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“We’re the Zeros from Chula Vista, California,” said punk-rock pioneer Javier Escovedo to a packed and sweaty crowd during a “Music Thing” showcase at Bar Pink. Despite their show of local pride and deep San Diego roots, the Zeros are an internationally renowned and respected band. On this night, they reminded their old fans why this is true, and showed new ones why they deserve the distinction.

After warming up with the Chantays’ surf classic “Pipeline,” the band proceeded to rip through their 45-minute set without holding any punches. The lineup consisted of Javier Escovedo on guitar and lead vocals, Hector Penalosa on bass, Baba Chenelle on drums, and Victor Penalosa on guitar. While devoted Zeros fans might lament the absence of Robert Lopez (better known to his fans as El Vez), the knowledge that Victor is Hector’s brother and a stellar musician (currently playing with both the Flamin’ Groovies and the Phantoms), seems to make the substitution more than agreeable.

Escovedo sang for the majority of the set, though Hector Penalosa sang “They Say That (Everything’s Alright),” and Victor ably stepped in on lead vocals for the Lopez-penned “Beat Your Heart Out.” The Zeros were generous with fan favorites, including the punk rock classics “Don’t Push Me Around” and “Wimp” in the set, much to the delight of the crowd. While some of the material the band played was over 25 years old, the band’s authoritative energy and credibility proved that they are anything but a nostalgia act.

  • Concert: The Zeros
  • Seats: General Admission
  • Date: September 13, 2014
  • Venue: Bar Pink
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