Circle Jerks turned back the clock 40 years at the Granada

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Circle Jerks at The Granada. // Photo by Chris Ortiz

Circle Jerks
with 7 Seconds and Negative Approach
The Granada
Monday, March 21

Originally scheduled for June 2020, then rescheduled for March 2021, and then rescheduled for March 2022—it’s safe to say the crowd for the Circle Jerks’ show was more than ready to pop off when the long-running and legendary SoCal punk band took the stage at the Granada Monday night.

When it was first set to take place, the tour was in honor of the 40th anniversary of the band’s debut, Group Sex. The show that happened–while definitely showcasing the album’s classic tracks—celebrated the Circle Jerks’ entire catalog as well as the band’s sophomore outing, Wild in the Streets, which has its own 40th anniversary this year.

A couple of hours before showtime, we wondered how many attending were making dinner, washing dishes, vacuuming, and doing other assorted household chores rather than pregaming with beers at the Replay or Harbour Lights.

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7 Seconds. // Photo by Chris Ortiz

Given the amount of gray hair and receding hairlines, it’s quite likely it was more than a few. It ended up being old home week, scarcely possible to walk 10 feet or start a conversation without seeing someone you knew and high-fiving, fist-bumping, or hugging enthusiastically.

The show could have been, at this point, background entertainment, but it certainly wasn’t the case. Circle Jerks took to the stage with “Deny Everything” and proceeded to rip through nearly three dozen songs, almost every one an indisputable classic of the genre.

Hearing the band’s energy and delivery, you’d have never guessed the median age of the band was mid-60s, nor while witnessing the fervor with which folks dove in and out of the pit, that the crowd’s median age was “middle.”

The show was like a youth tonic, magically turning back the clock however many decades necessary to morph a show-goer into a teenager again, screaming along to “Wasted” as beer flew around in every direction.

Reno’s finest purveyors of straight-edge, positive hardcore—7 Seconds—filled the supporting slot, replacing The Adolescents who were originally booked for the Lawrence date. While the lack of “Who Is Who” or “Amoeba” stung, simply getting to see 7 Seconds again was a miracle.

The band had originally announced they’d permanently ceased touring and broken up in 2018, so their inclusion on this tour represents the 40th anniversary victory lap they never got, themselves.

While the sound was thin during the band’s first couple tracks, by the time they launched into “This Is the Angry,” everything was sorted. Frontman Kevin Seconds’ voice pealed out from the speaker stacks.

7 Seconds cranked through two dozen finger-pointing, sing-along anthems with Side One Dummy releases like “Here We Go Again Kids” receiving as much full-throated enthusiasm as “Satyagraha.” Granted, it was the tracks from the band’s The Crew, such as “Young ‘Til I Die” and the title track, that saw much piling-on in the pit.

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Negative Approach. // Photo by Chris Ortiz

Detroit’s Negative Approach opened the show with their particular brand of Midwest hardcore.

A brutal, uncompromising attack which never ceased, the band might’ve been an underdog on this tour, but Negative Approach had a solid set of folks down front, absolutely losing their minds from the first note.

A couple of covers made the set more varied, including Sham 69’s “Borstal Breakout.” By the time they stepped off stage, the Granada was packed as hell and well on its way to being appropriately beer-fueled.

All photos by Chris Ortiz

Circle Jerks setlist:
Deny Everything
In Your Eyes
Stars and Stripes
Back Against the Wall
Behind the Door
I Just Want Some Skank
Beverly Hills
When the Shit Hits the Fan
Under the Gun
Coup d’état
Wild in the Streets (Garland Jeffreys cover)
Moral Majority
Don’t Care
Live Fast Die Young
Paid Vacation
Junk Mail
Parade of the Horribles
Casualty Vampire
I, I & I
Leave Me Alone
I Don’t
The Crowd
Beat Me Senseless
World Up My Ass
High Price on Our Heads
Red Tape

I Wanna Destroy You (The Soft Boys cover)
What’s Your Problem
Question Authority

Circle Jerks

7 Seconds

Negative Approach

The crowd

Categories: Music