Cruel World 2022

Oh, what a wonderful Cruel World it was! Presented by Goldenvoice, this nostalgic New Wave fest graced Pasadena’s Rose Bowl on Saturday, May 14th (with the same lineup repeating the next day). Arriving midday, Christian Death was already rocking the side stage, while Sextile was crushing the main Outsiders Stage. Despite the heat, people were dancing and drinking along, especially to the English Beat up next, before Cold Cave and 45 Grave took the reins. The crowd, growing larger by the minute, was riled up by the time London After Midnight came onstage — an energy that continued on for TR/ST and Missing Persons.

By this time, the sing-along had begun and it didn’t stop till long after sundown.

Blaqk Audio brought a modern mix to classic New Wave next: an EDM-infused duo, fronted by AFI‘s Davey Havok. Johnny Rotten and Public Image was up next before Drab Majesty filled the air with plumes of smoke at the Lost Boys Stage. The day continued onward, as The Damned, The Church, Jay Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel and Violent Femmes performed, leading up to Devo’s animated antics. Berlin and The Psychedelic Furs welcomed in the nightfall, before Bauhaus’ juxtaposition of light and shadow transfixed all in such a hauntingly beautiful way. Before anyone knew it, only Blondie and Morrissey was left to go — two 80s era icons back-to-back! And, Morrissey actually showed!

Photography by Kristy Rose

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