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Things I Overheard at Cruel World 2023 Oh, the things you'll hear people talking about in Pasadena

Things I Overheard at Cruel World 2023

Oh, the things you'll hear people talking about in Pasadena

by Spanish Pantalones, Editor-at-Large
first published: May, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

"Gary Numan's has to have had work done, right - he's like 75 and he looks positively animatronic."

Cruel World 2023
The Rose Bowl
Pasadena, California
May 20 & 21

Against my better judgment, I spent this past Saturday at the Rose Bowl to soak in Cruel World 2023 – the big new-wavey, gothy music festival in Pasadena, California. Here’s what I heard (and possibly said) while I was there…



“What do you mean the VIP bathroom’s air conditioning still isn’t working?”

“Terri Nunn is known throughout the industry for her fantastic set of teeth – it’s just a known thing”

“Am I supposed to feel angry or glad that no one protested when the Vapors played Turning Japanese?”

“No matter how loaded you are, you can always tell it’s tofu.”

“Lots of canes today, huh?”

“I just think it’s weird that we’ve been married for twenty-three years and I’m just now finding out you aggressively dislike Gang of Four.”

“Did he say Martin Fry and ABC or Martin Fry of ABC?”

“Martin’s playing a lot of deep cuts for a festival environment, isn’t he?”

“When does a parasol become an umbrella?”

“Bad news: I think the men’s utility skirt is attempting to happen again.”

“With that hair and those clothes, Steve Stevens looks exactly like my Aunt Kathy.”

“I didn’t like Squeeze already, but them replacing Adam Ant makes me actively loathe them even more, and don’t get me started with Adam Ant – this is the fourth time he’s canceled on me in five years…”

“You keep saying it’s vegan chicken, but you still haven’t told me what the chicken part is made of.”

“As God as my witness, that woman we just walked by in the bolero hat was Poison Ivy.” 

“I mean, this is just a rumor, but my friend is part of the rigging crew and he says he heard that Ian McCulloch didn’t want his face up on the big screens so Echo is the only band of the festival not using video. Again, just a rumor.”

[Audible sniffs] “I smell cloves… Someone’s really taking the occasion on with gusto.”

“You can do whatever you want, but if I were you guys, I’d stay low to the ground and leave right now – the lightning was cutting out Iggy’s sound, and I’ve read rumors of lime-sized hail heading in from the south.”

“I’m filing a class-action lawsuit against Goldenvoice, who’s with me? I’m serious – I’m contacting lawyers on Monday…”

“I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but you can blame this on climate change, too.”



Cruel World 2023 was supposed to be a one-day affair, but after the Pasadena City Fire Marshall ended night one a few songs into Iggy’s set, Iggy and Siouxsie (along with Gary Numan) made a surprise command performance the following evening for those that were brave enough to return. I heard some things there, too…

“Gary Numan’s has to have had work done, right – he’s like 75 and he looks positively animatronic.”

Gary and Billy

“If I tip a little more, can you just fill it with vodka and skip the seltzer?”

“That tofo chicken really fucked me up this morning.”

“You have to assume they’re wearing those Unknown Pleasures shirts ironically, right?”

“I know he looks like a stick of beef jerky now, but I’d still probably do it with [Iggy].”

“Let’s go and beat the traffic – Siouxsie’s voice is making me sad.”

“How much for a t-shirt… Thirty?! How about ten? OK, I’ll take a medium…”

Essential Information
Main Photo: S.P.
Gary and Billy found on Facebooks

Spanish Pantalones

As employee #3, Spanish has worked for OUTSIDELEFT in some capacity since day one. As our editor-at-large, Spanish now calls ‘the road’ home, filing articles about the arts, leisure, and culture when the wi-fi works.

about Spanish Pantalones »»



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