Steve Kilbey fronts The Church at Cruel World 2022 on May 14, 2022. (Photo by Nacho DelaGarza)
The inaugural Cruel World Festival was undoubtedly a smash. Fifty thousand people filed into Brookside at the Rose Bowl earlier this month to see the most impressive gathering of new wave and post-punk bands in decades thanks to a festival produced by Goldenvoice.
There are certain songs you wanted to hear and certain bands you wanted to see represented at such a thing of course. You would want to hear “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus, “Whip It” by Devo, and for my money surely “Under the Milky Way” by The Church.
DEVO steals the show at the inaugural Cruel World Festival on May 14, 2022. (Photo courtesy Cruel World)
Last weekend, California mega-festival organizer Goldenvoice finally fulfilled its pandemic-delayed vision of presenting a gala event consisting solely of alternative new wave and post-punk bands of the ’70s and ’80s coupled with younger bands who have adapted a similar sound in the 2010s and 2020s.
And so it was that an estimated 50,000 people (the capped capacity of the park) streamed into Brookside at the Rose Bowl for the first day of the newly minted, annual Cruel World Festival on Saturday, May 14.
Here is a recap of five of the best acts to play that day.