• Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

The Aquabats Surf Through Vegas at 24 Oxford

The long-awaited return of the almighty Aquabats is finally over with their Totally Real Tour making its stop in Vegas for the second night of their run. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the superheroes in action, but they’re back to kick butt and give the kids what they want like a super villain called them out of retirement, and they brought along the sidekicks Left Alone and the legendary Aggrolites to start their own canon of Punk Rock at 24 Oxford in The Virgin Hotel & Casino.

Going into the show you could see young Aqua-cadets all over the casino floor with their blue jumpsuits and Velcro belts on, and the stark difference between them and the battle-vested punks slamming tall cans at slot machines would throw off the normies, but the real homies know it’s time for the greatest super show on earth, and space!

Left Alone

California legends Left Alone are a headliner in their own right, but having them open up this show was a sweet treat to get us hyped up like a three-year-old eating cady before bed. With most of the crowd being out past their bedtime, a sweet treat may have been the remedy for some of the parents in the crowd to keep their kids awake, but once Left Alone kicked in the keys from “Sad Story” they probably realized that all they needed was that rock-steady sound to keep them awake and going.

Frontman Elvis Cortez can appease any punk, taking on a Spanish twist in some songs and then going right back into jams about their Vegas friend Justino, the tale everyone can dedicate to their ex in “Hate The Day” that got everyone dancing, then finishing it up with the pit of the night for “Mile High”. Left Alone is a usual at Punk Rock Bowling and shows all over SoCal, so be sure to catch them on the rest of this tour and beyond when you seen them on the bill.

The Aggrolites

“I know its hot out there, but let’s make it hotter in here!”

The Aggrolites are back after a set with Roy Ellis at Punk Rock Bowling, and the difference between that festival show and this tour with The Aquabats is a night and day difference. The ode to reggae that has swept punks off their feet for decades is a sound that can’t be matched, and the irie spirit was strong through the entire set with everyone in the room shaking their hips and skanking the night away.

Starting off with John Holtz’s “Raggae from the Ghetto” erupted with a dance party from eveyone on the floor, and it didn’t stop through Raggae Now!‘s hit “Pound for Pound” that also took a left turn down “Electric Avenue”, and went even harder into the Yo Gabba Gabba anthem “Banana” with a banana man onstage singing it back to us.

You couldn’t have asked for a better warm up for The Supershow, but it was time to strap ourselves in for an adventure with the greatest heroes in the galaxy! Let’s go, homies!!

The Aquabats

After a video montage that could warm up the coldest of hearts, The Aquabats flew on stage to save the day! Their impressive yet simple image has survived the time of six different people playing Batman (R.I.P. to the great Kevin Conroy), five different Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon iterations, and countless versions of Spider-Man that we could have lived without. I’m looking at you Superior Spider-Man!

Commander and the boys immediately paint a shit-eating grin on your face when you see them, and after a hiatus when the world fought against the toughest villain of our generation in 2020 with COVID, they were just as happy to see us dancing our asses off. They let us know their feelings right off the bat with “Lovers of Loving Love” then showed us their twisted science experiment in the surfy classic “Cat with 2 Heads!”.

After a few more hits, and even a cover of the great Toto’s “Hold the Line”, it was inevitable that we’d see the floaties come out for some good ol’ fashion Aqua-caddet surfing through the crowd. It was an anxios moment when Commander told us about the travesty that happened during the tour’s first show when Tempe Police did not approve of them sending the kids into the crowd like they’ve done for years, but they found a loophole after tossing giant pizza rafts into the crowd and giving the parents a hint that it’s up them to throw thier kids into the pit or not. Before we knew it, “Pizza Day” was playing and little Aqua-caddet toppings ended up on top of the slices surfing over the crowd.

The covers were all over the place with “Minor Threat” and even Van Halen’s “Jump” making guest apperiances, all before a broken version of “We are the World” signaled the kids to get on stage for the best “Pool Party” they’ll go to in their lives. You may think these super heroes are old and through, but like Bruce Wayne making a comeback in The Dark Knight Returns, The Aquabats will always be back to kick butt and save the day.

We’re calling it now, The Aquabats at Punk Rock Bowling 2024. Make it happen, Stern Brothers.

PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Alex Sanchez for ZRockR Magazine – All Rights Reserved.

By Vinnie Corcoran

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Vinnie has been around a variety of music his entire life. Early on he would love listening to show tunes from The Rat Pack with his grandpa and dancing around with his mom to her favorite disco hits from the 70's, but his life would change in 1999 when he borrowed a stack of cd's from his dad that included Led Zeppelin's II, Metallica's Ride the Lightning and Black Album, and Sublime's Greatest Hits. Armed with that music base and a newly revolutionized internet connection, Vinnie ventured in to the vast world of rock and roll and never looked back. In his teenage years he discovered the revolution of punk rock and still has not let it go, annually attending the Punk Rock Bowling festival and taking every chance he can to check out local and national acts at hole–in–the–wall venues during the week. Look for him near the pit or by the bar at your next show.

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