Papa Murphy’s Park felt extra paternal as The Bash landed on Father’s Day. While this Cal Expo venue hosted Slayer on Mother’s Day 2018, this recent holiday was a suds-and-mosh affair with beer tastings and a lineup of punk rock that included Rancid, Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, L7 and Sharp Shock.
Throughout the grounds, kids with hair the color of Otter Pops tagged along with their moms and dads, sometimes slam dancing as a family on the periphery of Rancid’s mosh pit.
As a festival, The Bash takes its cues from Punk In Drublic, a similar pairing of punk rock and craft beer that’s headlined by NOFX. The first four hours of The Bash were strictly for 21-and-up, while patrons sampled beer from Solid Ground, Ghost Town, High Water and other breweries via tiny plastic goblets.
At 4 p.m., The Bash became an all-ages affair. The overall turnout was fairly light, with maybe a quarter of the field at Papa Murphy’s Park filled as L7 hit the stage. The band’s set was still a winner, not just for its fuzzed-out songs (“Shove,” “Andres”) but for its 916 name-drops to Citrus Heights and inner-tubing on the American River (bassist Suzi Gardner once lived in the area).
Fueled by a liquid diet of water, malt and Cascade hops, the mosh pits swirled for Suicidal Tendencies and Pennywise. Sweaty dad bods bumped into each other mightily as Pennywise cranked through such melodic Southern California anthems as “Bro Hym” and an amped-up cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”
Suicidal Tendencies frontman Mike Muir spent nearly as much time giving punk rock-styled pep talks between songs as he did stalking the stage and ripping through crossover classics such as “Subliminal” and “Institutionalized”—though its iconic line about Pepsi should’ve been slightly altered to, “All I want is a hazy IPA and she wouldn’t give it to me!”
Headliners Rancid killed The Bash’s proverbial keg with an hour-long performance. The set charged forth with its celebratory take on street-punk and ska, but the crowd seemed spent and an exodus to the parking lot started fairly early.
By the end, as Rancid cranked through the songs “Roots Radicals” and “Ruby Soho,” some kids ran freely across the emptying field. A few dads were splayed across the ground, done in by a full day of beer, heat and the punk rock of their skateboarding youth.