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The Dead Kennedys are, amazingly, touring this summer — stopping tonight at the TLA — following a trend that’s been going on with a horde of ‘80s punk bands as of late. Last year, Black Flag reunited as two separate bands made up of lineups from two separate incarnations. Screeching Weasel is a band again, containing one original member. The Descendents play one-off reunions from time to time. Reagan Youth gave it another shot in ‘06 after having been broken up for 17 years. Several ex-members of the Ramones tour in individual bands solely playing Ramones covers. The Misfits are together again, too, sort of.

In many of these cases, the breakups and make-ups have been filled with very un-punk battles over the legal rights to monikers and merchandise, the most public of which were probably The Misfits and Dead Kennedys — both of which are touring without their original lead singers and stand to make a lot of money selling their emblems on t-shirts to scores who aren’t really hip to their music.

Dead Kennedys, for their part, have maintained a touring schedule which only includes setlists of old songs. Other than changing the lyrics of “MTV, get off the air!” to “MP3, get off the web,” the band hasn’t changed much. Having seen some of these reunited groups, know ahead of time that a cover band is all you’re going to get here — which is actually pretty fine. If you weren’t old enough to see Jello Biafra wail through “Holiday in Cambodia,” seeing new singer Ron “Skip” Greer do it while trying to sound like Biafra isn’t exactly the same. But it’s also not that different.

8pm. $29. With Reagan Youth + Burning Streets. TLA, 334 South St.

About The Author

Staff writer

Randy LoBasso is the winner of the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association's 2014 Distinguished Writing Award for his news and politics coverage at Philadelphia Weekly. He has also contributed to Alt Ledes, Salon, The Guardian and PennLive.

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