Did I just wake up to a text from Punk Rock Bowling? Nuts.
Day 2 is upon us! And whether you're seeping in, hitting up brunch with Blag Dahlia or sliding into the pool show with Guttermouth, it's go time!
Las Vegas Punk Rock is back on full display to open up the day with Suburban Resistance. Their look has a more Heavy Metal vibe so it’s a shock when a shit ton of melody and a Toy Dolls-esk scream came Kevin Wilcox and his flowing dread bun that makes Boy George, and me, jealous.
These guys are no strangers to the scene with Adam Bomb from The Faction on guitar and Kevin playing in a few outfits like UV Rays and Warsquad that had runs on the east coast. Tom Urban & Erin McGuire on guitar with Pat McGuire on bass round out this death squad that will have you moving around in this apocalyptic wasteland in no time.
We can’t wait to see them play their two albums that came out through quarantine and this year in the local bars, so be sure to check them out around town. Viva La Resistance!
The Side Eyes
Here we go! When The Side Eyes come on stage it’s easy to judge what’s about to happen but it’s always a pleasure when those expectations are shattered immediately.
Astrid McDonald runs the stage with her microphone and quickly puts to rest any approachable feelings you should have about her based on the outfit and make-up. She can sound as clean as early Gwen in her ska days, with a lot of that fuck-off attitude, but then get as dirty and gritty as Krysta Cameron from iwrestledabearonce and make any cat-caller hush up immediately.
Oh yeah. That little banshee can scream!
A five-piece band where everyone is playing an instrument is almost unheard of in Punk Rock, but welcome to where Streetlight Manifesto and Devo will be heading things up, and Decent Criminal give us a taste of why you’d need it.
Decent Criminal's vocals have a soft poetic touch to them with the band playing an upbeat and gritty, college punk sound behind them. They remind me of Drug Church if they got on antidepressants and made a recovery album.
If you’ve ever followed skater Steve Caballero, you know he’s not only an extreme sports legend, but has been in and out of Punk bands in the SoCal scene for decades(including The Faction with members of current Suburban Resistance). His newest venture is an L.A. Punk Rock sound with Urethane and their debut album Chasing Horizons showcasing on the main stage for their biggest stage yet.
Steve isn’t the only vet on this lineup, with Tim Frog on guitar/vocals and Chad Ruiz on bass from S.D.H.C outfit War Fever, and former Bombpops drummer Dylan Wade commanding the set behind them; these guys are going to be a band we’ll be hearing a lot about.
“Hold a Place in Time” is a pure Punk jam that can make anyone start nodding their head and eventually let out an ‘ooouuu okay” of approval once that nod eventually turns into a full on body jerking jam. Check out their video for “Wyoming” and I can assure you it will be stuck in your head all day.
After two days of asking myself "is that Doug from Dag Nasty running around?" it was finally confirmed when he got on stage and started letting everyone know, "Hey, you in the back. I see you. Come on up. Everyone come on up", then him and his counterpart on the mic Peter Cortner suddenly let out of scream of "I NEVER GAVE. A. FUCK!" and went immediately into the title track of Dag Nasty's Can I Say and never stopped the chaos from there.
Fist immediately went in the air and the pit opened with a familiar vibe that only comes out for the classics. This was a Dag Nasty set that couldn't be called a Dag Nasty set, and we wouldn't want it any other way. Well, unless Brian Baker all of the sudden appeared.
Middle fingers high for the anti-government melody of Good Riddance! One of the most consistent acts that attend Punk Rock Bowling and we couldn’t think of a better way to keep the crowd moving.
“Woooooe it’s time to go!” in “Shadow of Defeat” and burning it down in “Article IV”. You can always count on Good Riddance to bring the action and this year was no different.
We aren't sure where Plague Vendor came from, but we want them to keep coming, and coming, and coming! After quarantine you really have to judge a person when they say, "I just got out after being locked up for twenty-two months", because when Brandon Blaine's gangster ass says it, it may have been for real.
Brandon reminds me of a mix between Jack White and Iggy Pop with his style, but the voice gets to a level of Refused when he starts going. Channeling Little Richard in "I Only Speak in Friction" was an impressive showing of his skills and energy, and we all wanted more.
Jumping out in the crowd showed his personality off even more when trying to get support from the security. "You sir are a bad motha fucka. You hold me tighter than my girl does. Sorry baby!"
Ladies and gentlemen, the entire reason we're here. If not for the Stern Brothers and BYO Records we wouldn't have Punk Rock Bowling, and without Youth Brigade, there would be no BYO Records. Having Shawn and Adam on sage is a privilege in itself, but we did have to go through this set without Mark on drums while he is at home having a baby.
No matter what, Youth Brigade shows will always be a great time. Shawn took a second to let us know "This song's about drinkin'. I hope y'all are drunk or gettin' there" before getting in to the classic "Where Are The Old Man Bars" that set the crowd into a frenzy.
"We're gonna play another old one. They're all old, we haven't recorded a new song in like ten years." That's perfectly okay with us if we can keep hearing classics like "What Are You Fighting For" and the singalong close out with "Sink With California".
Let's go! The Bronx Crew from L.A. are back to show us what it's all about!
If you haven't been on the other side of Matt Caughthran screams then you better act like you know every word, because he's coming out to mingle and make sure you learn. It's an every show occurrence for "Knifeman" that never fails to get everyone off their feet, so when you here the guitar drop and the drums start, you better learn it fast:
"We used to be gifted, and persistent! Now we're bored, reminiscent! We used to laugh at how misery spoon-fed our desire...!" Then prepare for the wall of bodies everywhere around you!
"From all the way in the back of the food stamp line! And straight outta mother fucking rehab! It's the good! The bad! And the Leftover Crack!"
It's been a long time since PRB 2011 when we saw Leftover Crack for the first time on the fest stage, and now it's like we can't get rid of Stza no matter how hard we try. Whether it's Chocking Victim, LoC, or just taking pictures with fans in the crowd, we hope it never ends.
Speaking of, that didn't stop the Crack Rock Steady sound from going all the way back to Chocking Victim's "Infested" and crowd favorite "500 Channels", all while not forgetting the classics "Rock the 40oz" and "Gang Control".
Pickitup! I hope you strapped on your dancing shoes for the first set of rude boys the weekend has seen.
The Aggrolites quickly show you the only slouch here will be in your pants and back while your skanking legs go crazy below you. Kicking it off with "Free Time" and through the chant happy "Don't Let Me Down", an Aggrolites show in Las Vegas always shows the crowd a fun time, but a PRB Aggrolites show is off the chain.
We are finally here with Streetlight Manifesto at Punk Rock Bowling. After a close year where they played an independent show the Thursday before the fest ,they're finally here to take us through a fairytale journey that makes us yell to the heavens.
No time for Silence as we started things off immediately with "A Momet of Violence" sending a rush of horns and screams our way that can only be met with skanking and fist in the air. Into the furious brass section that creeps in to the starry night of "The Three of Us" that lets out the loudest section of woe's we've heard all weekend.
Singing along all the way through to the title track from Somewhere in the Between, it's a shock this is the first time we're going through a Streetlight Manifesto set at PRB. After this unforgettable set we're sure everyone wants to make this a regular occurrence.
Youth of Today
"If I want to make a difference in this world, then I've gotta act a little different. If I want to make a change in the world, then I've gotta change. I'm sick of pointing fingers, I've gotta take responsibility. THIS SONGS CALLED MAKE A CHANGE!"
Most of us have never heard these words live, but it's about time Youth of Today make the stop at PRB to teach us a thing or two about those true hardcore sounds, and we were ready!
"Hey Punk Rock Bowling! If we're gonna do anything this world, it's...." then the crowd takes over with "TAKE A STAND!" Straight Edge anthem after Straight Edge anthem, Youth of Today are the truest outfit to ever do it.
40 YEARS OF GROUP SEX!
All weekend there's been a group of punks that you can see only come pout for a special occasion. It may be their age that shows it, but mostly it's half way through the day you start to see the acid flashbacks (or shit, maybe the dose they took in the hotel) start to take over the older crowd when they get a few drinks in them. No matter your age, tolerance level, or fucking diaper size, we're all here to see Keith Morris and the Circle Jerks fuck shit up.
Blasting out immediately into "Deny Everything" it was time for the spectacle we've been waiting for decades to see. Not a song off Group Sex was missed with a full catalog of 90 second punches to the face the Circle Jerks have perfected in-between.
There's no doubt that Keith will be back with Flag or the almighty Off!, but this Circle Jerks set was a treat. The 40 Year Tour of Group Sex is just starting its way around the world so jump in the orgy while you can.
Photos of Suburban Resistance and The Side Eyes by Vinnie Corcoran, used with permission. All other photos by Courtney Ware for ZrockR Magazine, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.