Reviewed by Carlos De La Torre
Last weekend Melodic Punk Style was lucky enough to attend the first day of this year’s Sabroso Festival. A craft beer, taco and music experience stacked with an incredible punk line up with acts: D.I., Adolescents, Suicide Machines, Strung Out, Lagwagon, Bad Religion, and Flogging Molly. Sabroso is on its third year and the anticipation for this year’s festival had been fermenting with non-stop social media teases and band plugs on the festival’s Instagram and Facebook pages. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on some crafty IPA’s on tap from dozens of So-Cals top breweries, jam out to some amazing bands, and of course, enjoy some delicious hot-sauce topped tacos. Spicy!
The event took place at Doheny State Beach located in Dana Point, California. The weather was picture perfect and the cool beach breeze added to the amazing day awaiting for us. Security and check-in were quick and just as you passed the ticket scanner you were immediately greeted and welcomed with your Sabroso Festival Sampler cup. Your lifeline for the next 4 hours if you wished to sip on some of the finest beers around. As the aroma of the freshly cooking meat indulge your senses, you couldn’t help but notice the Lucha Libre ring to your right and beyond that, a row of some of the breweries sampling off their best lagers. We sampled for a short while and walked the festival grounds before catching D.I. hitting stage and ripping a short but solid set. The sound was good, the beer was good, so far so good.
After grabbing a plate of some fine chronic tacos, we shot straight to the Lucha Libre ring where match 1 of the scheduled fights was just getting started. The crowd, along with myself, engaged and cheered along with the luchadores enjoying the comedic but entertaining skits these actors had planned out. 3 other matches took place after each music act but decided to skip the rest and enjoyed more beer and social interactions with fellow attendees instead.
Adolescents performed a great set in front of a “Soto” banner that the band hung in remembrance and tribute to their late bassist Steve Soto who passed away in 2018. With the afternoon and beer tastings coming to an end The Suicide Machines had the crowd singing and skanking to their fast punk/ska sound.
We decided to take it easy while we waited for Strung Out to hit the stage. We walked around the venue and enjoyed some cold Energy Drinks at the Rockstar energy booth. An area sectioned off next to the stage specifically for Rockstar drinking. The energy we had after those Rockstars kept us going for the next 3 bands. An iconic trio that could headline any festival were up back to back. First, Strung Out killed it with their fast paced in your face melodic punk. With their new album releasing soon, we were hoping to hear something new but were still pleased with their set. They could play anything off of their first 4 albums and I would be a happy man. Second, legendary punk band Lagwagon put on an incredible performance playing classics such as “May 16” “weak” and “violins”. Joey Cape still has that inner youth flame burning strong. Lastly, The mighty Bad Religion took the stage. By far the best performance of the night in my opinion. Greg Graffin’s powerful intelectual preaching singing style always seems to capture the 3 audience. I can’t help but to feel the similarities to a college lecture, after all, Greg Graffin is a Professor at a top University in the states. The set was what you would expect from a band who has been rocking out for 30 plus years and performed classic anthems such as “You”, “Generator” and “American Jesus”.
As the night was drawing to an end, last but not least, Flogging Molly closed out the festival with a powerful set of Irish style punk rock filled with brotherhood and unity tunes that made you raise one last beer and sing along. A perfect end to a perfect day.
Overall Sabroso was a success. Beer, Tacos, and punk rock, what else could you ask for? We hope Sabroso keeps coming around each year and stays around for a very long time. With the absence of the Vans Warped tour, we feel that Sabroso could be the next up and coming festival that we all look forward to going each year here in Southern California. Cheers!