Suicide Machines/Left Alone - Live in Santa Ana (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Suicide Machines / Left Alone

Live in Santa Ana (2016)

live show

Every year in late October I usually go into deep regret about not going to The Fest. I have a feeling a lot of West Coast punk enthusiasts do. But I remedy it by going to at least one awesome show during that weekend. Last year some friends and I saw Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, this year I managed to go to one of the three Suicide Machines shows in California. The band basically skipped Los Angeles, so the closest one to me was the October 27th show at The Constellation Room in Santa Ana.

Up first was the local up-and-comers Noise Complaint. I had heard of them and seen fliers online with their band name on it, so I was curious to see what they could offer. Overall they put on a solid performance of hardcore and ska tunes. You could really tell that they had been infliucned by 90’s third wave ska and related bands like Choking Victim and yes, The Suicide Machines. I really have to hand it to the band, their ability to mix hardcore and ska was pretty unique and the fact that they were no afraid to do the same with reggae is something they should really be given credit for. They played songs like “Faceless,” “Self-Division,” “High Strung,” and they even played a new song or two. Noise Complaint’s only draw back was that they weren’t as tight live as I think they could be, but that could be due to the fact that they are a fairly young band.

Once Noise Complaint finished, Left Alone (also SoCal locals) took the stage. And I when I say, “take the stage” I mean they took full command of it with a noticeable amount of confidence. No set list was necessary for them (at least from what I could see being in the second or third row). They instantly got the pit skanking and moshing with songs such as, “Leather Bound Book,” “Me The Mess,” “Four Weeks,” “Dead Red Roses,” and “Three Bottles of Wine.” They also dedicated a song to Tiger Army, who were playing in the Observatory room next door, for believing in them while they were on Warped Tour years ago and for helping them get onto Hellcat Records. Front man Elvis Cortez would crack jokes about people using their phones too much during their songs and recognizing fans he was friends with on Facebook. This was my second time seeing Left Alone and they never disappoint.

The Suicide Machines have a special place in my musical history. When I was a kid I literally hated all music. In mid-to-late 90’s and early 00’s mainstream music was pretty awful to me. Keep in mind at the time I didn’t know what punk or ska was. But I always knew that I would enjoy the tunes when I would play Tony Hawk Pro Skater on Nintendo 64 (none of that Playstation 1 BS). Playing that game gave me some of my earliest memories of enjoying punk rock and ska. So seeing The Suicide Machines live finally was a pretty big deal to me especially since I was a “legit” fan since high school. This show was everything I hoped for and more. They spared no time in starting off with their classic song “New Girl.” No introductions – nothing. They mostly played songs off Destruction By Definition and Battle Hymns, but as you can see from the set list below they did throw in songs from some of their other albums. The set list was not disappointing to say the least and the band absolutely killed each song one after the other. Another part of this show that was really great was that the venue barely had any security and there wasn’t a barricade so people were constantly stage diving and crowd surfing. Some people did “eat shit” when they jumped into the crowd, but they seemed okay and the band didn’t seem to mind that so many people kept getting on stage. It was probably the rowdiest show I had been to since seeing the Cro-Mags a couple of years ago. Even Jason Navarro crowd surfed a few times and at one point jumped from the stage to the bar and back while singing. He had no issue with sharing the mic with the crowd especially during the choruses. The band were all about making sure everyone having a great time and kicking some serious ass that night. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

The Suicide Machines Set List:

New Girl



Step 1

Capitalist Suicide

Face Values


High Anxiety

War Profiteering Is Killing Us All


Our Time


Keep It A Crime

Black And White World


Vans Song

17% 18 To 25


I Don't Wanna Hear It (Minor Threat cover)

So Long

No Face

Break The Glass




The Real You

You can see some pictures and a video clip of the show on the Punknews Instagram.