10 Must-Hear Tracks at Cruel World Festival in Pasadena

Published May 6, 2024

The Cruel World festival is set to bring a wave of nostalgia to the lush Brookside at the Rose Bowl this Saturday, with an impressive lineup of new wave, goth, and post-punk legends from the '80s, as well as contemporary artists influenced by that golden era in music.

Legendary Headliners and Iconic Acts

Leading the pack is the recent Rock Hall of Fame inductee Duran Duran, with the equally iconic Blondie performing prior to them. The festival celebrates a constellation of MTV-era icons including Adam Ant, Simple Minds, and Gary Numan. The spirit of the era is also kept alive by newer acts such as Interpol and Dreamcar.

Festival Schedule Conflicts

Festival-goers are faced with tough scheduling decisions: Should one experience The Motels, General Public, or The Mission UK in overlapping afternoon time slots? Make the tough choice between main stage veterans like Adam Ant and Soft Cell or catch a bit of Simple Minds? These are the hard questions for attendees who want to catch all the classics.

A Selection of Standout Performances

With such a rich selection, here are 10 unmissable performances that stand out:

1) Duran Duran - 'Hungry Like the Wolf': Expect an electric set brimming with sing-along hits from 'Planet Earth' to 'Ordinary World'.

2) Blondie - 'Dreaming': The group's extensive catalogue ensures a familiar and irresistible performance, with 'Dreaming' spotlighting their infectious blend of sounds.

3) Tones on Tail - 'Go!': Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins bring back their post-punk dance anthem in a rare reunion.

4) Placebo - 'Running Up That Hill': For a modern twist on '80s vibes, Placebo's rendition of the Kate Bush classic is a set-closer to look forward to.

5) Simple Minds - 'Alive and Kicking': The Scottish band's anthemic hit promises to be a powerful sing-along moment.

6) The Jesus and Mary Chain - 'Just Like Honey': Expect a taste of noise pop and shoegaze origins with this seminal track.

7) Ministry - 'Work For Love': Al Jourgensen's early new wave work will inspire fans to hit the dance floor.

8) Heaven 17 - '(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang': Expect a politically charged dance number with a message that still resonates today.

9) Gary Numan - 'Cars': Numan brings his chilling synth rock to life, performing his biggest hit live.

10) General Public - 'Tenderness': Dave Wakeling's soulful pop shines through in this heartwarming track, as audiences enjoy music from General Public and possibly The English Beat.

music, festival, nostalgia