Descendents - Liveage! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Liveage! (1987)


Coming off the success of ALL, the Descendents were breaking up. But not before touring the country and releasing Liveage! – a career-spanning, live greatest hits album recorded during their finALL tour in 1987.

Liveage! was where the Descendents came to an end, at least in the traditional success. Singer Milo Aukerman was headed out to pursue his biochemistry degree while the other members would continue on as ALL. This included mastermind/drummer Bill Stevenson as well as newer members Karl Alvarez and Stephen Egerton, whom at this point had only been with the band for the ALL record. On Liveage! the presence of former members Frank Navetta and Tony Lombardo loomed heavy, even though they were not physically present for the recording. Collectively, Alvarez and Egerton only had one track on the A side (“Coolidge”) and it looked like they would need to leave their mark in ALL.

Recorded at First Avenue in Minneapolis, the Descendents played the hits. “I’m Not a Loser,” “Silly Girl,” “Myage” are all there. “I Don’t Want to Grow Up,” “Wendy,” “Suburban Home” - all your favorites. Are any of these versions better than the recorded version? Absolutely not but at least the sound quality is great. A live recording can be tricky but Liveage! is so well mixed, everyone comes across in full force. Plus, at the time, all their best-known songs were collected onto one LP (plus “Pervert” and “Sour Grapes” if you had the CD or cassette!) This was the final send off for one of the greatest punk bands of all time and they wanted to encapsulate the span of their entire recorded career.

Liveage! holds its own. It’s an enjoyable listen front to back and shows what a power house Descendents were live. While a live record is never the right place to start with a band, the album holds a special place in the Descendents’ history. The end of their early, most active years is captured and, if this had been the end, it would have been a solid way to go out.