Morrissey, Blondie, Devo and More at Cruel World Festival

After two years of music festivals being postponed/ canceled, festivals have finally returned. This past weekend Cruel World took place at Brookside (Golf Club) at the Rose Bowl over Saturday and Sunday (5/14 & 15). The first day the heat was up to 95 and the second day 85.

The lineup featured some of the biggest groups to emerge from the 70’s and 80s’s like Blondie, Devo, Missing Persons, Bauhaus, Public Image Ltd., Psychedelic Furs, The Damned, The Church, Violent Femmes, and English Beat. Blaqk Audio would be one of the newer acts which is AFI’s Davey Havock and Jade Puget. Morrissey closed out both nights.  In total there were 26 bands across three stages starting at noon. The lineup and set times were the same over both days. The only cancellation came from Echo & The Bunnymen due to visa problems. To name a few legendary singers from those groups would be Debbie Harry, Dale Bozzio, Terry Nunn, Mark Mothersbaugh, John Lydon, Richard Butler, Peter Murphy, and Dave Vanian. All sets were between 30-minutes and hour minus Morrissey’s closing sets.”



There were many major hits performed throughout the day. Blondie’s set included “Call Me,” “Rapture,” “The Tide is High,” and “Heart of Glass.” Devo’s set  was less than one hour, but it still included all the wardrobe changes and videos. Devo performed all the hits like “Whip It,” “Girl U Want,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” and “Uncontrollable Urge.” Berlin performed “No More Words,” “The Metro,” and “Take My Breath Away. Missing Persons set included “Destination Unknown,” and “Walking in L.A.” Violent Femmes performed “Blister In the Sun,” and “Kiss Off.” Psychedelic Furs performed “Pretty in Pink,” “Heaven,” and “India.” Public Image Ltd. played their biggest songs like “Public Image,” “This is Not A Love Song,” and “Rise.” If you looked closely you may have noticed some lineup changes among the groups. Currently the original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock is playing with Blondie, B-52’s and David Bowie drummer Zack Alford is Psychedelic Furs new drummer, The Knack bassist Prescott Niles has been with Missing Persons since 2011 and their new drummer is Nate Morton (The Voice). Also Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen played with the Damned and Morrissey’s new drummer is Brendan Buckley (Shakira/Tegan and Sara).

Bauhaus performed just before Morrissey on the Outsiders stage (main stage). Goth-Rock Pioneers Bauhaus were formed in Northampton, England in 1978 and were originally together for just five years. They didn’t return for another 15 years after that and did a reunion tour before breaking up again. Then it was another seven years before Bauhaus would perform again which included a Coachella performance which L.A. Weekly ranked at number five on their top 20 Coachella performances list. In 2008 Bauhaus released their first and last album since 1983 followed by another break up. Bauhaus  would return again in 2019 with three nights at the Hollywood Palladium. The group still includes all four original members: vocalist Peter Murphy, guitarist Daniel Ash, bassist David J, and drummer Kevin Haskins. To name a few bands Bauhaus influenced: Nine Inch Nails. AFI, The Cult, Marilyn Manson, and Ministry.

Violent Femmes


The Damned

As “Double Dare” the first song of their 13-song set began, a closeup of Murphy (standing in back) appeared on the screens and the screens only showed his face throughout the song while the band was playing in darkness with strobes and fog. It was a very fitting way to start off the show since they are a dark and mysterious group. Murphy remained in the back next to the drums through the second song “In the Flat Field,” and on song three “A God in an Alcove” made his way to the front. As the song was ending Murphy put a crown on his head. The set included some of their biggest songs like “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” “Stigmata Martyr,” “Dark Entries,” and ended with their famous cover of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust.

Blaqk Audio

Public Image Ltd

The Church

Missing Persons

The Smiths were easily one of the most important independent groups to come out of the U.K. in the early 80’s.  Although they were just around for five years they released four groundbreaking albums which all hit number 1 on the U.K. Indie chart as well as 14 number one singles on the U.K. Indie Chart. Following the groups break up, front-man Morrissey became a major solo artist and to this day plays arena size venues. Morrissey has released 13 albums as a solo artist. Each release has hit the top 10 in the U.K. with three topping the charts at number one. Morrissey has won 17 NME awards, a Q Award, and a Mojo Award. Morrissey played two completely different sets but both included “The Loop,” “Little Man, What Now?” “Everyday Is Like Sunday,” and both nights ended with The Smiths’ “Sweet and Tender Hooligan.” On Night one Morrissey played one of the Smiths’ biggest hits, 2nd to last “Suedehead” and night two “How Soon Is Now?” was the fourth song. Morrissey also debuted his new single “I Am Veronica,” which he performed both days. Morrissey is the kind of artist you know you’re in the presence of greatness as soon as they walk on stage.

Morrissey has five dates scheduled July 1-9 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.