Steve Soto Tribute LiveStream Concert to Benefit Save Our Stages and NITO

Words by Amber Meyer

August 22nd, 2020 marks the first worldwide livestream Steve Soto punk rock birthday tribute celebration since Steve’s passing in 2018. 

The late, great, punk rock veteran, Steve Soto was there from the beginning of Southern California’s burgeoning punk scenes. In 1979, he founded Agent Orange, at age 16, followed by his next band, The Adolescents in 1980.

Steve was always on the Orange County scene performing in many legendary SoCal punk bands including Manic Hispanic, Joyride, 22 Jacks, Punk Rock Karaoke, Legal Weapon, Black Diamond Riders and more and he fronted his own band Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts.

Soto’s love for making and playing music made Steve a mainstay in the OC punk scene. His style, dedication, and diversity earned Soto punk rock legend status. 

Beginning at 5:00 PM PST this Saturday, a special fundraising livestream event will be hosted by punk rock icon and comedian, Joe Sib, who was Soto’s former bandmate in 22 Jacks, and frontman of punk rock band Wax, as well as co-founder of SideOneDummy Records..

An all star punk rock line up featuring members of the Adolescents, as well as members of Social Distortion, Lagwagon, Elvis Cortez, Death By Stereo, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Swingin’ Utters, Joyride, CH3, Manic Hispanic, Greg Antista and the Lonely Streets and more surprise guests will appear live at Social Sanctuary and perform songs written by Steve Soto.

Tickets are now on sale at http://stevesototributeconcert.veeps.com

All proceeds of ticket sales go to NITO – National Independent Talent Organization and Save Our Stages– National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). Their mission is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live music venues and promoters throughout the United States.

Because of the global pandemic, independent music venues are dangerously close to closing permanently. It is vital congress passes the #RestartAct, which includes a new loan program to provide funding to cover 6 months of payroll, benefits, and fixed operating expenses for businesses that have taken a substantial revenue hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn how you can help, visit: https://www.saveourstages.com.

The Steve Soto Tribute Concert is being put on by Free Mason Productions. The production company of Cathy Masona 20-year lifer in the punk scene, Mason has managed tours and productions for a myriad of rock bands including Lagwagon, Bad Religion and Rancid. In 2010 she began running all production for Punk Rock Bowling, a music festival and bowling tournament hosted in Las Vegas. 

 “I really want everybody that’s been hit by this to be taken care of,” Mason says. “We’ve lost all of our income, we lost everything we’ve known about our lives. If I can help anyone pay their rent for the month, it will make a difference. Now is the time we really should be taking care of each other.” 

With this unique event being held in honor of Steve Soto’s birthday, I reached out to Joe Sib to find out more about his friendship with Steve, and Joe had this to say.

“Steve Soto embodied the true essence of what punk rock is. As a performer, there is no difference between you and the audience. We are one and the same. This attitude shaped a lifelong friendship with Steve, an icon in punk rock.”

Fan or friend, many people have fond memories of Steve. Craig “Skibs” Barker, Huntington Beach native and long time drummer of OC’s punk as fuck band The Stitches, shared this memory.

“Steve was always super supportive with a ‘That was awesome’ while they were setting up after we would play. I’ll never forget the first time he said “Hey Skibs, what’s up?” In my head, I was thinking, “Holy shit! Steve Soto knows who I am!”

Draq, owner of the Vinyl Solution, OC’s oldest and punkest record shop, had this to say about Steve and the many bands he had been part of. 

“You can’t even not give credit to Steve Soto’s influence and bands. I’m a Steve Soto fan, not an Adolescent fan, but I can’t remember any other Orange County punk album other than “The Blue Album”’(the Adolescents self-titled album) being voted #1 for Orange County Punk Album of All Time and it was up against other born and bred OC bands like Social Distortion, T.S.O.L., and The Crowd. Hands down “The Blue Album” won every year. It is punk rock in Orange County. They captured the sound of O.C. punk on vinyl.”

Soto was one of greats, and his legacy lives on through all of the music he created. R.I.P. Steve. You are missed.

Get your tickets, more info and the livestream at: https://stevesototributeconcert.veeps.com

 To learn how you can help Save Our Stages, please visit: https://www.saveourstages.com

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