Devo, Circle Jerks, and Lunachicks lead the return of Punk Rock Bowling to Vegas

Ice cream and anarchy go well together.

Punk rockers are proud parents.

Getting older does not mean getting old.

It’s never too hot to rock.

These are just a few takeaways from Punk Rock Bowling’s return to the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center this weekend.

Let’s develop.

It is possible to be serious and seriously fun at the same time

On the main stage on Sunday night, the Lunachicks alternated biting and hopping critiques of skin-deep female beauty standards with songs about dead gerbils. And in doing so, the cult punk woman favorites put together summed up the vibe of the weekend: you can get a little silly and still have something to say.

Here there were stalls run by nonprofits like Punk Rock Food Drive and Punk Rock Saves Lives alongside vendors hawking ‘I’m mean but still need hugs’ tank tops and t-shirts. serial killers; people lined up at Ben & Jerry’s truck near the main stage on Saturday as Leftover Crack anarcho-punks ranted against police brutality; a former microbiologist with a doctorate in chemistry – Descendants frontman Milo Aukerman – sang the joys of coffee on a Friday night.

Aukerman prefers java to beer.

Talking about that…

Beer is good – until it isn’t

“We’re getting drunk again!” bellowed Tony Forresta, frontman for the flashbacks of the crossover thrash Municipal Waste, which actually devastated the Monster Energy Stage on Sunday night, turning a section of Bridger Avenue into a one-block mosh pit that spun like a mixer full of human sweat.

“We like to fall on our own,” Forresta yelled in one of the weekend’s most over the top performances. “We love to drink and we do it quite well. “

A guy who maybe should have abstained a bit: Spencer Moody, the leader of the Murder City Devils.

Seattle rockers may set a scene on fire, but Moody appeared so drunk during the band’s set on Sunday – lyrics blurry, losing their place in a number of songs – that he derailed a band capable of performing. locomotive.

His band mates played well, but Moody – always a loose cannon, usually in a good way – got a little too loose on this occasion.

PRB doesn’t belong exclusively to party animals

“Stay hydrated with things that don’t contain alcohol,” advised Russ Rankin, lead singer of melodic punk veterans Good Riddance, brandishing a water bottle on the main stage on Saturday afternoon.

“No?” He continued. “It was worth a try.”

But Rankin wasn’t the only one avoiding all the big Modelo boys in the house.

Veterans of New York hardcore Youth of Today have long espoused a “righteous” drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle and, as evidenced by the band’s almost absurd performance on Saturday, it certainly kept them in top physical shape.

With punk rock leader and life coach Ray Cappo doing a handstand on the drum riser and bouncing across the stage as if his legs were plugged with bed springs, the band’s performance was akin to a nudge to the face – by positivity.

“The world has riots / The world has fights,” Cappo sang on “I Have Faith.” “But I hope people will see the light.”

The best way to beat the heat? More heat

Two of the weekend’s best performances came in late afternoon and early evening on the Monster Energy stage on Saturday, as the crowds were still sweating drinks as quickly as they could be consumed.

There was the Bronx, as relentless as the sun above, all the jagged guitar riffs, and a leader, Matt Caughthran, who was screaming like the devil with a crushed toe.

Before them came Plague Vendor, whose cutting edge rock ‘n’ roll was created by singer Brandon Blaine, a man who behaved like he couldn’t decide if he wanted to be Iggy Pop or David Lee Roth – and so why not be both?

“I’ve been locked in a cage for 22 months,” he gasped into the microphone. “Something is going to happen.”

For 25 minutes, he did not stay still. “When you don’t have the brakes,” he explained, “it’s hard to stop.”

The children will be fine

Perhaps the most impressive scene of the weekend: A guy in a kilt guiding three kids through what appeared to be their first pit circle during the Circle Jerks main stage on Saturday.

It was a heartwarming moment – think “Leave it to Beaver” in combat boots.

Kids were everywhere at Punk Rock Bowling this year, from mom skanking with her daughter to Leftover Crack, hoisting her up to see the band’s singer-keyboardist when she picked up the mic, to an abundance of dads carrying youngsters in protective clothing. listeners.

They were even on stage sometimes: During the Riverboat Gamblers set on Sunday, the Texan quintet brought in a young girl named Lilly to scream with them.

“No way to stop us! ” she screamed.


Age is just a number – quite a large number in this case, but still …

“I’m 61,” said Shawn Stern, leader of the Youth Brigade and co-founder of the Punk Rock Bowling Festival, on the main stage on Saturday night, “but I’m still here trying to do that.”

And he did it well, Youth Brigade still brimming with youthful energy even though they no longer live up to their name.

It was a recurring show at Punk Rock Bowling.

Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris just turned 66 but remained an anti-authority bile fire hydrant on the main stage on Saturday, offering stabbing eliminations of daily irritants such as spam and nuclear annihilation.

Finally, there was Devo on Sunday, some of whom are now 70 years old.

Yet their performance was among the most invigorated of the weekend, the sardonic but dancing songs of New Wave ancestors about empty consumerism, pop culture homogeneity, and intellectual regression dating back to the ’70s in some cases. but remaining sharp social criticism decades later.

Time flies – and somehow they stay ahead of it.

Contact Jason Bracelin at [email protected] or 702-383-0476. Follow @ jbracelin76 on Instagram

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