Punk In Drublic Fest at Petco Park in San Diego on 3/26/2022

San Diego, CA – On Saturday, March 26th, 2022, we were incredibly fortunate to attend the Punk In Drublic Fest outside of Petco Park in San Diego. Punk In Drublic is a punk fest put on by Brew Ha Ha Productions in association with Fat Wreck Chords.

The bands were all a ton of fun to watch, and it was the first time I got to see a couple of bands (Love Canal, Get Dead), but it was good to see some of my all-time favorite bands on a perfect day for an outdoor concert.

The sun was shining all day long, and the opening band Urethane which is a band fronted by Tim Fennelly and features Steve Caballero (The Faction, skateboarding fame) on guitar with Chad Ruiz (Skipjack) and Dylan Wade (formerly of The Bombpops). Unfortunately, I did miss most of this set as I was sitting in line waiting to get cleared to bring my backpack in for photography and such. However, I could hear them, and got to see the last song and a half. My favorite song of theirs is “Wyoming” and you could hear Fennelly’s vocals burst through from 5 miles away during that song. 

Speaking with Fennelly and Ruiz after they show, and though they played first on the bill, they were excited to be early as they got to enjoy the rest of the concert as fans and take a bit of a much needed break as they have been on a touring tear lately. They also headed out for Flogging Molly’s Salty Dog Cruise the next day.

Next up was Love Canal who I had actually never gotten to see, and it was the first time I had heard more than just one song of theirs. So, it was a proper “meeting” of this band. They put on one helluva show, and as the crowd and beer started to pour into the day, people were starting to get louder and louder.

I think my absolute favorite memory of Love Canal will be drummer Doug McKinnon wearing a “Not David Letterman” t-shirt as he now looks incredibly like him. It just shows that a band that has been around for 40 years still doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

Next up was The Last Gang, a punk/ska band from L.A. led by Brenna Red who has the attitude of punk rock legend Tim Armstrong of Rancid and the stage presence of ska legend Monique Powell from Save Ferris. The band has some really good songs to jump around to as well since they just released a new album last year called Noise Noise Noise and the band has been touring and doing appearances at a frantic pace ever since.

I also saw them open for Teenage Bottle Rocket a few months ago in Vegas, and the set is so different when the band plays in front of 10,000 versus 100 even though 90% of the songs were the same as far as I heard.

It is apparent that no 2 shows feel the same with this band who can blow your mind in an intimate dive bar or melt your face with 100,000 watts of audio. If you see them on the bill, you will want to make sure you catch their show.

Get Dead came out next, and they got the crowd losing their minds. I am not personally familiar with much of their music, and this was my first time seeing them live, but everyone I know who is into punk swears they are awesome. After having seen their set, I am convinced they are right. 

Lead singer Sam King has a great way to get a crowd on his side fast and furiously. Belting vocals and humbly and sincerely connecting with fans during the set, he took a minute to make sure the moshing was not too violent but simultaneously fired everyone up with the line, “Today, we’re all in the same gang. So, take care of each other, and fuck the police!”

Next on the stage came one of my absolute favorite bands of all time, Lagwagon. By now the crowd was mostly inside the festival, and it was just in time as Lagwagon went hard for 45 solid minutes of some of their best songs.

Lagwagon was the first band to actually get the VIP section in a mosh pit which I would describe as the “slightly older, more willing to pay extra money to not get super sweaty or punched in the head” side of the crowd. 

Lead singer Joey cape even got some fan to throw a broken sandal on stage which he gave a sniff to, and threw back with a jokingly disgusted face. No one likes dirty footwear thrown their way. Ha ha.

Face to Face came up after Lagwagon, and they pumped through as they said, “A bunch of old shit.” They just released a new album last year, and I do believe they played at least 2 songs off the album, but by that point in day, I was just happy to keep hearing whatever songs they were going to bust out.

Unfortunately, I know that this had to have been a weekend that bassist Scott Shiflett was playing with a heavy heart as his brother’s band, Foo Fighters, just lost their drummer Taylor Hawkins to cardiovascular collapse the day before Scott went on stage for two back-to-back festival shows.

I will say that I have seen Face to Face open for Lagwagon before. So, it was a bit odd, but also kinda cool that the script was flipped on this one. I assume next time Lagwagon releases something, the roles may be reversed, or they co-headline though. All about timing!

Second to last came Pennywise who have been sort of like Godfathers of anthemic punk rock for 4 decades now. The highlight every year is their finale where they close with “Bro Hymn Tribute” and get other bands (and sometimes fans) on stage to sing along with them. This weekend’s tribute went out to Taylor Hawkins as he was so overwhelmingly loved by all rock communities.

Pennywise had a bit of a scary moment when a fan jumped on stage and started singing into their microphones, but the person sort of got shuffled off the stage with a nice helping final push from guitarist Fletcher Dragge.

 

Last but not least, NOFX took the stage to play songs from old and new (newest album came out early 2021), and tell jokes and kill time while having fun on stage.

Lead singer Fat Mike, dressed in his now customary kilt (foregoing a dress), jokingly made fun of his band, some of the members of other bands, and mostly himself. 

The set lasted about an hour, and then towards the end, they sorta just said, well, we still have about 15 more minutes, let’s play more songs - whether that was part of the act or their version of a festival encore, I don’t know, but it definitely got the crowd excited, and no one was going to leave until they were forced to.

 

I will say that I am not a fan of large-scale music festivals that last all weekend or multiple weekends, but one day events like Punk In Drublic, are the perfect amount of awesome times, fantastic bands, alcohol and sunburn to leave happy and get back to a bit of normality by Monday.

 

Special thanks to Brew Ha Ha productions for allowing us to photograph the event.