Twenty-nine years ago this week (1/10/80), Styx appeared at the San Diego Sports Arena, with opening act the Babys.
“When a band as seamlessly mediocre as Styx can draw one of the larger crowds assembled at the Sports Arena in recent months,” wrote Reader concert critic Steve Esmedina, “it is an indication that any looming notions about the advanced sophistication of today’s rock audience are pure whimsy.… Styx displayed no appreciable chops, a diffident stage persona, and no imagination. The band members played their stupid songs exactly as they sound on record.”
Two days later (1/12/80), the Tubes played a 14-song set at the Catamaran near Mission Beach, which was just starting to book national acts. Sans their usual cabaret stage props, singer Fee Waybill playfully mocked one audience member, calling him a “surfer Nazi” with the explanation that “They sit on the beach and drink blood.” He also singled out police in attendance, earning cheers whenever he referred to San Diego’s “dumb cops.”
The set list featured around a half dozen then-new songs, as well as “White Punks on Dope” and “Mondo Bondage.” The encore was a medley of two Who songs, “Baba O’Reilly” and “The Kids Are Alright.”
— Jay Allen Sanford