LIVE REVIEW: Descendents @ The Commodore Ballroom (August 24)

Last night, Vancouver went wild for a bunch of out of shape, 50-something dudes. Over the course of a 40-year, on-again-off-again career, Descendents haven’t lost any of their energy, wit and joy in performing.

In the first of two consecutive shows at the Commodore Ballroom, played a set full of classics as well as showcasing tunes from the 2017 album, Hypercaffium Spazzinate. But that’s not really a problem when the new album sounds as good as the band ever has.

When Descendents came on stage promptly at 9.30pm (maybe more old dudes who need to get to bed should play shows), they were loudly received by the sell-out crowd.

Frontman Milo Aukerman did a bit about how much he loves Vancouver. Whenever you hear that at a show, you have to wonder how many cities get given the same treatment.

What was absolutely certain, though, was how much fun the band was having. Descendents looked like what they are: a group of old friends doing what they love.

The band has been around for long enough now that it has been a formative influence on several, successive generations. That was evidenced by the motley crowd at the Commodore last night.

One thing is for sure, the guys in their 50s rock just as hard as those in their 20s. That was proved by both the band and the audience.

After that short intro speech, Milo et al dived into their set and let the music do the talking for the rest of the night. A large mosh pit formed immediately and there was crowd surfing aplenty.

Through classics such as ‘I’m the One,’ ‘Suburban Home’ and ‘Thank You,’ as well as anthemic new songs like ‘Smile’ and ‘Shameless Halo,’ the crowd danced, jumped, sang and roared jubilantly. It was a nice of back-slapping and camaraderie — evidenced by ineloquent but accurate shouts of “Dude, this is fucking sick!” and the many strangers sharing nods of appreciation and putting their arms around each other.

That energy continued unabated through the entire set, before raucous cheering and chants of ‘Bill! Bill! Bill!’ brought the band back on stage for not one but two encores. Those at the front ended the night sweaty but elated, and so did the band.

There are still a few tickets available to see Descendents at the Commodore Ballroom for their second show tonight (August 25). If you didn’t go last night, or you want to go again, jump on it!

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