Shamrock Rebellion packs punk pride into St. Patrick’s Day 2024

On March 16th, Silverado Canyon in Orange County, California played host to the inaugural Shamrock Rebellion festival: a celebration of music, culture, and unity that left an indelible mark on all who were fortunate enough to attend. With a lineup that spanned genres and generations, the festival showcased the incredible diversity and talent of today’s music scene, proving that punk rock, folk, and everything in between have a home in the hearts of music lovers everywhere.

Starting things off at the first-ever festival was Gen and the Degenerates, delivering an unforgettable performance that left a lasting impact.

Led by Genevieve Glynn-Reeves, the band’s energy and stage presence were undeniable.

From the moment they stepped onstage, Gen and the Degenerates commanded attention with their high-energy performance, captivating the audience with their magnetic presence. Glynn-Reeves, in particular, engaged the crowd effortlessly with her witty banter, including a memorable quip towards the end of their set when she said, “This next song is an anti-capitalist song, which makes this next comment awkward; we have merch!”

Their setlist was a well-rounded mix, showcasing the band’s versatility and depth. Tracks like “Girls” and “Kids Wanna Dance” kept the energy high, while “What a Life” offered moments of reflection. Standout moments included the catchy hooks of “Big Hit Single” and the intense delivery of “Anti-Fun Propaganda”.

Gen and the Degnerates’ performance at Shamrock Rebellion was a testament to their musical prowess and ability to connect with their audience. With their infectious energy and stellar musicianship, they proved themselves as a standout act in the punk rock scene.

Next up, Nobro brought their riot grrrl punk energy to the forefront, delivering a set that resonated with raw intensity. Opening with “Where My Girls At”, frontwoman Kathryn McCaughey led the band through a relentless performance, blending defiance with empowerment.

Tracks like “A.I. Sexbots” and “Let’s Do Drugs” drove home Nobro’s ferocity, inspiring mosh pits and stage dives.

Yet amidst the chaos, songs like “I Don’t Feel Like It” and “Don’t Wanna Talk About It” showcased the band’s depth, touching on vulnerability and introspection.

A standout moment arrived with “Gimme More (Party Through the Pain)”, a defiant anthem embraced by the crowd, emphasizing resilience in the face of adversity. Throughout the set, Nobro fostered a sense of camaraderie, inviting the audience to rebel against the status quo, culminating in the celebratory “Eat Slay Chardonnay”.

As they closed with “Better Each Day” and “LALA”, Nobro’s impact on Shamrock Rebellion was undeniable, leaving a lasting impression with their passionate and authentic performance.

Skinny Lister then brought a whirlwind of folk punk energy to the Shamrock Rebellion stage on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, delivering a performance that left the audience buzzing with excitement. With their infectious melodies, raucous energy, and genuine connection with the crowd, Skinny Lister proved why they are a force to be reckoned with in the folk punk scene. From the moment they launched into their opening number, “Wanted”, Skinny Lister had the audience in the palm of their hand. Lead singer Lorna Thomas’ magnetic stage presence and powerful vocals commanded attention, while the band’s expert musicianship kept the energy levels soaring.

One of the defining moments of the set came when Thomas handed an old-school mason jar of whiskey into the crowd — a perfect prelude to the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day. This gesture encapsulated the band’s ethos of inclusivity and camaraderie, inviting the audience to join them in a celebration of music and merriment.

Thomas even climbed into the crowd on a couple of occasions to dance and sing in communal moments. 

Throughout the set, Skinny Lister maintained a lively rapport with the crowd, engaging in playful banter and encouraging sing-alongs. Tracks like “George’s Glass” and “Company of the Bar” had the audience dancing and clapping along with reckless abandon, while their cover of the traditional sea shanty “John Kanaka” transported listeners to the high seas.

As the set continued with rollicking tunes like “Hamburg Drunk” and “Unto the Breach”, Skinny Lister showcased their versatility and range, seamlessly blending folk melodies with punk sensibilities. The set culminated in the anthemic “Trouble on Oxford Street”, leaving the audience chanting for more, long after the final notes had faded.

Skinny Lister’s performance at the Shamrock Rebellion was nothing short of spectacular. With their enveloping energy, captivating stage presence, and irresistible melodies, they proved themselves as true masters of the folk punk genre. If you ever have the chance to catch them live, don’t miss out — you’re in for a wild ride.

This was my first-time seeing Amigo the Devil. It was amazing!

They delivered a set that left a a mark on both newcomers and longtime fans alike. With an electrifying performance that blended dark folk melodies with raw intensity, Amigo the Devil proved why they are rising stars in the music scene.

From the moment they took the stage, it was clear that Amigo the Devil was here to make a statement. Lead singer Danny Kiranos, with his confident presence and haunting vocals, commanded the audience’s attention from the very first note. His charisma was undeniable, effortlessly drawing the crowd into his world of macabre storytelling and twisted balladry.

One of the highlights of the set was Kiranos’ engaging banter with the crowd; his quick wit making a genuine connection with the audience. Whether sharing anecdotes between songs or cracking jokes with concertgoers, Kiranos’ charm and authenticity were on full display throughout the performance.

The setlist was a carefully curated mix of fan-favorites and new material, each song a testament to Amigo the Devil’s unique blend of folk, country, and punk influences. Tracks like “It’s All Gone” and “Once Upon a Time at Texaco Pt. 1” set the stage with their eerie melodies and evocative lyrics, while “Cannibal Within” and “Murder at the Bingo Hall” showcased the band’s darker, more introspective side.

But perhaps the most unforgettable moment came with “Hell and You”– a haunting song that struck a chord with everyone.

As Kiranos poured his heart and soul out, the audience was transported to another realm, hanging onto his every word with bated breath. Amigo the Devil’s performance at Shamrock Rebellion was nothing short of mesmerizing. With their emotive stage presence, emanating energy, and undeniable talent, we should all keep an eye on this band as they’re destined for greatness.

It was midday when punk rock veterans Face to Face delivered a blistering set that left the crowd exhilarated and craving more. With their relentless energy and unapologetic attitude, the genre icons kept their audience riveted with an electrifying stage presence and powerhouse sound. From the moment they launched into their opening anthem, “A-OK”, it was clear that Face to Face meant business. The band’s ferocious intensity and tight musicianship set the tone for the evening, as they tore through their setlist with unrivaled passion and precision.

Tracks like “I Want” and “No Way Out but Through” hit with the force of a sonic punch to the gut, their catchy hooks and anthemic choruses inciting riotous sing-alongs and mosh pits galore. But it wasn’t just about the music… Face to Face engaged with the crowd on a visceral level, feeding off the energy of their fans and returning it tenfold.

One of the standout moments of the set came with “Bent but Not Broken”, a defiant anthem of resilience and determination. As frontman Trever Keith belted out the lyrics with unbridled passion, it was impossible not to be swept up in the emotion of the moment.

As the set continued with hits like “Velocity”, “Blanked Out”, and “You’ve Done Nothing”, Face to Face proved themselves to be masters of their craft, effortlessly blending punk rock fervor with melodic sensibility.

The crowd responded in kind, unleashing their pent-up energy in a frenzy of stage dives and crowd-surfing.

The set culminated in a triumphant encore featuring “I Won’t Lie Down” and “Farewell Song”, leaving everyone clamoring for more, long after the final notes had faded. In the end, Face to Face’s performance at Shamrock Rebellion was nothing short of legendary, a testament to their enduring influence and unwavering commitment to punk rock ethos.

As legends of the punk rock scene, the Buzzcocks stormed the stage next, delivering a performance that defied the passage of time. With their raw energy and irrefutable talent, the band’s legacy remains as potent as ever, captivating audiences with a set that paid homage to their iconic sound.

From the moment they launched into their opening anthem, “What Do I Get?”, the Buzzcocks made a statement. The band’s trademark blend of razor-sharp guitar riffs and momentous melodies ignited the crowd, transporting them back to the heyday of punk rock.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the performance was lead singer Pete Shelley’s vocals, which sounded as powerful and impassioned as they did 40 years ago. With his distinctive voice and commanding charisma, Shelley’s presence was nothing short of electrifying.

Hits like “Fast Cars”, “Why Can’t I Touch It?”, and “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)” hit with the force of a sonic sledgehammer, their unending energy prompting frenzied dancing and sing-alongs from the crowd. But it wasn’t just about the classics: newer tracks like “Sick City Sometimes” and “Manchester Rain” showcased Buzzcocks’ continued relevance and vitality in the punk rock landscape.

As the set drew to a close with the anthemic “Harmony in My Head”, Buzzcocks’ timeless sound and unwavering commitment to punk rock continues to inspire new generations of fans to embrace the spirit of rebellion and individuality. Long live Buzzcocks!

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls kept energy bursting at Shamrock Rebellion with a more pop punk sound. For me, it was a first-time experience witnessing the band live and it was nothing short of unforgettable. From the first chord, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls radiated undeniable authenticity. With their clean-cut image, they shatter stereotypes about punk rock, proving that the genre is so much more than leather jackets and Doc Martens; it’s about attitude, spirit, and a commitment to speaking truth to power.

The band’s setlist was a carefully crafted journey through their discography, each song resonating with the crowd in its own unique way. Tracks like “Punches” and “Nevermind the Back Problems” hit with a intriguing intensity, while “Photosynthesis” and “Recovery” offered moments of introspection and reflection.

And we can’t overlook Frank Turner’s storytelling prowess.

Between songs, he regaled epic tales, personal experiences, anecdotes, and words of wisdom, weaving a narrative that drew festival-goers deeper into the heart of the music. Highlights of the evening included the anthemic “I Still Believe” and the raucous energy of “Four Simple Words”, each serving as a rallying cry for unity in the face of adversity. Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls delivered a performance that pushed boundaries while speaking to the universal human experience. With powerful messages, unbounded energy, and remarkable talent, they are true ambassadors of punk rock in the modern age. Here’s to many more unforgettable performances in the years to come!

In an evening set against the picturesque backdrop of Silverado Canyon, Flogging Molly took centerstage to close out the first annual Shamrock Rebellion, delivering a performance that transcended mere entertainment and delved deep into the soul of Irish culture. With their signature blend of punk and Celtic rock, the band proved once again why they are icons of modern Irish music.

From the opening chords of “Drunken Lullabies”, Flogging Molly’s brilliance was immediately apparent.

With their riling energy and masterful musicianship, they effortlessly honored the rich traditions of Celtic music while infusing it with the raw intensity of punk and folk. Each song was a dedication to their craft, as they seamlessly transitioned from anthemic sing-alongs to soul-stirring ballads with unparalleled grace.

One of the evening’s highlights came with the live rendition of “Rebels of the Sacred Heart”, a song not often performed in their sets. The audience was left breathless. Additionally, the resurrection of “Whistles the Wind” excited longtime fans, with its haunting melodies reverberating through the canyon.

But perhaps the most poignant moment of the night came with the band’s tribute to the late greats of Irish culture and music, Shane MacGowan and Sinéad O’Connor, through their rendition of “Crush”. With lead singer Dave King‘s impassioned vocals and the band’s soulful instrumentation, they paid homage to these legends in a way that felt both reverent and deeply personal.

As the set drew to a close with anthems like “What’s Left of the Flag” and “Seven Deadly Sing”, it was clear that Flogging Molly had not only taken the reins of modern Irish music, but had elevated it to new heights. With profound respect for their roots, they proved themselves to be true torchbearers of a tradition that spans generations. Long may they reign as champions of Irish music.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the first Shamrock Rebellion was the sense of camaraderie that permeated every moment. As fans from all walks of life came together to celebrate their love of music, it was a clear reminder how music brings people in a transformative way unlike any other.

The debut Shamrock Rebellion festival was a resounding success, with its stellar lineup of unforgettable performances. It’s pure magic when music and community collide.

Photography by Sean McCracken; recap by Shane Pase

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