According to the World/Inferno Friendship Society, that is. And the irony of playing a run of shows in the state they claim to hate so much… And even worse, that song didn’t even get played! Frontman Jack Terricloth made jokes about that song at almost every stop, but we never got more than a tease.
Inferno is one of my absolute favorite live acts, but they typically only tour in the Northeast. Naturally, the summer I officially move to San Francisco, they do a California tour. Life works out well for me sometimes. So I hit four stops on the tour, meeting up with some friends who traveled from the Northeast for it along the way.
They were co-headlining with Culture Shock. I think they were supposed to take turns playing last, but Inferno wanted the encore, so Culture Shock had no issue playing first every show. Each venue had one of their own opening acts before Culture Shock went on.
If you don’t know of Inferno, I will attempt to describe them: punk, dancey like 1950’s punk maybe, swing, waltz, soul, jazz, ska, circus… weird. They’re impossible to put in a box. And that’s why I love them so much. They put on a killer live show and it’s really not fair to judge them without seeing them first. Trust me.
The first show of the California run was at Thee Parkside in San Francisco. This was my favorite show of the tour.
The first band that played was weird as shit. Inferno is a pretty weird band if you ask me, but MOM was… I have no idea what I watched.
Is this… music? What even is this? Are you even wearing clothes? Someone told me she saw MOM at another show once and she was throwing cheeseburgers at the audience. And apparently she gets warned by certain venues not to do… certain things.
They are doing me a concern.
Sometime between MOM and Culture Shock, Team Butt was formed. Team Butt was my crew this tour, made up of friends who traveled from New York. I don’t remember how exactly the name came about, but we don’t trust animals that don’t have butts basically.
Culture Shock was really cool. I really enjoyed their set. Old school punk/ska vibes minus the brass.
I finally talked to Inferno’s frontman Jack Terricloth for the first time between sets. He’s always around, I think it’s just that part of me is a fangirl and the other part is a little intimidated by him. My friend Mel calls him “Vampire Dad” or something along those lines.
I did not talk to him of my own volition, however. The guy standing next to me who I had been talking to turned around and complimented someone’s shoes. I turn and lo and behold, it’s Jack. Because of course it is.
And then of course, the band went on.
I’m sure I’ve said this many times, but Inferno pits are my favorite. And the pit at this show was glorious.
Inferno rarely plays the same setlist more than once, so we never know what to expect. They have a song called “Your Younger Man” that requires the audience to throw confetti. We had no idea they would be playing this song, so when it happened, Team Butt raced to the bar to grab napkins and rip them to shreds to throw.
Sorry, Thee Parkside.
Another of my favorites is “Heart Attack 64” which is a waltz. My friend Josh, who is super tall, picked me up for this song and was basically just carrying me and swinging me at people rather than waltzing. It was quite fun, albeit unintentional.
I got a setlist after the show ended. Or most of a setlist, rather. It was wet at the top and ripping, but I knew what it said for the most part.
Josh and another Team Butt Infernite Max joked about how they need to make signs with the lyrics of “Dolce Far Niente” for Jack because he never gets it right. I’m not sure if it’s because the song has too many lyrics or because Jack always has a bottle of something with him onstage, but I would guess it’s probably a combination of the two.
Oakland is just across the Bay from San Francisco. I consider them more or less the same place. Most bands will play one or the other, not both. So I was shocked when Inferno played both cities back to back.
This show was at the Metro, which is a huge venue, but the stage area that the bands were actually using was pretty small.
Mel was manning a table selling merch and records for independent record label Alternative Tentacles.
Most of Team Butt arrived a little late as they accidentally sent their uber to the same address in San Francisco rather than Oakland.
Those who were on time however included Danielle, Inferno’s merch girl who never misses a show, and Doug, who I tend to crash with after Inferno shows in the New York area, who spent the day in Oakland without Team Butt.
I was honored by that analogy.
The venue was filled with Gilman rats, which made me weirdly happy. Two of my worlds combining. Most of them were likely there for Culture Shock, though.
The first band that played was Love Songs, who I’ve seen at Gilman before, so that was cool. I like them about 10 times more than MOM.
Before Inferno went on, we did our customary chant of “Tonight we’re gonna fuck shit up!” A guy I know from Gilman, Jesse, was standing at the edge of the crowd dumbfounded. Mel told me it was because that’s a line from a Blatz song. It took me entirely too long to put two and two together and figure out that Jesse was the frontman of Blatz. Whoops.
This show felt a little bit more weird than San Francisco. It was mostly just circle pits, and not much else. It was still a lot of fun, but different than the previous night.
Someone brought a Trump piñata for us to beat the shit out of in the pit. That was fun.
Erik Petersen of Mischief Brew recently passed. Jack made a nice dedication to him during the show, and then at the rest of the following shows too.
After their set ended, they left the stage so we started chanting again so they would come out to encore. “Tonight we’re gonna fuck shit up!” They never came. Then we started with “We know! We know!” and they still didn’t come back. Eventually the lights turned back on and it was apparent the show was actually over. We were all very confused. We had wasted a lot of energy screaming chants thinking they’d come back if we were loud enough. I don’t think I’ve ever been so convinced an encore was coming and then have it not come before this. Weird.
Most of Team Butt was riding over from the East Bay to Sacramento with Danielle, but there wasn’t enough space for me and Mel to hitch a ride. So we took a bus together and met with some of her hometown friends for food before the show.
Max always wears suits to Inferno shows. A lot of Infernites dress up. It’s just a thing. Jack always wears a suit, so his fans follow suit (heh heh). But tonight was different. Max and Josh discovered the joys of Walmart in Sacramento.
Yes, they wore Star Wars tank tops and leggings. I immediately had the idea of inviting Panda and Unicorn with me to the SoCal show and having them dress even more ridiculous. They have those nicknames for a reason, mind you.
The two of them also tried an interesting experiment with Tinder for this show. They created profiles for the sole purpose of trying to get more people to come out.
“I’m just trying to find people to come to a weird punk show tonight.”
It did not go over so well unfortunately.
Small venue with a lesser known band on this coast, I can understand why they tried. But we still had plenty of fun without random Tinder girls who probably wouldn’t have even enjoyed themselves anyway.
By this point I felt pretty familiar with Culture Shock’s music. They were really growing on me.
Something else growing on me? Inferno introduced a new song this tour. Third time hearing it, and I was starting to like it more. New is new, that’s about all there is to it. But I can’t remember the name of the song, or find any footage of it, so for all I know it doesn’t even exist. Whoops.
Danielle wanted to bring fake blood to this show, but I was going straight to work in the same clothes the next morning, so I was not about it. She almost bought me a change of clothes so she could, but at the last minute she decided against it. LA would get the fake blood, and I wasn’t hitting that show. Phew. I’m okay with it at Hallowmas when I’m expecting it, but I was not ready for it on a random night in July unawares.
Even with a fairly small crowd, there was still a ton of dancing and it was wonderful as usual.
Their faces in this picture kill me.
Backtracking… I always like to sing the first song “Tattoos Fade” right in front of the stage with the band before migrating to the back of the room and dancing. I appreciated the smallness of this show because Sandra (bassist) grabbed my head and sang at me at one point, and I’m like, okay this is cool.
Our whole crew was sharing a hotel room, so Mel had a spot on the floor and I had a chair. Danielle thought we were all riding to the hotel from the venue together, so she hopped in the trunk. We tried to tell her we had another ride, but I think she just really wanted to get in the trunk.
The Santa Ana Inferno show ended up being part of what Panda referred to as the #SoCalSoLoud tour. We went to three shows together within the span of two days. It was intense and wonderful. St. Ranger, Twenty One Pilots, and then Inferno. I had him and Unicorn wear their onesies, and they did not object one bit. Although Panda decided to be Olaf from Frozen rather than a Panda. Eh, close enough.
Unicorn: “When Lindsay says come to a concert and suit up, there’s only one option.”
Max, Panda, me, Unicorn, Josh, and Patty in the front.
The venue was a little weird. It was in one of the rooms at the Observatory, but Face to Face and Guttermouth were also playing at the same time in another room.
We went to Hooters with Team Butt before the show, which was somehow the only place remotely close (read: we walked like a mile) that was open, where two things happened:
1) I was shocked to find that I apparently had not left Florida. It was decked out in Gators gear. I’m a Seminole. I am not okay with that. Especially when I thought I was in Santa Ana, California, not Gainesville, Florida. Ew.
2) I got a terrible case of cramps and started freaking out that I wouldn’t be able to dance or enjoy the show on account of I’m dying.
Thankfully my concerns turned out to be a non-issue. While I spent the entire night up until Inferno hit the stage absolutely hating everything, I forced myself to dance and the cramps went away. The magic of music, ladies and gents!
And oh, how much dancing there was… So freaking much.
The boys seemed to enjoy themselves, so I was glad. Panda even bought some vinyls and got them signed.
Jack called Unicorn a Pokemon mid-set. It was amazing. Danielle also seemed a little surprised/impressed when she realized why I wanted to double check that there would be no blood in Santa Ana. Can’t ruin the onesies!
She head-walked as she tends to do during shows, and Unicorn and I laughed realizing how Danielle head-walking at Inferno shows is the same as Dan crowdstanding at Coheed shows. Why do different fandoms call them different things? I have no idea.
I had a little issue the night before at Twenty One Pilots where my knees and ankles swelled up out of nowhere. Unicorn is a Navy medic, so when it happened again at Inferno, I had him check my knees out. This led to some wonderfully awkward pictures by Doug.
I actually kinda love that picture. It’s so bad that it’s beautiful.
It was a really great end to a short tour.
Not gonna lie, I felt like seeing Inferno in California was a little weird. The fanbase is largely in the Northeast and that’s where the most energy is. I love it so much. And I can’t wait to see them there again, however long from now that may be.
Photo Credit: Doug Glass (minus the one of Max and Josh in their Star Wars tanks taken by me)