Music makes the people come together but not before a little craft beer tasting that will make the people more attractive. On my meanderings, I found that Brew Brothers’ Hef was refreshing and Brewheim Beer Makers’ Red was a sassy and delicious beer. I lingered in the beer garden until it was time to see Greg Ginn’s Black Flag. There has been controversy over the whole Black Flag thing so I didn’t really know what to expect. When I entered the photo pit it was only minutes to the band filled the stage. I’ve seen the Henry Rollins Black Flag decades ago and never the Keith Morris version so I was curious. I remember the Henry Rollins version of Black Flag as a fast aggressive brutal force when they hit the stage. The latest offering of the band is cathartic, heavy, bleak, thinky and dangerous. Mike Vallely is a brooding force as he stalks the stage proving a menacing presence with his vocals. Greg owned the new and old material giving the crawl and punch to make it Black Flag. Of course, they played the hits and validated the experience with what has always been Black Flag. The show was cool and creepy that makes fundamentally Black Flag.
Following Black Flag were The Descendents. They were a high energy engaging lot and just damn happy to be there! Milo Aukerman hit the stage going directly into his repertoire, the band started cranking out the jams and the fans responded: often word for word on every song. The Descendants reflect the beach community’s happier and fun invocation of Punk which resonated with the Doheny State Beach crowd of doting fans.
The Gringo Bandito Taco Chronic Challenge came next with the harrowing task of eating as many tacos. But before the mega chronic taco through-down came the announcing of the winners of Saturday’s taco tasting contest. Sol Agave took third place with a slow-roasted pork belly taco with tomato mint slaw and fresh pineapple. Second place was fried and beer-battered fresh shrimp served over pickled cabbage and salsa from Fiesta Gourmet. Coming in at number one was from Pink Taco with chorizo and potatoes with onions and a pepper slaw resting under a poached Spanish octopus. It sounded exotic and delicious.
Then the stage was set for Takeru Kobayashi to attempt to set and a new record and vanquish any competitors. Takeru struggled a bit this year and Molly Schuyler gave him a run for his money. It was neck and neck, bite for bite nail biter till the end. It was so close in the 10-minute bout that the judges had to weigh the leftovers after the competition to determine the winner. When it all shook out Molly had managed to eat by weight 146 tacos and Takeru 157. Takeru had won but he didn’t manage to beat his previous year’s record of 159 tacos. There was the drama of the final moments of deciding the winner and then came the victory lap where Takeru his honors and accolades paving the way for The Offsprings’ performance.
Dexter of The Offspring was first out grabbing the mic and heading to the edge of the stage resting one foot on the speakers addressing the fans. The cheers were loud and raucous as the rest of the band positioned and started to play. Dexter front and center, Greg K. to my left and Noodles to my right. The wall of noise was a WALL of NOISE, as in LOUD! My ears were maxed out. That rarely happens at a show for me! My favorite “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” came up by the sixth song in their set and I reveled in it sweet perfection at close proximity. The mayhem continued for a little over an hour from that point. The fans were singing along and they were rambunctious as Greg K., Noodles and Dexter held the stage hostage for the set completely satisfying the audience. It was cool outside but it was hot all around the pit. KLOS and Sabroso created an amazing party that kept p[eople on and in the action for a weekend of amazing music and great fun!