Classic American punk rockers Bad Religion stopped at The Fillmore Silver Spring recently, and I was the lone concert photographer rocking out in the photo pit. I was excited to see Bad Religion for the first time, and happy their performance was at a nice venue close to home. The band hit the stage at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD to a tightly packed house and proved that punk is certainly not dead. They very simply kicked ass and sounded fantastic!
Bad Religion’s current lineup consists of Greg Graffin (lead vocals), Jay Bentley (bass guitar/vocals), Brian Baker (guitar/vocals), Mike Dimkich (guitar), Brett Gurewitz (songwriter/guitarist), and Jamie Miller (drums/vocals). They are currently on tour in support of their 17th studio album, Age of Unreason. I’ve seen lots of punk rock shows over the years and without a doubt the fine gentlemen of Bad Religion are still putting other “punk rock” bands to shame. This band is the real deal. Great songwriting, beautiful harmonies, intelligent lyrics, killer guitar playing and drumming, and no filler.
The band wasted no time and flawlessly ripped through a stellar set of 80’s and 90’s fan favorites. They also played a healthy mix of newer material and a few great songs from their most recent studio release. I honestly could not have been happier with the set list and how my images from the show turned out.
The vocals and harmonizing Bad Religion delivers are still shockingly good, and they seemed to be playing and sounding better than ever. The fans were really worked up at this show. Lots of angst and unrest, but also a true sense of happiness and communal celebration. The crowd cheered and sang along for most of the set. Some noteworthy songs they played included “Them and Us,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” “Recipe for Hate,” “Chaos From Within,” “Los Angeles Is Burning,” “Automatic Man,” “We’re Only Gonna Die,” “Suffer,” “No Control,” “Against the Grain,” “I Want to Conquer the World,” “21st Century (Digital Boy),” “Do the Paranoid Style,” “Infected,” and “American Jesus.”
Fans of the band love them for lots of different reasons. One reason being that Bad Religion are no slackers musically or lyrically. Their music is intense, shockingly honest, and straight-forward. The lyrics and imagery of the band also cut straight to the point and can startle the most stable mind. Bad Religion have all the talent and raw energy you would want in a live band. They’re not beating a dead horse or just trying to collect a check. Their performance came across as true rock and roll with no bullshit attached. One of the best live rock shows of this summer and fall.
Luckily for concert-goers, the band has recently expanded their ongoing North American tour to include a stretch of fall dates. The new 18-date leg kicks off September 17th in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and wraps October 12th in Sacramento, California. This is a band and a tour you won’t want to miss! Do yourself a favor and go rock out with Bad Religion. Click on the links below to see all tour dates and other Bad Religion info…
Here are some more photos of Bad Religion performing at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD on August 11, 2019. These photos were originally taken while on assignment for These Subtle Sounds. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson. All images are solely the property of Andy Jillson and Hazy Eye Music Media.
Check out Bad Religion’s Age of Unreason on Spotify: