Bad Religion / Against Me! - Live in Portland (Cover Artwork)

Bad Religion / Against Me!

Live in Portland (2016)

live show

The Vox Populi tour with Bad Religion and Against Me! and David Hause came to Portland last night. The general theme of the show was, as Greg Graffin put it, the "political ridiculousness going on" and the t shirts with both candidates depicted as Terminator androids with the phrase None of the Above underlining it as a sadistic multiple choice test backed this up. Bad Religion has been warning of what is happening for years with its erudite anthems criticizing would be theocrats, corporate corruption and imperialism, so they earned a told you so tour.

David Hause of Philadelphia opened. He only had one other person in his band doing guitar and keyboard but he had the drummer from Against Me! and Jay Bentley back him up on one song. He does folk punk songs that are kind of Springsteen influenced. He has a good stage presence and engages the audience.

Against Me! was next. They came on and went straight into it. They mostly played newer songs like Take You Home and I Was a Teenage Anarchist. The only oldies from their anarchist DIY days were Walking is Still Honest and Pints of Guinness Make You Stronger. It was well done and enjoyable but they had to stop relatively early due to time constraints.

Bad Religion was after as headliner and it was pretty amazing and worth the aggravation of an ear drum injury from a Pulley show two years ago this reviewer left the venue with. The new drummer has integrated well and is quite skilled. They played classics from Against the Grain, Suffer and No Control mostly. "No Control", "I Want to Conquer the World", "Against the Grain", "Suffer", "Best For You" "Do What You Want" and "You" all got played and those are some of their best songs. Greg Graffin gave his academic opinion of the country's troubled times and many other songs choices such as "New Dark Ages" "American Jesus" and "New America" were making a point. He reminisced on playing Portland before and the passage of time, promising Bad Religion would play at least as long as the Rolling Stones and joking about he still did not need on stage defibrillators and by age comparison to the Rolling Stones they would play Portland at least 17 more times.

They were summoned back to the stage for an encore by stomping and chanting and did "Infected", "Sorrow" and "Fuck Armageddon This is Hell" noting it was a circle back to the beginning for them. Punk started as a rebellion against social and political difficulties which have come back with a vengeance in these times, so the message of the bands doing the show is probably even more relevant than usual.