Camp Punk In Drublic: Day Two - Live in Thornville (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Camp Punk In Drublic: Day Two

Live in Thornville (2018)

live show

Day two of Camp Punk In Drublic started about five hours after day one ended. We crashed out about 3am and were up by 8am or so. Neither of us slept well. My newly purchased air mattress must have slowly leaked all night, because I woke up with my ass on the cold, hard ground. I ate a healthy breakfast of granola bars, takis and beef jerky, and spent the rest of the morning reading my new Sex Pistols book and visiting with my neighbors. The craft beer tastings started at noon, so about that time we made our way back to the festival grounds.

One thing cool about CPID, was that there was only one stage. This meant no band conflicts. So many times at bigger festivals, you have to miss one favorite to see another. The only conflict was trying to use all your beer tasting tickets and still see all, or at least most of the bands. Although the two areas were close together, you could not see or hear the stage from the tasting area. We used about half our tickets and then ran to see Face to Face, who played first on Saturday at 2:30 in the afternoon. They were originally scheduled to go on later and play longer, and no explanation was given for this change in plans. (I’m just going to assume they wanted to get the hell out of Ohio as soon as humanly possible.)

Face to Face crushed their short, nine song, half hour set. Thet stuck mostly to older, crowd pleasing material, but threw in a couple new ones too. This band has been a favorite of mine for many years, and even if their more recent records are pretty hit or miss, they always deliver the goods live. Their energy defied their age, even early in the afternoon in broad daylight. Face to Face’s setlist: You’ve Done Nothing, Walk the Walk, I Won’t Say I’m Sorry, A-OK, Bent But Not Broken, Ordinary, You Lied, Blind, Disconnected.

We observed an interesting mix of humanity at CPID. There were some damn near preppy looking young people who appeared to be festival bros and babes. They were there for the party regardless of the style of music. Other people looked like they were trying out for The Casualties. They weren’t going to let the warm summer weather keep them from being punk as fuck. The rest of us were somewhere in the middle. Being older and wiser, I erred on the side of comfort rather than coolness.

After Face to Face, we went to use the rest of our tasting tickets. Unfortunately, we missed Bad Cop/Bad Cop. I felt pretty bad about it. I saw these ladies twice last year and really enjoy their music, but something had to give. We did catch The Real McKenzies in the heat of the midday sun. Despite some sound problems, their drinking songs like “Pour Decisions” and “Drink Some More” were a hit with the boisterous crowd. My buddy and I had each had 20 or so samples at this point, so we sat on the grass for a little rest.

The last thing I remember hearing was Mad Caddies doing their ska version of Green Day’s “She” before I was out cold. When I came to, Strung Out was playing. I mostly enjoyed their metallic and melodic take on punk and hardcore, but I was only half awake for most of their set. I was wide awake for Goldfinger, although I’ve never been a big fan. I didn’t realize that they had become sort of a pickup band supergroup. Most notably, Mike Herrera from MXPX was playing bass. Goldfinger’s cover of NOFX’s “Linoleum” might have drawn the biggest crowd response of the day. “Here In Your Bedroom”, “Superman” and their cover of a cover “99 Red Balloons” were also favorites.

We spent a good chunk of Goldfinger’s set exploring the grounds. The flea market never really materialized. There were only a handful of non food vendors. I figured I would spend a shitload of money on records, but nobody was selling them. There was only one small Fat Wreck Chords booth, and they had mostly just the artists playing. I had a false vision of fully stocked mini stores from Fat, Alternative Tentacles and more. My favorite booth was Stupid Rad Merch from the Chicago area. I finally pulled the trigger on a flask I’ve been eying for almost a year. There were also various games spread out across the lawn, including ridiculously oversized versions of bean bag toss and beer pong.

Pennywise drew a huge crowd. Bigger than Descendents even. It really went to show what a ‘90s crowd this was. PW took forever to set up. When they finally came out, they played longer than scheduled. Their 63 minutes often felt more like a comedy routine than a punk show. They talked about how they were surrounded by punk royalty and played bits of songs from Ramones, Misfits, Dead Kennedys, TSOL, Black Flag and Descendents. They even had one of those ‘which side of the audience is louder’ contests, which I fucking hate.

I found their set to be mostly irritating, but it had two extreme high points. The first was when Keith Morris joined them for a spirited version of Circle Jerks “Wild in the Streets”. These are the types of collaborations that make these events worthwhile. The second was their always powerful closer “Bro Hymn”. I couldn’t even keep track of how many other musicians joined them on stage for that final sing along. When Pennywise was done, a pre-recorded video of their guitarist Fletcher came on the big screen announcing an Unhappy Hour complete with $8 beers. (Otherwise it was $10 for 12 ounce drafts.)

Descendents closed the night, and they were amazing as usual. They opened with the can’t miss “Suburban Home”. I started keeping track of the setlist, but then quit so I could really be in the moment. I got the feels more than once. New songs, old songs, they were all great. We got close enough to really appreciate Karl, Stephan and Bill’s musicianship. Milo was looking as healthy as he has in years and went into the crowd during “Thank You”. The highlight of the set, if not the entire festival, was Jello Biafra joining the band for “Police Truck”. See my above comment about collaborations. This is where the people smart enough to stay got their money’s worth. Video of this is floating around, (I didn’t shoot it), and you should watch it if you haven’t already.

‘Campfire Stories’ on night number two was even wilder than the first night. It started out calmly enough with Jack Grisham interviewing John Feldman from Goldfinger. I had no idea that he was such a big time producer. He seemed like a really nice guy too. It kind of made me feel bad about not being into Goldfinger. When a drunk Fletcher came out with Jello and Keith, things got interesting. First, he kept trying to get a 29 years sober Grisham to take a drink of his moonshine. Second, he started harassing Jello and Keith about what it would take for Dead Kennedys and Circle Jerks reunions. He was drunk and relentless, and really holding their feet to the fire. He was doing what every fan wants to do. It was great uncomfortable fun.

I mentioned earlier how much passion Jello still seems to have for those old DK songs. I had seen Dead Kennedys (the other three guys) less than a month before, and felt the same way. It didn’t seem like they were just going through the motions. I’m going to go on the record as saying that a true Dead Kennedys reunion is possible. The music is bigger than egos. There are some old wounds that need to be healed, but there is still hope. Jello might claim otherwise, but I don’t believe it.

The ‘Campfire Stories’ went until 2am. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was already over when we passed the inflatable screen as we stumbled back to our campsite. Our mellow neighbors were asleep, but nearby the party raged on until five or six in the morning. Drunken revelers would walk by and rattle your tent yelling, “WAKE UP! IT’S ANARCHY CAMP!”. Assholes. To be clear, there was very little anarchy, just intoxicated obnoxiousness. Maybe I was jealous. I just couldn’t seem to get very drunk. We crashed about 3am, and I had to use earplugs to get a little piss poor sleep.