Few bands have mastered the art of the snarling, politically charged hardcore punk anthem as well as Dead Kennedys. For more than three decades, Jello Biafra and company have been the standard-bearers for compact punk tunes that blend sarcastic humor and serious political sentiment, and fans will be happy to know time has softened none of their acerbic wit. Biafra is known for his combative presence and vitriolic onstage rants, and he remains a supreme showman in his fourth decade with the band. Whether he's satirizing privileged Americans on "Holiday in Cambodia" or criticizing Golden State politics on "California Über Alles", Biafra always gives ticket buyers an adrenaline-fueled show that leaves little doubt why he's revered as one of punk's most iconic figures.
Dead Kennedys formed in San Francisco in 1978 and quickly built a local following with their provocative name and riotous live shows. They released their debut single "California Über Alles" in 1979, hitting the road shortly after for a well-received East Coast tour that helped them establish a national fanbase. The band's 1980 debut album Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables was a Top 40 Hit in the UK, thanks in large part to the single "Holiday in Cambodia" -- a No. 2 hit on the British indie charts and an undisputed punk rock classic. The band remained a formidable musical and political force through the mid-'80s, continually expanding their sound over the course of three more seminal albums before breaking up in 1986. All was not lost, however -- Biafra, original guitarist East Bay Ray, and original bassist Klaus Flouride got the band back together in 2001, and they've been flooring fans around the world with epic performances on tour ever since.