Young punks, old New Wavers and goths of indeterminate age turned out in their finest black for the return of Cruel World in Pasadena on Saturday, May 20.
Fans packed the grounds of the Brookside at the Rose Bowl golf course early in the day to hear a mix of vintage acts that either broke out in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s or younger bands for whom that sound and style is a primary influence.
In the former group you had bands such as Berlin, which played early hits such as “The Metro” and “Take My Breath Away,” as well as one-hit wonders like the Vapors of “Turning Japanese” fame.
“OK, we’re going to play that song now,” announced Modern English singer Robbie Grey as the band kicked off its biggest hit, “I Melt With You” on a day hot enough to melt everyone everywhere all at once.
Later in the day Cruel World had bigger names on tap including Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, Love and Rockets, and Echo and the Bunnymen.
But the biggest draw was headliner Siouxsie of Souxsie and the Banshees playing solo now. Cruel World is only her sixth show anywhere since 2008 when she last appeared in the United States.
The excitement for her set was clear from the T-shirts on fans Saturday, a plurality of which featured her face and name.
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Check back for updates on the Cruel World Festival.