Once again I was fortunate enough to see a band that I never thought I would have the chance to see live. During their twenty year career, Suicidal Tendencies has defined west coast music with their raw thrash punk metal. At the age of ten, I fell in love with their “Still Cyco After All These Years” album, and remember my mom questioning my father over how I got this CD. Thankfully my love for punk/metal was not stifled, I continued to headbang in the kitchen after school, and expand my love of music. There is a special place in my heart for Suicidal Tendencies and I was ecstatic to see them live.
As a perfect compliment to Suicidal’s style, (həd)p.e. was the opening band. Each time I has seen them over the years, I was always impressed with their sound and heaviness. Not only were they more solid musically, but their sound had expanded further into reggae and hardcore. Tonight's performance was top notch for the band, full of energy with an equally responsive audience and mosh pit.
The only downside was Jared (vocals) halted their momentum with lengthy political opinions and theories, which grew weary on both the band and crowd. After wrapping it up, they were quick to regain the energy back and were supported by an impressive fan base, that knew all their lyrics. Hed PE would heavily tear it up with double bass, fast solos, and screaming vocals, then transition into a cover of Bob Marley’s One Love. They welcomed a guest vocalist, Las Vegas’ Big B and even spent time representing the posse by chanting “family.” Hed PE wasn’t quite what I remembered or expected, but they were heavy and overall I enjoyed their concert.
After a trip to get some merch, we talked several fans that were just as stoked to see Suicidal after all these years. There was a sense of camaraderie among the fans, especially since many hailed straight from the LBC (Long Beach-Compton). When Suicidal hit the stage, they wasted no time taking us back, opening with an extended version of You Can’t Bring Me Down. Instantly fans were shouting, throwing fists, and the big boys had started an intimidating mosh pit. Mike (vocals) ran up and down the stage, headbanging on either side then running back again, his energy and enthusiasm only fueled the crowd below.
Suicidal Tendencies never let up once, there was always a wicked solo going down on bass or lead guitar, all while pounding drums and rhythm guitar lead them along. This show was a real treat to many die-hard fans, as Mike mentioned "Alot of these songs we haven't played in 20 years." Tracks included: Institutionalized, Join The Army, Prisoner, War Inside My Head, Subliminal, Suicidal Maniac, (badass drum solo), Come Alive, Go Skate (Possessed to Skate), Widespread Bloodshed, I Saw Your Mommy, Waking The Dead, Cyco Vision, Pledge Alligence, and I Shot Reagan.
"There was punk rock there was metal and there was suicidal in the middle," another great quote from Mike. ST’s music was a pioneer in the 80s and even 90s, bringing home heavy punk rocked laced with anger that lit up the hearts of many fans. The band and each member showed no sign of wear for the years gone by, if nothing else they were amped to be playing again, and the audience was equally as grateful. I am still beaming from this show and it is not one I am soon to forget. If you love punk and metal, but you have not seen Suicidal Tendencies or even (həd)p.e., you don’t know what you’re missing!
You can watch Suicidal Tendencies' promotional video here