When I found out that England’s The Adicts would be starting their 2012 “All The Young Droogs” Tour here in San Diego at the House of Blues, I knew I had to make the show. I had missed them on a handful of occasions since I saw them almost 10 years, and wow did they put on a show then. I could only hope that they still had enough life in them after more than 30 years of embodying the “Clockwork Orange” droog image, playing their brand of fun, sing-a-long, and up-tempo punk.
Based out of Los Angeles, Dirty Filthy Mugs opened up the night with a streetpunk/Oi set, brimming with energy even though there was a light crowd at the time. They had some decent songs, even bringing in an accordion/concertina into the mix for some Celtic influenced material, but overall they didn’t leave a lasting impression.
Brothers of Brazil, a duo from São Paulo, Brazil took the stage afterwards and presented an interesting and unique sound (especially in comparison to the band before). Besides playing a more traditional punk/garage rock sound, the duo also explored the music of their culture by delving into “punka nova,” punk-spirited, bossa nova songs. It was great to hear something “new” at this type of show, and it is one of the few times I had seen people actually dancing (couples swing dancing, etc.) I’d be interested to see how they progress as a group as time goes on.
By the time The Adicts were about to go on, I realized that the venue had actually filled up in contrast to the light attendance earlier in the night. It was also great to see first generation Adicts fans, who had perhaps seen them 20/25 years ago! With the lights still off and nobody on stage, the theme song for A Clockwork Orange (“The Funeral of Queen Mary”) played – letting people know to get ready for the show. At this point I made sure to get a spot relatively close to the stage, reminding me of my punk rock show years as a teenager. All dressed in white, with black boots, the band donned the stage rocking out their staple “Ode To Joy” before lead singer, Monkey, appeared on stage covered in LED lights and wearing LED gloves in a shiny, colorful costume.
They opened with their classic song “Tango” and from there on out, continued to play sing-along hits one after another, including “Joker In The Pack,” “Viva La Revolution,” “Numbers,” “Chinese Takeaway,” “Troubadour,” and “You’re all Fools.” When they played “I Am Yours,” my favorite song from their new-wave tinged album Fifth Overture, I was ecstatic since I didn’t think I’d ever get to hear them play that tune live. The Adicts also played songs off their new album All The Young Droogs, which everyone got into because it exuded the same essence that the band is loved for. Throughout out the highly energetic and stimulating set, Monkey would throw streamers, confetti, and playing cards into the crowd or perform simple magic tricks, blow bubbles and shoot silly string. Everyone was singing along, jumping or running around in the pit. The band ended the night with their classic rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” leaving everyone in high-spirits.
As I walked back to my car, I smiled in satisfaction as not only had The Adicts matched my memories of their past show, but they had outdone themselves, making it one of my favorite punk shows, and reminding me why the legendary Adicts are still my favorite punk band.
– Submitted by Jesse Nathason, Music Design