<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> God Save The Sex Pistols - Pistols Jubilee 2002: Inland Invasion 14th September 2002 Reviews
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Sex Pistols - Inland Invasion: 14th September 2002

©Kevin P. Casey, Los Angeles Times Review No. 1

Ah, the Pistols back in California, when you think that two of them live here it is really like their second homecoming show, however this was almost a loaded event. A big punk festival in Devore, CA, representing 25 years of punk seems quite a great idea although the deck was stacked in the more recent US punk’s favor. I think Mike Ness of Social Distortions guitar said it all with its Orange County sticker that they kept flashing on the giant video screen. This really was a generation gap attempted to be brought together because of the shared terminology of a bunch of bands that are dubbed punk. The UK only had the Pistols, the Buzzcocks and the Damned in representation. California had only one from the 70’s in X, and the NY scene which you can’t deny it of its importance had none. The rest were 80’s and 90’s KROQ bands that leave you with a judgment call as to whether they are punk or not. Oh by the way GBH doesn’t count since they are really just a metal band and shouldn’t have been on the bill any way.

As for the show each band would play their set and then the stage would turn and the next band would play. The changeover for most of the bands was pretty smooth, the average was just about five minutes.

I have to be honest being an old fuck I didn’t have the patience for an entire day of “punk” with a bunch of kids being “punk” so I showed up later and only caught Bad Religion (jock rock), Social Distortion (good but somewhat subdued and preachy), Offspring (FUCKING AWFUL, radio bullshit band..but the kids love 'em, they are actually KROQ’s number 1 band) and finally the Sex Pistols.
There definitely was a percentage of kids there to see the younger bands and actually left after Offsprin. It was weird that band really divided the crowd, the kids going crazy and the older folks yelling obscenities at em. The change over didn’t help either as it took 20-25 minutes for the Pistols to come on, not the best idea when people had been there for 12 hours.

The band did come on and launched into Bodies (ala 96 tour) probably a good call as the crowd really lit up and forgot how tired they were. Next they went straight into “I Wanna Be Me” which was great as that was left out in 96 . It seemed that either Steve or Paul was having some sort of trouble maybe hearing the monitors or something as Steve spent most of the night looking back at Paul in fact during “Wanna Be me” all three players were huddled together by the drum kit with John looking at them and remarking “OOOooh Rock n roll”. Next up was “Seventeen”, then “New York” and “No Feelings”, finally on “Pretty Vacant” the crowd started singing along. I got the impression as opposed to the Crystal Palace gig this was the first time a lot of the crowd was seeing the band and were more familiar with them as a T-shirt band than their actual music.

One of the things I really enjoyed having seen them a few times before and actually listening to like a hundred live shows was the looseness of the band that was present also at the palace gig but not on the reunion tour. It was somewhere between a gig at the 100 club and Zeebrugge as I have to speculate based on his performance that John was enjoying quite a few spirits that night. He was animated in a jovial way and added lyrics to most of the songs.

OK back to the rundown. “Did You No Wrong” went off well but then during “Belsen” John got hit with a full beer to which afterwards he replied, “Theres some dopey asshole whose got more money than sense, if youre gonna buy beers fucking drink em you wuss.”

Launching into “No Fun” as a reply to the “wanker” he went on to add “It’s people like you who don’t know how to have fun”.
On the next song “Stepping Stone” John ripped his shirt open and was forced to ask for a safety pin which he jokingly declared “an important part of my punk apparel”. When the band finished up with the next song “Problems” John in typical alienating fashion called out MTV referring to them as “Empty Vessels” and KROQ as “Crock of shit radio”.

The next song provided a moment of jabbing as well when he declared "I’d like to dedicate this song to the rock n roll hall of fame” just as they launched into “Liar”. John turned to a more humble sort after “EMI” when he asked the crowd quite earnestly “Did you get your money’s worth” referring to the day as a whole. “Holidays In The Sun” was up next and features a lead from Steve we never would have heard back in the day…VERY rock n roll but brilliant as always .The band as a whole were playing really good in spite of any problems they might have been experiencing. I mean to watch them it looked like they were having difficulty but it didn’t sound like it, except for a few bum notes here and there but those just make the night interesting.

They finished up with “God Save The Queen” and then “Anarchy” to which John tried to get the crowd into the sing along with Johnny part but I think he actually tripped them up, as he was speaking when the crowd should have been singing so they lost their place, even the band seemed to lose their place as the song just sort of fell apart and then into a big rock ending..Oops….They left the stage after this with Johnny replying “I’m off for a cigarette and a cup of coffee, let me know you’re still around”

They did come back shortly and before going into a great version of “Silver Machine” Johnny said “I like this, now all the wankers are going home we're coming on strong..The teeny boppers have left the building” which gave me the impression they would have played longer had they been allowed to. I should note that Johnny said during the song that he’d like to thank all the other bands for letting us on the bill. Quite out of character for Johnny Rotten I dare say..But that was it, the song finished and the band left the stage followed by John who saw a kid with a public image shirt and replied “For him over there I’ll be back next week with PiL”, so perhaps there is another reunion of sorts in the works, who knows?

All in all this was a great gig, perhaps if this was your first introduction into the Pistols you either got it or didn’t just like back in the day, they were never an easy pill to swallow. It’s ironic as back in the day you might have been too old to grasp the brilliance where as Saturday night in Devore some people may have been too young too, it’s scary to think but possibly true. The Sex Pistols were never neatly packaged (maybe came close on the 96 tour), but that’s what the punk kids today want. There’s a checklist of what this type of punk band should be like and what this other one should be like, and the kids love it that way. I’m a crusty punk..Oh I’m emo, yeah well I’m hardcore, I’m old school, fuck all that. The Pistols thankfully continue to make sure they are not on any list, they remain as original today as they were 26 years ago, even pushing fifty. I had a blast and hope it ain't the last time I can say that.

Review by Dino Everett

Review No. 2

This was billed as the low dough show with a hefty 17 bands for only 35 dollars (plus booking fee!) but inside it's a rip off.
Nothing allowed into the venue, not even water in plastic 500 mil bottles, because inside they want 3 dollars for a small water, or a staggering 8 dollars for a pint of American lager... or 10 dollars for a pint of Heineken Lager. Wow.

Never mind, as we are hear to see the world's greatest punk band. Both The Damned and The Buzzcocks do great short but sharp, 40 mins sets. Whereas the Crystal Palace show was purely about the Pistols, the other bands here today have huge followings in California.

The Pistols came on stage and were utterly fantastic. Even a very low sound coming out of Steve Jones' guitar for the opener Bodies could not stop the power of the song. The intent was clear, this was a greatest hits festival set with no filler. John was full of sarcasm for the crowd and was winding them up big time but they loved it. He got doused a couple of times but just coated the guys off as usual. John was enjoying himself so much dancing that all his buttons fell off his shirt. He asked for a safety pin and got a flood of offers in seconds.

As with the Palace gig, Glen again was more dressed up for the show than Steve and Paul. The band were much tighter than Crystal Palace, although John forgot some of the words again, but hey, who said punk rock was ever about being note for note perfect.

The view looking back from the stage was amazing as all the fires at the back lit up the skies. The anthems flew out one after the other: Pretty Vacant, Belsen, Problems, EMI (featuring Paul Cook's fantastic drumming), Holidays, GSTQ, and a blinding version of Anarchy with a mass singalong. The encore of Silver Machine was great, even though John was not really interested in doing much vocals to it! All in all, what a fantastic show!

Review by Ray Morrissey

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©2002/2003 Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net
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God Save The Sex Pistols ©Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net