Music

Live: Descendents put on a punk rock show with a smile

Descendents know a thing or two about putting on a punk show and true to form, their latest visit down under sees them put the music above everything else.

Sometimes punk gets a bad rep for being angry or disruptive but if ever you needed to prove that dated stereotype wrong, then in the company of Descendents is a good place to start.

For four decades now, the Manhattan Beach band have been showing us there’s a sort-of-softer, geekier and more vulnerable side to punk rock.

They’re the outcasts, the nerds and, thankfully, the ones who turned their bullied days and teenage heartbreaks into songs.

The bond between the band is what makes this lot truly undefeated though – throughout their 40-year career, they’ve never bad-mouthed each other in public, argued musical differences or created any unbalanced hierarchy among themselves.

In fact, when we spoke to drummer Bill Stevenson before the Australian shows, he pointed out that all four members of the band still contribute to the writing process.

It’s this genuine enthusiasm which shines through their set at Melbourne’s 170 Russell, as Milo, Bill, Karl and Stephen work in sync both musically and in their physical mannerisms.

Keeping their word, they offer up a palette of old and new.

Surburban Home, I’m The OneCoffee Mug, Hope, Silly Girl, Everything Sux, and I’m Not A Loser remain triumphant, matched still by the newness of 2016’s Hypercaffium Spazzinate.

You only need to catch sight of Milo’s camel pack to know you’re in the company of legends.

And with their spirit for punk rock reflected on fans’ faces, Descendents’ reign at the peak of punk rock continues.

Scroll down for photos from Jay Wennington.

Descendents play Brisbane and Sydney this week – get remaining tickets at Ticketmaster.com.au.

ICYMI, read our interview with Descendents drummer, Bill Stevenson, now.

Descendents, 170 Russell, Melbourne, 19/02/17

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