The Sabroso Music Festival has been going strong for 5 years, bringing top notch Punk Rock bands such as The Offspring, Pennywise, The Vandals, Unwritten Law, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and Los Kung Fu Monkeys from this years line up at Papa Murphy's Park in Sacramento. Not surprising this festival is growing and selling out shows from New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Northern and Southern California. What a brilliant concept to couple punk music with beer, tacos and Lucha Libre style wrestling. This was an afternoon of pure adrenaline fueled fun! The festival was from 1pm - 9pm, music started at 2pm and you could sample local beers up to 4 hours.
In addition to headling this years festival, Dexter Holland (lead singer of The Offspring), featured his hot sauce Gringo Bandito, which gave concert goers a chance to sample all flavors while stuffing their faces with delicious tacos.
It was a relief the rain had stopped just in time for the festival on Sunday. The sun was peaking in and out of some remaining mid-afternoon clouds which allowed for an enjoyable event. This was my first time at Papa Murphy's Park located at Cal Expo in Sacramento, which is actually a soccer stadium. Thus being said, there was plenty of room for all the breweries, taco, food, and miscellaneous vendors. I was there in plenty of time to walk the complete festival as I wanted to get an idea where everything was located.
There was one main stage that the bands would play, and off to the left was where the wrestling ring was staged. This allowed for entertainment in between the set up and break down of bands. There were top global Lucha Libre wrestlers battling for the Sabroso Championship title.
Los Kung Fu Monkeys took the stage first at 2pm. Originated from Tijuana, lead singer Bang Bang and band were loads of fun. Rolling through a 30 minute set of ska punk which got the fans moving. I especially like their cover of The Cure, "Boys Don't Cry".
Unwritten Law from San Diego kicked it into high gear with songs like "Teenage Suicide", driven by guitars and hard hitting drum beats. Scott Russo lead singer is constantly moving about the stage whipping his mic cord in time with the songs. Their music is power driven punk with an alternative influence. Chris Lewis on guitar is stimulating to watch as he shreds up and down the neck of his guitar and then launches into flight. Johnny Grill on bass has some beefy lines, and somehow manages to hold down his tempo all the while moving about the stage. Wade Youman on the kit hits so hard while singing, I don't know how he stays seated. They gave us a half hour of non-stop fueled music.
The Vandals, an Orange County favorite took the stage next. These guys are humorous while playing their punk-pop songs. Warren Fitzgerald, lead guitar wiz showcases his goofy facial expressions all the while delivering guitar yoga on stage. David Quackenbush on vocals started the set off with "Urban Struggle", (I want to be a cowboy, I'm going to be a cowboy, I'm born to be a cowboy). I love the way this song bounces you from each instrument and in between the lyrics. The fans came alive, and started to crowd surf. "Euro Barge" was their second song which showcases Josh Freese on the drums skill of quick hits and timing, coupled with David's speedy lyrics. The Vandals played a total of fourteen songs that stemed from albums Hitler Bad, Vandals Good, and Peace Thru Vandalism to name a couple.
The fourth band to take the stage was Me First and the Gimme Gimmes from San Francisco. I have heard a lot of hype about their shows and diva-esque cover songs of Cher's "Believe" and Elton John's "Rocket Man", but I had not seen them perform. Front man Joey Cape dressed in a black sequin jacket delivered his flair and humor throughout their set. He engaged the crowd in sing alongs while mocking up artists like John Denver's "County Road" and Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl". They performed 14 songs in total and were silly fun.
Pennywise emerged out of the OC Music Scene and are known for their political, melodic hardcore punk music. Jim Lindberg lead vocals and his band came out with a powerful surge straight into "Wouldn't It Be Nice", off their self titled album. Then they ripped right into "Can't Believe It" off their album Straight Ahead. It was clear to me that Jim had everyone's attention, and the crowd became chaotic. Crowd surfing would continue on through every song, not to mention the shoes and hats that were flying towards the stage. I was happy that there were a lot of security up against the pit barrier, watching our backs. They were going to get a lot of action now. Pennywise drive hard, and play loud! Jim delivers a straight up crowd engaging performance, and even at one point was asking photographers in the pit for their camera so he could take a pic of the fans. Fletcher Dragge lead guitarist and Randy Bradbury on bass attack their instruments with precision. Byron Mc Mackin on drums has his work cut out for him, nailing the quick hard beats. Pennywise is a massise attack that sucks you into the mayhem. They played a tight set of 19 songs including "Fight Til You Die", "Society", and "Date With Destiny", to name a few. Their new album Never Gonna Die comes out on April 20th, be sure to get one.
The Offspring from Huntington Beach was the headling act, and as usual played to a sold out crowd! Dexter Holland front man/guitarist is quite a brilliant lyricist and musician. His songs are catchy, familiar and just damn good! They opened up the evening with "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid", "All I Want", and "Come Out And Play". Their music was tight, and guitar god "Noodles" was spot on. Ripping through their set of iconic songs including "Genocide", "Bad Habit", and "Gotta Get Away", the fans were singing along to every one of them. It was mind blowing and heart warming. Dexter played a really cool stripped down version of "Gone Away" on the piano. They played 18 songs in total and ended the fun filled festival with "Self Esteem".
This was definitely one of the most fun and well run festivals I have been too. I highly recommend the Sabroso Festival.
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