Hi-Fi Rockfest: Punks Rock Queen Mary in New Long Beach SoCal Venue

True Rivals - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia
Richie Ramone performs at Hi Fi Rockfest in Long Beach
Richie Ramone performs at Hi Fi Rockfest in Long Beach – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Queen Mary Events Park Hosts Sonics, Kennedys, The Two Tens

By DONNA BALANCIA – The first annual Hi-Fi Rockfest was an interesting mix with everyone from Luicidal showing its Southern California muscle and The Two Tens to  veterans The Dead Kennedys and Naked Raygun headlining.

At a new Long Beach venue, the bands performed in the shadow of The Queen Mary and the first-time event christened The Queen Mary Events Park for its first use, event employees said.  Parking, though pricey at $18, was convenient.

As for the performances, the new event brought in some top talent.

Richie Ramone – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Richie Ramone and his band performed some old favorites as well as some of his newer tunes.

Ramone, whose band was a clear favorite among attendees, played some of the notables, including “Somebody Put Something in my Drink,” “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Cretin Hop” and “I’m Not Jesus.”

“Richie’s a real showman,” said one Rockfest attendee. “He’s single-handedly bringing back the style of ’70s punk rock and what it’s all about.  I think he smelled a little like he was  drinking.”

Ramone drummed with pink sticks to call attention to Breast Cancer Awareness.  He walked on stage with a half-empty bottle of Jamison, which may have contributed to his collapse onto audience members who hoisted him back on the stage at one point during his set.

“It’s a hard way to make a living, sometimes I really wonder why I ever went into making music for a living,” he said afterwards.  Judging by the audience reaction, he’s doing just fine.  His album, Entitled, is strong and he’s coming out with a new project soon.

Trevor of the True Rivals – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Upstarts the True Rivals, based in Los Angeles, held the audience attention as they jumped and moved all over the stage.

“We enjoy what we do,” said frontman Kevin Bensignano. “It’s cool to be able to play with these great bands.”

The True Rivals is a band to watch.

Detroit’s Downtown Brown was entertaining with a great front man who stole the show.

The concert kicked off with The Two Tens, whose set included “Ella Don’t Like My Hat,” “I Can’t Win,” and other up and coming hits.  Vocalist and guitarist Adam Bones is dynamic and his hair seems to have a life of its own. Drummer Rikki Styxx is a wild woman behind the kit and has friends and family in all facets who support the music.

The Sonics – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The Dollyrots’ Kelly Ogden, Luis Cabeza and even their 2-year-old son, River, on hand.  Styxx recently played with The Dollyrots on their recently ended tour.

The Sonics, meanwhile, still know how to put on a show after many years in the limelight.  The original punk rockers had the crowd jumping, despite drummer Dusty Watson losing a stick into the audience — and the extreme heat of the day.

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