Sunday, August 28, 2016

Live: Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, August 24, 2016)

Thirty years have passed since the release of the last Dead Kennedys studio album, but the ideas that this seminal punk rock band stood for remain just as relevant today. Jello Biafra may be 58 years old now, but he remains a powerful performer and with The Guantanamo School of Medicine, the band he formed 8 years ago, he is still railing against the powers that be with the same conviction, passion and wit as he did with his old band all those years ago.

Songs from his new band's discography, like "Satan's Combover", "John Dillinger", "Mid-East Peace Process" or "Panic Land" are not lacking in punk rock power or vitriolic bite, but the highlights of the riotous 100-minute set (including the three encores) that we witnessed at Gagarin 205 were undoubtedly those that were lifted from the Dead Kennedys songbook, as the frenzied mosh pit in front of the stage can testify.

The first eruption came mid-set when the signature drum intro from "California Über Alles" gave the signal to the faithful to go berserk. The same scenes were repeated later with the brief explosion of "Nazi Punks Fuck Off", its message, sadly, more relevant than ever in 2016, and again later during the encores with "Holiday in Cambodia", "Riot" and "Too Drunk to Fuck".

Punk rock has now entered its fourth decade but the social and political situations that ignited this musical revolution have not gone away. Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine show that punk is not going away either and it remains as vital and necessary now as it was in 1976. So go and start your own band, this story is far from over...

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine - Holiday in Cambodia, live @ Gagarin 205 (August 24th, 2016)

'80s Greek punks Stress opened for Jello Biafra and the GSM (Aug. 24, 2016)

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