“We ain’t got no place to go, so let’s go to the punk rawk show” – these are lyrics that I pretty much lived by as teenager, and since MxPx were on the bill of the first concert I went to – I thought it would be a great idea to have it come full circle and check them out again.
Held at The Irenic (former church renovated into music venue) and promoted by local radio station 94.9, the sold out show had openers Kris Roe (of The Ataris) and Allister on the lineup. I missed Kris Roe but caught part of Allister, who played an energetic pop punk set but unfortunately I was only vaguely familiar with them and didn’t know any of their songs. As soon as MxPx took the stage, I wondered where Tom (Guitarist) and Yuri (Drummer) were. This was a sentiment that was shared by others in attendance, as the trio with Mike (Bassist/Vocalist) were such a recognizable unit. It wasn’t until a bit later into their performance that Mike had explained that Tom & Yuri were no longer touring due to having families and full time jobs, and that he was, instead, touring with musicians from Switzerland – the same guys he had gone on recent Europe tours with.
This absence initially threw me off, but it at least still sounded like MxPx and, after they started playing old favorites, I was able to move past this and let nostalgia take effect. With nine albums to date, they had plenty to choose from and, overall, I’m pretty content that they played most of my favorite songs including “I’m Ok, You’re Ok,” “Doing Time” and “Tomorrow’s Another Day.” Of course, they couldn’t get away without also playing hits “Chick Magnet” and “Responsibility.”
Half way through the show, Mike played an acoustic guitar set which was awesome and unexpected, as it gave a more intimate aspect to the evening. It was interesting to hear songs like “Move to Bremerton” stripped down, and made it easier to hear everyone sing along with the lyrics. Mike also took a few requests, even playing “Christalena” a song that he admitted was never supposed to make the album (Life in General) and never imagined that he would be playing it acoustically in San Diego 20 years later. He also did a great and unexpected cover of Rancid’s “Olympia WA,” a nod to his uproots, and one that everyone enjoyed.
As he brought back the band, mosh pits and crowd surfs were resurrected as they whipped out newer songs like “Aces Up” and “Secret Weapon.” MxPx ended the night with “Punk Rawk Show,” a fast skate punk classic which amped me up enough to join on in the circle pit for old time sakes.
I’m quite glad that I decided to check out a new venue and hit up a throwback show with a quintessential west coast skate punk/pop punk band. Nostalgia is best served live.
MxPx can be heard in custom programs like Half-Pipe as well as custom programs that enhance the extreme sports lifestyle.
– Submitted by Jesse Nathason, Music Design