Doors Open: 7:00 PM
GENERAL ADMISSION 21+: $15.00
TICKET SALE DATES
GENERAL ADMISSION 21+ Public Onsale: March 31, 2023 10:00 AM to September 28, 2023 12:00 AM
w/ Gaytheist & Lazy Sunday
There have been gay musicians hidden throughout rock music history, but Pansy Division when began in 1991 in San Francisco, they were the first to be so boldly open about it. Founded by guitarist/singer Jon Ginoli and soon joined by bassist/vocalist Chris Freeman, with the intent of forming a gay rock band, Pansy Division blew the closet doors open.
Raised on a diet of 60s pop and 70s punk, their sound was suitably crunchy and catchy as hell. They wrote in-your-face lyrics, but did it with a sense of humor. Not only did their music and stance defy stereotypical norms of rock musicians being openly gay, they also broke gay cultural stereotypes that rock wouldn’t interest gay people.
With album titles like Undressed and Deflowered, and song titles like “Bill & Ted’s Homosexual Adventure,” their bluntness and humor stood out amidst the ’90s alterna-rock scene. Says Chris Freeman, “there was a lot of gay culture we couldn’t relate to, so we tried to invent a place for ourselves in it, an alternative for other queer misfits.” Having had the experience of being ostracized by other musicians for being gay and by other gays for being into rock, “we tried to turn our alienation into something positive,” says Ginoli. “Instead of being depressed about it, we tried to make music that would make us—and our audience—happy. We could laugh about it, so we put that joy into the music.”
Beginning in 1993, they put out an album a year for six years on Lookout Records. Their music caught the attention of former Lookout labelmates Green Day, who took Pansy Division on tour for a couple of months in 1994 at the height of the mania surrounding their breakthrough album Dookie. Says Ginoli, ”When we started our band we thought we’d be playing our music to people in their 20s & 30s who were gay or gay-friendly. Suddenly we faced thousands of high school kids each night, an amazing opportunity we never expected to have.” The response was decidedly mixed, but their popularity soared.
Pansy Division toured and recorded almost non-stop during the 1990s, a long the way recruiting a permanent drummer (Luis Illades) and a lead guitarist (first Patrick Goodwin, now Joel Reader).
In 2020 PD had hoped to play a number of 3-day weekends in different parts of the country throughout the year. We managed to do one of them, a trip to Texas at the end of February just before COVID hit. The hope had been for an EU tour in 2021, but we hope to make it over eventually. For 2022, the band has scheduled a handful of shows, including a much-delayed festival appearance at the Mosswood Meltdown in Oakland opening for Bikini Kill, who PD had played with 30 years before at Gilman Street in Berkeley.
To date PD has played 976 shows. The band’s goal is to get to 1000, so if you want to see us live, don’t wait till next time, because there’s a good chance this will be the last time around.
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MOSTLY STANDING / LIMITED BALCONY SEATING
THIS EVENT IS 21+
VALID US OR CANADA ID REQUIRED FOR ENTRY. GUESTS TRAVELING FROM OUTSIDE US/CA MUST PRESENT A VALID PASSPORT.