Out of the many hardcore punk bands to emerge from Southern California in the early '80s, Bad Religion has lasted the longest and stayed the most relevant. For over a decade, they retained their underground credibility without turning out a series of indistinguishable records that all sound the same. Instead, the band refined their attack, adding touches of psychedelia, heavy metal, hard rock and a considerable dose of melody along the way.
Between their 1982 debut and their first major-label record, 1993's Recipe For Hate, Bad Religion stayed vital in the hardcore community by tightening their musical execution and keeping their lyrics complex and righteously angry. Founders and principle songwriters Brett Gurewitz (guitar) and Greg Graffin (vocals) have remained the mainstays in the band, though Gurewitz has taken hiatuses from Bad Religion at points to deal with substance abuse problems (in the early '80s) and to tend to his indie punk label Epitaph (especially during The Offspring's initial explosion of popularity).
To coincide with the band's 30th anniversary tour, Bad Religion issued a new live album recorded in 2010 called 30 Years Live that was released as a free download for those who had signed up on the mailing list at Bad Religion's website. It also previewed some new songs from their 15th studio album The Dissent Of Man. The group went through a major change with the departure of longtime guitarist Greg Hetson in 2013, but Bad Religion announced plans to record it's 17th studio album in the fall of this year. The band brings it's "Battle of the Centuries" shows to the Bay Area, playing older material (songs from the 20th Century) on Sunday with support from Adolescents and tunes recorded since the year 2000 (songs from the 21st Century) on Monday with opening act OFF!
Sunday-Monday, April 19-20, 8 p.m. $28-$30