My favorite Hanukkah memory is covering the Eight Crazy Nights tour for the Forward in 2006. The tour featured Yidcore, Jewdriver, and the Zydepunks as well as Jericho’s Echo: Punk Rock in the Holy Land. I attended shows on the first two nights of Hanukkah in San Francisco and Berkeley. After that tour, it was inevitable that I’d write Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk.
Check out my Forward article, which noted, “The tour featured a magical world where Manischewitz wine flows like water, a limitless supply of bagels is available for noshing and throwing, and yarmulkes are worn just for fun.” Take a look back at that magical world with the photos below.
The First Night of Hanukkah: San Francisco
Thanks to the Zydepunks, the tour’s first mosh pit broke out halfway into the first song.
Given the Zydepunks’ mix of punk, klezmer, zydeco, and Celtic folk, dancing wasn’t limited to moshing.
Yidcore singer Bram Presser recites the Hanukkah blessings as Jewdriver singer Ian Stuartstein holds the microphone.
Bram lights the menorah.
Jewdriver bassist Kilgore Gefilte is wearing a flimsy white yarmulke on top of a sombrero.
Jewdriver guitarist Max Bagels has boxer shorts that extend past his plaid kilt/skirt.
Scrambles, Yidcore’s rubber chicken mascot, is attached to the microphone.
The Second Night of Hanukkah: Berkeley
At 924 Gilman St., Bram’s finger is pointing high and his tzitzit are hanging low.
Yidcore’s guitarist, Myki, is wearing a Mrs. Claus dress. Tim the bassist is wearing a fake beard.
Jewdriver’s Ian Stuartstein belts out a song.
Max Bagels has clip-on payos.
Zydepunks bassist Paul Edmonds started off the set wearing a yarmulke, but it fell off immediately during the first song. Jewdriver quipped that he’d be Jewish by the end of the tour.
All photos by Michael Croland