Punk legends "The Adolescents" play Kelly Thomas memorial benefit concert
After the extremely well attended reception of the Kelly Thomas Art Show at PÄS Gallery on Friday, people came together once more the following Saturday in an effort to raise money for the homeless and celebrate Kelly Thomas' life at the Kelly Thomas Memorial benefit concert. Canned foods and clothes were donated to the homeless and many speeches were made in between the numerous musical acts.
The line-up consisted of the Adolescents, Mr. Mirainga, New School Kings, 80 Proof, No Vanquished, Julian Porte and Alevela and although the common musical theme was without a doubt rock, the different acts represented a wide array of genres within said category. The highlight of the day was indubitably the performance of Fullerton-bred punk band Adolescents, an amalgam of previous members of Social Distortion and Agent Orange who were both punk giants in their own right who had been a huge part of the '80s punk scene. Quite possibly also due to the inhumane heat during the day, people started showing up in higher numbers towards the evening. It was clearly apparent that the Adolescents, even after their many breakups, make-ups and band member changes, still have a huge following. From the first note they played, their energy swept over to the crowd which, among other idiotic punk rock practices, resulted in a mosh pit throughout the entire show.
With an obvious decade-long musical history of (more or less) playing together, favorites such as "No Way" were played effortlessly to an exuberant crowd. Despite the successful musical aspect of the show, the most insightful moment arrived when lead singer Tony Cadena took a moment to express his feelings about the murder of Kelly Thomas without the usual outrage but in an extremely composed, civil manner and with a different point of view. Mentioning his son's autism and problems in the public school system, Tony shed light on the difficulties in dealing with the mentally ill, suggesting that public officials receive special training in how to deal with situations like these -- specifically, how to allow room for someone with a mental illness to compose themselves instead of adding fuel to the fire.
With everything that has been said and much of it having been mere but well-deserved outrage towards the Fullerton Police Department, it was soothing to experience someone with this specific outlook mentioning these problems and even suggesting a concrete solution.
The Adolescents will be touring Europe this summer. Their latest album, "The Fastest Kid Alive," can be purchased via amazon.com.