Bad Religion @ Cleveland Agora – 1996

Wow did I ever find a gem today on YouTube.

Bad Religion
Bad Religion

For almost 20 minutes this evening I flashed back to one of my favorite concerts ever 12 years ago.  I remember the line up vividly.  It was The Gray Race Tour featuring Bad Religion with special guests Unwritten Law and Dance Hall Crashers at the infamous Cleveland Agora.

I was fresh out of high school, reckless, and an avid punk rocker.  I went to the show with a big group of friends….we took our friend’s mom’s van that had the worst suspension ever.  In fact we had to turn around on route 422 and swap the van out with another friend’s mom’s van.

One thing I recall about that show was there there were cameras all over the place, professional cameras.  The cameras were on the balconies of the Agora as well as on the shoulders of cameramen.  My friends and I got excited because we were going to be filmed during the performance.  We hoped it would be released on VHS (that’s right kids, DVDs did not exist back then).

I owe that tour for introducing SoCal Surf/Skate punk rockers Unwritten Law to me.  I am still a fan of them today.  During their performance I noticed the cameras were not rolling so we all agreed that the camera were there only for Bad Religion.

When Bad Religion took stage we all went insane.  I remember moshing and dancing and just acting like a complete fool.  At times I was just falling on people and letting them push me around as I sang at the top of my lungs.  I was being a carefree 19 year old and was loving every moment of it.  For the record, I was sober too…I got carded when I tried to buy beers….haha.

As the years passed I slowly forgot about that show.  Since none of us could ever hunt down that footage of the show we all figured it was lost.  A few weeks ago one of my buddies who went to that show with me called me telling me he saw some footage of the show on YouTube.  I was in disbelief yet thrilled that it surfaced.  Well thanks to my busy like I completely forgot about that phone conversation until today when I logged onto YouTube and looked it up.

Sure enough, it’s Bad Religion at the Cleveland Agora 1996.  It was a sold out show.  My friends and I were front row slightly to the right of center stage.  I laughed when I saw the pit because I know I was a part of it.  I remember it so clearly and now you can see what I experienced…

Part I:

Part II:

Other footage:

2 thoughts on “Bad Religion @ Cleveland Agora – 1996”

  1. Wow – that’s a helluva triple bill.

    I love that Unwritten Law Music in High Places disc….and Dance Hall Crashers are a fond 90s memory.

    The Agora is so rock and roll – this footage proves it.

  2. That’s me singing along from 1:06 to 1:09 in the first clip. The dude to my left is the one-and-only Jesse “Chaucey” Ray. This is at the Agora Theater in Cleveland, Ohio on April 26, 1996. Recently, I’ve been trying to compile all my old concert tickets and memorabilia, and I found this page while searching the net for information about this show after I couldn’t find my old ticket stub for this concert, but I found something even cooler thanks to this page. Heck, I didn’t even know they were filming that show. Rock on!

    I saw Bad Religion again during that tour, at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 20, 1996 with my friends Scott Floodstrom and Mark Vukovic, and I still have the ticket that I got signed by Greg Graffin after that show. I remember that I told Greg that he was kinda like my dad, and all the punk kids thought it was a diss of some sort, but I assured everyone that it was in a cool way. Jay Bentley was a nice dude too, as I recall, and he even met my dad (who was walking around wondering where the heck we were after the show, haha). I remember that before the show, my friend Scott and I were standing on North High Street near the Newport Music Hall, and a Hare Krishna dude came up and talked with us and gave us books. The book he handed me was “The Journey of Self-Discovery”, and he also gave us a little card which advertised something about New Vrindaban and the Palace of Gold near Moundsville, West Virginia. I’d heard about that funky Palace of Gold for years, and I always wanted to check it out. Anyhow, we thought it was funny walking into a Bad Religion concert with funky Hare Krishna religious propaganda books, haha, we laughed and laughed. Then, a month or so later, some friends and I got together and actually went all the way out to that funky-assed Palace of Gold up in the hills near Moundsville, West Virginia, and that same Hare Krishna dude that was on the street the day of that Bad Religion show was there, and he invited us in and gave us free food and we didn’t die or get brainwashed. Even though I ain’t religious, that funky place is a sight for sore-ass eyes. Also, it has one crazy and scandalous past, man, they were going through some crazy religious schism back at that time, and their Big Swami Kahuna dude was thrown in jail for doing some raunchy things. There’s even a documentary movie about all of that crap entitled “Holy Cow Swami” (by Jacob Young, 1996). Well, anyway, sorry to run on so long about this stuff, but it all relates to those two Badass Religion shows I saw in Ohio back in 1996.

    Thanks again for posting.

    Take Care, Peace, and keep on groovin’,

    – Lee

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