Words & Photos by Greg Jacobs
July 29, 2017 – Alex’s Bar – Long Beach, CA // July 30, 2017 – Constellation Room – Orange County, CA
Big DRILL Car is the best band in the world.
They were actively releasing records and touring from 1987 – 1995.
During that time, they toured the world multiple times and released 5 records, a 6th record, Never Ending Endeavor, was released in 2009, and featured 5 new songs along with some demos and unique recordings.
In the more recent years, the band has played a few shows to support different causes and milestones. In 2016, they regrouped and played in Costa Mesa to raise money for the bass player’s brother’s medical bills. This year they played a couple shows to mark the 30th anniversary of their first release, “Small Block” and to support an art opening including their friends Chris Shary (Descendents’ artist) and me.
Big DRILL Car
Both shows were PACKED. Filled with longtime friends and people seeing the band for the first time (like the band member’s children seeing their dads performing on stage for the first time). While the set lists were different over the 2 nights, the first six songs weren’t … They started each set by playing the EP Small Block in its entirety. This might have been the band’s 30th anniversary, but they didn’t show it on stage … They were bouncing around and sweating like the good old days and they sounded great. With original members Frank Daly (vocals), Mark Arnold (guitar), Bob Thomson (bass) and Danny Marcroft (drums) they sounded as good as they ever have. Bob handed his bass over to Darren Morris to play “Friend of Mine” as he did on the record that features that song, No Worse For The Wear. Side note, this is the correct spelling of Darren’s name … The record company misspelled it on the record.
Both shows were filled with the sing-a-long songs that makes Big DRILL Car the best band in the world; Greenfields, No Need, Annie’s Needle, 16 Lines, Friend of Mine and more. The band crafted a career spanning set filled with songs from Small Block, Type Thing, Batch, No Worse For The Wear and the 2009 release Never Ending Endeavor.
The Widows from San Diego opened both shows and were amazing. To call them a garage band is too simple. While they are a garage band, they are so much more. Go see this band, go buy their records.
PRV13 supported the show at Alex’s but I was working behind the merch booth while they played and wasn’t able to catch any photos. Fronted by Jaime Pina from Chemical People and featuring Greg Cameron on drums (SWA+) these guys are a melodic punk rock powerhouse. Rikk Agnew (Adolescents, Christian Death) played a few tunes with them too.
The only thing I can add is: LET’S DO IT AGAIN!