Over the weekend, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California remodeled into the final word hang-out for the harbingers of darkness younger and previous because the venue held the 2023 version of Merciless World Pageant. The edgier sect of the ’80s new wave crowd and their youngsters, teenaged goths revamping old fashioned mohawks with eco-friendly hair merchandise, and anybody who may move as an additional in The Craft all got here out for the one-day-event-turned-two (Might Twentieth-Twenty first).
They had been all drawn to catch macabre legacy acts like Siouxsie (in her first North American efficiency in 15 years) and darkwave staples like Boy Harsher throughout the day-long expertise. This 12 months, nonetheless, Merciless World proved simply how merciless Mom Nature might be, as a lightning strike and subsequent necessary evacuation by the Pasadena Hearth Division minimize the day quick. The sever climate alert got here a 3rd of the best way via punk godfather Iggy Pop’s hour-long set, leading to his mic being minimize throughout the iconic, “The Passenger.”
Whereas this left many followers disenchanted (bottles had been thrown, boos had been taunted), the cancellation may be seen as a blessing in disguise; pageant producers Goldenvoice rescheduled headliners Pop and Siouxsie for Sunday night, extending the latter’s set from an hour to an hour and a half. The extra date additionally gave attendees a second probability to get pleasure from digital pioneer Gary Numan, who returned for an encore set, in addition to expertise DJ Membership Doom Dave on the principle stage.
All in all, it solely appears becoming that these creatures of the evening would convey lightning and inclement climate to the normally sunny and clear Southern California. Regardless of the sky’s ill-timed pyrotechnics and some final minute cancellations (Adam Ant and The Motels being changed by Squeeze and Berlin, respectively), Merciless World as soon as once more grew to become the supreme vacation spot for different, post-punk iconoclasts and their legions of followers.
Lengthy Reside the ’80s
Say what you’ll concerning the tendencies of the ’80s – your hair would possible agree with you, however someplace between the neon and Reagan, the period’s musical tastemakers gave us a plethora of hits. From karaoke classics like “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin and “Don’t You Need Me” by The Human League, to tongue-in-cheek anthems of enjoyment like “Dancing with Myself” by Billy Idol and “I Soften with You” by Trendy English, the music of the time was catchy, thrilling, and continues to encourage even essentially the most begrudging listener to sing alongside.
In brief, the keenness can’t be denied and the impacts can’t be understated. And for these fortunate attendees of Merciless World 2023, the icons couldn’t be missed. With the aforementioned acts all in attendance — along with Echo & the Bunnymen (a welcome sight contemplating they missed the inaugural 12 months resulting from visa points), ABC, Gang of 4, and Love and Rockets, to call just a few others — the pageant could possibly be thought-about a household reunion for the bands that basically helped launch MTV. Whereas previous and new followers alike might have come for the hits (“Positive, we’ll play that music now,” Trendy English’s Robbie Gray quipped earlier than launching into “I Soften with You”), they had been left blown away by the feverishness and ferocity that demonstrated these new wave legends nonetheless bought it. From Gary Numan’s face paint and excessive kicks to Berlin’s Terri Nunn’s foray into the gang atop a safety guard’s shoulders, the celebrities of the ’80s had been alive, effectively, and able to rock.