a guide to this weekend’s When We Were Young Fest + schedule & lineup additions
set times are at the end of this post…
The inaugural punk/indie festival When We Were Young happens this weekend at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA (the same venue that had some trouble with the Beach Goth and Soulquarius festivals). The schedule is out now, and a few more artists were added since the lineup was initially announced. Among those additions are some veteran punk acts, including The Dickies, Mike Watt, CH3, Agent Orange, and D.I.
Morrissey headlines day one (Saturday, April 8) at 10 PM and Descendents headline day two (Sunday, April 9) at 9 PM, and neither headlining set overlaps with any other set.
It’s worth showing up early on day one, because Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan kicks things off at 12:30 PM on the Heroes Stage. Bazan’s fresh off releasing a new solo album, and he’s always worth catching.
After Bazan on the Heroes Stage is Balance & Composure (1:30 PM), reunited emo/pop punk vets The Get Up Kids (2:30), and then Joyce Manor (3:30), who released the best punk album of 2016. Joyce Manor told LA Weekly that they’re pretty excited to share a bill with AFI, who play the Heroes Stage at 8:30 PM (right before Morrissey):
Long before Joyce Manor were Torrance’s favorite pop-punk act, [singer Barry] Johnson was a kid heading out to punk shows all over the L.A. area. The very first one he attended was at the Majestic Ventura Theater in 1998 or ’99, where he first saw the band that convinced him he needed to create music — a band that also happens to be playing at When We Were Young.
“AFI was my first show,” Johnson says. “That was life-changing for me. That sealed the deal for me, and it made me want to do what I do. Sharing a bill with them is really, really cool.” […] “I think it’s cool because a lot of those people who are coming out to see the Descendents and AFI might find something to like about our band,” he says. “We probably listen to a lot of the same stuff, so we’re going to be drawing from a lot of the same influences that they like.”
AFI singer Davey Havok will actually be playing The Observatory three times this week. His new band DREAMCAR (which includes 3/4 of No Doubt) bring their tour to the venue’s Constellation Room tonight (4/5) and tomorrow (4/6). The following weekend, DREAMCAR play another Cali fest, Coachella.
On day two of WWWY, you probably wanna get there by 1:15 to see Pinback on the Heroes Stage. Pinback’s Rob Crow almost retired from music, but instead came back in a big way and released great new albums with his bands Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place and Goblin Cock last year. This festival is Pinback’s only scheduled date at the moment.
Another must-see is Mount Eerie, who just released one of the best albums of his career, A Crow Looked At Me. He plays at 3:15 PM on the Observatory From Mars Stage. After that, you might wanna run over to the Heroes Stage to catch Saves the Day at 3:45 PM. Then it’s punk vets D.I. on the Observatory From Mars Stage vs garage punk newcomers together PANGEA on the Dancing In The Street Stage, both as 4:30. Who are you picking?
Other highlights include ’60s/’70s rock revivalists Foxygen on the Dancing In The Street Stage at 7 PM. They only have a half-hour set, so you’ll be able to catch Taking Back Sunday on the Heroes Stage at 7:30, and then there’s still time to see the very rare appearance by ska-core vets Choking Victim at 8:30 on the DITS Stage before Descendents. Not a bad way to spend your Sunday evening.
The festival also includes Alkaline Trio, Silversun Pickups, Dr. Dog, Sheer Mag, Turnstile, Beach Fossils (who released a new video today), Guttermouth, Culture Abuse, Plague Vendor, and more. Tickets (including single-day passes and two-day passes) are still available. Check out the daily schedules below.
There are also other chances to catch headliners Morrissey and Descendents on the road this year (not together). Morrissey tour dates HERE. Descendents tour dates (including NJ’s Starland Ballroom) HERE.