At the first of three sold-out all-ages nights, the Victorville-bred band Face to Face gave a manic, fan-approved 75-minute performance that smartly blended tracks from all five of its albums, though the set list favored music from the latest album, “Reactionary,” and the earliest, 1993’s “Don’t Turn Away” (Fat Wreck Chords).
The punk band has tried to avoid being branded a sellout since at least 1995, when it fought (and lost) to keep its indie radio hit “Disconnected” from being included as a “bonus track” on its first major-label distributed album.
These days, the quartet — which now issues music on its own Lady Luck imprint through BMG-distributed Beyond Music — appears determined to sell out only to their fans, going so far as to let the kids have a direct hand in selecting the tracks (via online voting) that would make up the new “Reactionary” album.
F2F’s strength lies mostly in its propulsive and catchy pop-punk tunes, and at the House of Blues, infectious new numbers “You Could’ve Had Everything” and “Hollow” (a blistering song of self-examination) flowed smoothly with such older faves as the Sex Pistols-inspired show opener “You’ve Done Nothing” and the eyes-open thrasher “Pastel” (“I don’t want a game that I don’t know how to play”).
The band generally kept things moving at a rapid clip, only stopping long enough for green-haired singer-guitarist Trever Keith to thank the fans or plug the new album. A relentless and occasionally violent mosh pit roiled continuously in front of the stage.
Show ended, punk encore style (the band never really left the stage), with a cover of Joan Jett’s 1981 gem “Bad Reputation,” followed by 1995’s “It’s Not Over,” which was sung mostly by the delirious fans.