Although Dead Kennedys haven’t actually released a studio album since 1986, their stature and influence has lived on through years of touring and numerous line-up changes. Now with only two original members left, the band prove why their legacy still remains.
An array of technical issues let the band down during the evening’s performance, but the San Fran four piece didn’t let this dishearten any spirits. Frontman Ron “Skip” Greer was just as hyperactive as expected, and darted around the stage so vigorously that the faulty lead on his microphone continuously detached itself.
Despite this start, the band merrily blasted through classics such as Kill The Poor and Too Drunk To Fuck from reputable debut album Rotting Fruit For Fresh Vegetables. And whilst Greer proceeded to chase his mic lead around the stage, the army of skinheads in the crowd launched their plastic cups in excitement.
But it wasn’t long until another technical issue seeped through the set for the psychedelic punks. Bassist Klaus Flouride was left to shrug his shoulders at the side of the stage whilst crew tampered with his bass head and guitarist East Bay Ray seemed to have difficulties with the settings on his pedal during the entire set.
Regardless of these problems, Ray remained cool and collected throughout his performance, playing the band’s ferociously fast punk rock songs with an effortless attitude that can only be accomplished from 30 years of experience.
Greer and drummer D.H Peligro may not be original members of Dead Kennedys, but they provide the energy and enthusiasm lacking from elders Ray and Flouride – which is still quite impressive considering their age.
As Greer launched himself into the frenzied crowd below to end the set with classics Holiday In Cambodia and Chemical Warfare, it became apparent how insignificant any technical difficulties are to a band of Dead Kennedys’ caliber. Pristine sound was never an important factor in the field of punk rock, and boy – don’t Dead Kennedys prove it.