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For someone who has made his living for the past two decades playing punk rock in gloomy Washington state, things were going a little too smoothly for MxPx frontman Mike Herrera. The weather for his noontime poolside acoustic set at the San Diego Music Thing conference was postcard-perfect. His show started on time. His audience was well behaved. And then, just as all credibility was on its way out the window...

“I broke a string.”

Herrera blamed San Diego’s salty ocean air for the mid-song mishap, but in true punk fashion, Herrera wasn’t exactly treating his guitar with kid gloves. Although the gig was an intimate showcase of both his pop-punk MxPx material and newer songs from country-tinged side-project Tumbledown, Herrera hardly phoned in his performance, slamming guitar chords alongside full-effort vocals. Still loyal to the DIY credo, Herrera held an impromptu Q&A session with the audience while two assistants watched him change his own guitar string, the second he said he’d broken in as many days.

Though Herrera finished his set with “Doing Time,” a 17-year-old MxPx song, he told the crowd he’s got lots of future plans – touring, recording, podcasting – that seem to signal nothing but sunny skies ahead for his fans.

  • Concert: Mike Herrera
  • Date: September 14
  • Venue: Sheraton Mission Valley
  • Seats: stage-front
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