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Bad Religion at Anthology: August 6th Rochester, NY

On May 3rd, Bad Religion dropped yet another bomb in the punk world. Age

of Unreason is the band’s seventeenth studio release, and nothing short of fantastic.

This album delivers everything you’d expect from these legends; from addressing

inequality and corruption in today’s society to the fast-paced punk rock sound we all

know and love.

The Age Of Unreason summer tour kicked off in July with Dave Hause & the

Mermaid on the first part of the tour, and the Lawrence Arms on the last leg of the


On August 6th, hundreds of people lined the streets of Rochester, New York

waiting for the doors of local club Anthology to open for a sold out show. The staff

was very quick and friendly getting everyone through the door right at 6pm. Upon

entering, the merch tables were set up along the walls in the back with a huge bar.

My crew and I grabbed a few drinks and some merch before we headed down to the

main floor by the stage.

The Lawrence Arms came on right at 7pm and got the crowd started with

“The Slowest Drink at the Saddest Bar on the Snowiest Day in the Greatest City.” The

band played a great set, with the pit really exploding during “Recovering the

Opposable Thumb” a little more than halfway through their performance. Once the

crowd was good and sweaty, the band closed out with “Are You There Margaret? Its

Me, God.” Most of the crowd dissipated immediately after their set, since Anthology

allows reentry; which I thought was pretty awesome, we don’t get a lot of that at

venues up here. My friends and I grabbed a few more drinks and headed up to the

front for Bad Religion.

Being a pit girl, I find it hard to stay on the rail during a show. However, for

the first time in my whole show-attending, punk rock loving life, I stayed on the rail.

The lights went dark about 20 minutes after The Lawrence Arms, and everyone

naturally packed together. One by one, the members of Bad Religion graced the

stage, the crowd erupting more and more as they came out and grabbed their gear.

The lights powered on all at once, and Bad Religion burst into “Them and Us,”

immediately followed by “End of History” and “Fuck You.” The band bantered back

and forth for about one minute, and then continued on to their 27 song set list with

“Stranger Than Fiction, The Dichotomy, Recipe For Hate” and “Chaos From Within.”

“Los Angeles is Burning” started a long, fun run of powerhouse anthems

including “Suffer, No Control, Skyscraper, 21st Century Digital Boy, New Dark Ages”

and more. At this point most of us had lost our voices, as the band thanked us for a

great welcome back to Rochester. It’s been 30 years! Sweaty yet on point, the band

closed their set out with “Sorrow,” but left the crowd wanting more.

“BAD RELIGION! BAD RELIGION! BAD RELIGON!” was chanted over and over

again, by every soul packed into Anthology for about 2 minutes. Bright white

spotlights blinded the crowd for roughly 20 seconds, followed by an explosion of

sound from guitarist Brian Baker in the form of “”Infected.” As the pit kicked toward

the front with crowd surfers coming from every angle, we sang our hearts out in

unity. Front man Greg Graffin thanked the crowd yet again before playing one last song, “American Jesus.” The crowd went wild once again, but quickly cleared out as

the band left the stage. Jay Bentley came right back out and shook everyone’s hand

in the front row. I happened to be speaking to a super rad chick about Mable

Syndrome and was lucky enough to talk with him for a few minutes. For sure a night

and moment I will never forget!

After chatting with Jay for a few, my friends and I decided to head out for a

few drinks. It was a beautiful summer night, so we walked the streets of Rochester

with some friends we made at Camp Anarchy back in June. We made our way to a

spot called Filger’s for one more drink (and some tacos) and ran into guitar player

Mike Dimkich. He seemed genuinely thankful for the sold out show and warm

welcome back to Rochester. I briefly talked with him, but wanted to let him relax for

the night. We headed upstairs to play some pool before saying goodbye on our way


Bad Religion never disappoints, however for myself, this was a surreal

experience. It was a combination of things that made it so perfect. The venue was

intimate, the crowd was fantastic, their set list was unbelievable, the Lawrence Arms

were great, and most of all my company was great. I love getting to hit up shows

with my best friends, and also friends I’ve made through the punk community. This

show was the perfect reminder of why I love punk rock and why Bad Religion will

always be one of my all time favorites. If you haven’t checked them out, get to it!

They’ll be touring Latin America this coming fall.

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