Reunions Reign at Cal Jam 2018 with Nirvana and Post Pop Depression




Dave Grohl at Cal Jam - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Tenacious D and Garbage Bring Out the Fans

By DONNA BALANCIA

Reunions were the name of the game at Cal Jam 2018, the Foo Fighters second annual rock festival at Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino.

The rumors of a possible Nirvana reunion at the fest were enough to boost ticket sales in the hours leading up to the Foo Fighters-curated event, which still had tickets available when doors opened. Anecdotal attendance estimates were pegged at 24,000, a small drop from the more than 27,000 recorded last year.

Joan Jett and Nirvana members - Photo courtesy of Girl Underground Music
Joan Jett and Nirvana members – Photo courtesy of Girl Underground Music

The Foo Fighters and Nirvana

Joan Jett, Nirvana and the Foo Fighters all combined to make Cal Jam No. 2  a memorable time. With Live Nation on board this year to help out with promotions, marketing and ticketing, Cal Jam 2018 held its ground as a premiere Southern California event. It’s one of the few music gatherings that considers itself a “rock” festival. And with the nostalgic Nirvana rumors coming to fruition Cal Jam held true to the hype.

Dave Grohl brought Nirvana back at least for one night - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Dave Grohl brought Nirvana back at least for one night – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

The Foo Fighters headlined and brought out a reinvigorated version of Nirvana to the stage with John McCauley of Deer Tick slaying the crowd with his versions of tunes including “In Bloom”  and “Scentless Apprentice.” Joan Jett was the featured performer on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Breed” and “All Apologies.”

Grohl sits in – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

 

Giants in the Trees

Earlier in the day, fans got a treat that made it appear virtually confirmed that there would be a Nirvana reunion. That’s because Kris Novoselic’s band, Giants in the Trees, pulled a surprise on the audience when a special drummer by the name of Dave Grohl sat in.

 

Iggy Pop poses the question: 'If I were a hitch-hiker, would you pick me up?'
Iggy Pop poses the question: ‘If I were a hitch-hiker, would you pick me up?’

Iggy Pop and Post Pop Depression

Iggy Pop also had a reunion with his Post Pop Depression Band led by Josh Homme. They put together a successful record and tour with Post Pop Depression a couple of years back and it was good to see the band perform in the Southern California area, where it all started.

Watch Iggy Pop and Post Pop Depression band perform ‘Tonight’ here:

 

Post Pop Depression opened with Iggy songs “Lust For Life,” and “Sister Midnight,” then moved into the Post Pop Depression tunes “Gardenia” and “American Valhalla” before playing “Tonight” “The Passenger,” “No Fun,” and “Here Comes Success.” 

Greta Van Fleet impressed with retro rocker style - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Greta Van Fleet impressed with retro rocker style – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Greta Van Fleet a Rock and Roll Throwback

Greta Van Fleet impressed the crowd as the band struck a note with the rock fans in the house — their music is original but the sound is very much like Led Zeppelin.

The band has a new album set for an Oct. 19 release, called Anthem of the Peaceful Army.  Greta Van Fleet is a peaceful band but the rock music they put out there is able to get people to their feet.

Shirley Manson with a flare for the theatrical - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Shirley Manson with a flare for the theatrical – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Shirley Manson and Garbage 

Always expect the unexpected from Shirley Manson. The Garbage front woman is almost known as much for her style and her fiery political advocacy as she is for her great music. She hit the stage with a red theme going – her hair was bright red in pigtails, her eye makeup was red and she had red fishnets under black shorts and a fluffy (presumed fake fur) black and white jacket.

The crowd waited for her mega-hit “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” and they got it. And a lot more.

Check out the Photo Gallery:

Tenacious D - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Tenacious D – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia