them play with Brett at the Bottom of the Hill in SF, now THAT was a great show. I'm not the biggest Sparta fan, but there's no call to treat a band like that just because the don't sound like the other bands. Let's get a little respect for diversity, people.

TheOneTrueBill (April 8, 2003)

If they weren't lined up agains the Subhumans in Chicago, i'd be there. but they are, so no BR this time around for me (put sad face here)

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Yeah, the guy with the mohawk was some little hot topic bitch punk.....it was pretty hilarious. But I didn't make a big deal out of it because I really didn't dig Sparta, they really had no energy on stage and the singer was just irritating.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Greg pulled some break dancing at this show....it was classic. Greg's a funnier guy than I thought.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Hey Brandon, do you remember what Greg said exactly when commenting on the war?

I'm sure he was against, no big news, but was it an ironic comment or what?

Another question: does All Good Soldiers sound any different with Brooks on drums? I mean, I always thought that was a good song for Brooks to go all nuts on that part in which there's like a waterfall of fast beats... And that gives space for a lot of improvising...

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

missing 23rd is the new hotness baby.


Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Points are for the crowd. What the fuck i saw promise ring open up for bad religion and lower east side stiches, and they got the same treatment. I always find it funny when the punks, the differant kids, pick on people for being... differant. good job kids.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

sparta is really good live, but there emo cause they gave up on '77. at this point in time, i'd rather see sparta than bad religion play live. ive seen BR, and everyone should see them once, but its always kind of the same show after that. sparta is a straight rock band, so get your labels checked.

FortyMinutesWest (April 8, 2003)

Bad Religion-Bad Religion
Missing 23rd-pretty sweet, I need to review them

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

wow a mowhawk, did he have a matching Hot Topic studded jacket? punk as fuck.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Yo I was at this show your right about Bad Religion Rocking all nite. But Sparta should have gotten way more respect. Hey if you guys wanna check out a bad ass band go http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/372/the-lost-boys.html Thats their song on MP3.com But they got an even better one on thier web site www.thelostboys1.com
Good show overall.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

i'm the singer and i am an ass.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

Yeah, it kind of sucked that the crowd responded so immaturely....but hey, in comparison to the stories in "Get In The Van" these guys were lucky. They would have been murdered on stage! But, even though I didn't care for them much and their singer did seem like an ass, I still gave them respect and was polite, unlike the morons who barraged the band the whole show. As I said, BR made the whole night perfect.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

it's super punk to throw shit at quality bands. thats ashame that bad religion doesn't draw a crowd as mature as the band themselves.

Anonymous (April 8, 2003)

no brett? damn....

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