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Mad Dogs and Englishmen Pool Party – at The Plaza Hotel – Las Vegas, NV

May 25, 2013

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Pool Party - at The Plaza Hotel - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013With Friday night now a cloudy and seemingly continued memory, the sun arose once again to shine down for the second day of the 2013 Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival. Sunglasses and sunblock was the order of the morning or afternoon depending on the time you arrived back to your hotel if at all, as well as more beers and blaring music.

The newly renovated Plaza Hotel was our host for Saturday mornings free pool party showcasing a who’s who of Punk icons. Nestled on the 5th floor of the South tower overlooking the thoroughfare of Freemont Street, pool goer’s sun bathed and watched on in anticipation as the afternoon’s splendor began.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Pool Party - at The Plaza Hotel - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013

Drenched in the shadow of the south tower a cool wafting breeze brought on a refreshing respite from the dessert sun as Punks gathered around the stage. With the acoustic sets up first we were treated to a beautiful calm before the storm featuring Charlie Overbey’s solo acoustic dominance and a pair of Aggrolites providing numerous musical scorchers. With Jesse Wagner and Jeff Rofredo drawing in folks from the pool and street sides it was shoulder to shoulder from get go. Performing classic Aggrolites tunes sprinkled in with cult favorites like “Shame And Scandal” the performance was mired in laughs and non-stop drinking. For select songs the two gentleman pulled double and triple duty doing their best to mouth a little Roger Rivas keyboard solo admit tingly announcing “Its not the same without Rog” refreshing and lighthearted the two men dazzled and provided a special selection for two young fans of the group with the E.K Bunch and Yo Gabba Gabba favorite “Banana”. Ending the set with “Run around Sue” the Pair of Aggrolites received a booming ovation and trotted off triumphant.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Pool Party - at The Plaza Hotel - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013

With the pool in a tizzy water drenched punks emerged to partake in the all-star mash up featuring some of the pillars of the Punk movement. On drums DH Peligro of the Dead Kennedys James Williamson Of The Stooges Charlie Paulson of Black President & Goldfinger and Tony Adolescent of The Adolescents. Wasting no time the pool side stage erupted as the all star collection of “Pool Boys” launched into their set “Rain Forever” I Wanna Be Your Dog” “No fun” and “Search & Destroy”. The energy of the crowd was overwhelming and consistent not once hinting as to the prior 24 hours of non-stop Punk debauchery to slow them down. They would need all of their energy; from then on out it was fucking nuts. Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds took the stage like a bat out of hell for the Punk anthem “Walk Together, Rock Together” as the force of the whipping crowd pushed him back on his heels it was that raucous. And just like that Tony quickly emerged once again this time with a special treat “Amoeba” began to start up and fists flew to the air like a last call for alcohol.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Pool Party - at The Plaza Hotel - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013

One after another it was a barrage of Punk flashbacks and slamming Zander Schloss and Cpt. Sensible helped bring the afternoon to a climax with “New Rose” “Love Song” and the fittingly “I Feel Alright” which after this weekend one could only hope to be singing the same tune.

 

            

More photos of the show can be seen HERE


-Gio Van Dam
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Big Wheel Staff Reporter

 


 

 

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The Crowd – The Gears – Shattered Faith – and Love Canal – at The Bunkhouse – Las Vegas, NV

May 25, 2013

The Crowd - The Gears - Shattered Faith - and Love Canal - at The Bunkhouse - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013After Devo, I schlepped down to the Bunkhouse for the next round of insanity, and I wasn't disappointed. After some amp difficulties, Love Canal starts off the night, opening with "We Got Yer Number".

There weren't many people at the venue yet, but the small group there didn't lack in energy! Towards the end of their too-short set, they broke into a cover of M.I.A.'s "Tell Me Why", which got the increasing crowd going. If you've never seen this Orange County band, you're missing out!   

The Crowd - The Gears - Shattered Faith - and Love Canal - at The Bunkhouse - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013
Set-list: We Got Yer Number, No Friends, Civilization, Leave Me Alone, Rotten Ones, Sniper, This is America, Don't Talk, Tell Me Why, Afterever

 

Next up was Shattered Faith, with original drummer, Chris Moon. By this point, the Bunkhouse was starting to get full. Opening with "The Verdict", the band went pretty much non-stop for their approximate 45 minute set. Not only was the crowd having fun, the band members were having a blast (or so it seemed). I really enjoyed their set and wished they could've played longer. 

The Crowd - The Gears - Shattered Faith - and Love Canal - at The Bunkhouse - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013
Set-list: The Verdict, Victims of Society, Final Conflict, I Love America, Suburban Boredom, Mirrors Reflection, Discontent, USA, Right is Right, Reagan, Trilogy, Born to You, Power to the Kids


The third band of the night were Los Angeles Punkers The Gears. Having never seen them before, I had no clue what to expect. What I got was high-energy insanity! They opened with "Baby Runaround" and the crowd went apeshit. For well over an hour, they played song after song, riling up the fans. At one point, Axxel crowd surfed while continuing to sing. (There were even some beach balls that made their way through the crowd.) Their surf punk sound, with a slight taste of rockabilly, is one I really enjoy. Though I felt their set went on just a touch too long, because I was exhausted from the earlier pool party and festival, I still had a shit load of fun. 

The Crowd - The Gears - Shattered Faith - and Love Canal - at The Bunkhouse - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013

Partial set-list: Baby Runaround, Teenage Brain, My Confession, Trudie Trudie, Elks Lodge Blues, Lets Go To the Beach, The Last Chord, Hard Rock, High School Girls, Everything's Alright, I Smoke Dope, Don't Be Afraid to Pogo, Darlin' Baby, Keep Movin', Hang On


Finally, around 2:00 AM, The Crowd hit the stage. Though they didn't have the same antics as The Gears, they put on a solid and awesome set. From the opening song, "I'm Not Happy Here", to the closing, "Suzy is a Surf Rocker", it was non-stop movement in the crowd. The beach balls from earlier even came back out to be bounced around the crowd. Knowing I had to be up early the next day, I had to regretfully leave before they finished. Their surf punk sound is one I wanted to stay for the entirety of the set, but my eyelids had other ideas. The next time they play in OC or LA, I will definitely check them out. So should you. 

The Crowd - The Gears - Shattered Faith - and Love Canal - at The Bunkhouse - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013

Set-list: I'm Not Happy Here, Politics, Masquerade, Mr. Broken Soul, Right Time, Hear it on the Radio, No Other, Can Pipe, And Her Curse, Enemy, Run for the Money, Headless, Max Got Hit by a Car, Living in Madrid, Modern Machine, Trix are for Kids, Letter Bomb (extended), New Crew, Suzy is a Surf Rocker

 

             More photos of the show can be seen HERE


-Anni Thyme-
Big Wheel Staff Reporter

 


 

 

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The Untouchables – Los Bullets – The Debonaires – and Dj Gonzo – at The Backstage Bar – Las Vegas, NV

May 25, 2013

With the first night of the Punk rock Bowling Festival now in the books, Punks found themselves reeling from a rousing and stellar performance from DEVO to cap off the festival. Now the journey in some circles was only to begin, with five venues hosting twenty bands the night was still young and decisions to be made.

For the roots enthusiast like myself the decision was tough but proved, in the end to be no decision at all. So I took flight drunken stumblebum and all off to see what I felt was the sleeper show of the evening The Debonaires, Los Bullets and The Untouchables with Dj Gonzo and Low Life Sound System at the Backstage Bar & Billiards.

Upon arriving I was blown away at the line of Punks enclosing the main entrance of the bar only to realize the line was not for the show I had come to see, but for the Agnostic Front, The Business, Unseen and Krum Bums. With several Punks in line asking who was playing, I quickly replied with the bill and was pleasantly surprised to see a good dozen or so follow suit and enter the bar. And what a bar! The Backstage Bar & Billiards had easily the best ambiance of any club on Freemont St. without question. Which made for the best possible environment the evening could have asked for.

With Dj Gonzo & Low Life Sound System throwing down the heaviest of heavy in Reggae Ska and Rocksteady scorchers the anticipation mounted. The line up starting with Riverside's very own, The Debonaires was off to a strong start. A personal favorite of mine, The Debonaires hypnotic and mesmerizing take on Classic Jamaican music was on full display once again and this time under the equally hypnotic glow and hum of the many fluorescent black lights. Veterans of the west coast traditional movement The Debs set is a tight precise well oiled musical outfit suitable for the most intellectual music connoisseur or casual music lover’s pallet. With Kip Wirtzfeld soothing and suddenly explosive vocal range, it only adds more depth to the seemingly limitless abilities of the group. The fans in attendance and en route knew no human barricade of Punk rockers were to stymied them from entering and dancing along as the venue had reached near capacity only two songs into their set.

Up next were the deadliest of the deadly sounds, East Los Angeles’ Los Bullets. Encompassing core members of The Aggrolites, Los Bullets' heavier then thou sound was in your face and unrelenting, featuring the knee buckling crashes and thuds of Alex McKenzie, the hair raising scratches and grooves of guitarist Ricky Chacon and the spine aligning ivory dancing of organist Reggae Roger Rivas. Fans inched closer and closer as the thought of any open space on the dance floor became a comical notion. Sweat beaded off the foreheads of many as couples paired of to dance to Los Bullets captivating sound. The crowd especially went ape shit for their rendition of “Aint No Sunshine” featuring Jesse Wagner of Rhythm Doctors and Aggrolites. Mystique appearing triumphantly from the more than awesome book case entrance towering over the stage. Los Bullets gun down Reggae sound is a marvel to behold. When watching the ferocity and controlled chaos as Reggae Rog got down, it conjured visions of defeat on any street fighter arcade to be found across the street at the insert Quarter Bar and Arcade.

Rounding off the bill were The Untouchables. They  brought decades of LA history to the front. Mods and rude boys alike made their presence known as The Untouchables delivered the last fierce blow to the eardrums and feet of the sardine packed venue. With a catalog dating back to the early 80’s, fans from the young to the experienced made it a point to drench their Fred Perry’s in sweat to timeless classics like “The General” and “Lebanon”. Well respected everywhere, they tread the fans returned the enthusiasm ten fold to the timeless Mods with cheers of “Mods Are Go!” raining from every corner of the cozy Vegas bar.

             More photos of the show can be seen HERE


-Gio Van Dam-
Big Wheel Staff Reporter

 


 

 

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Punk Rock Bowling 2013 Music Festival – Las Vegas, NV – May 25, 2013

May 25, 2013

Though I wished I could’ve stayed at the Gold Spike pool party and gone into the water, I’m glad I didn’t. There was a small kerfuffle getting people through the gates, so I was only able to catch the last 2 songs from the openers, The Dirty Panties. 

Originally from New York, but now based in Vegas, the all-female quartet kicked off the festival with their catchy pop Punk sound. From the little I was able to hear, I really liked the band—if they ever play in Southern California, I’m definitely going to check out their full set. 

Tartar Control, a 2-piece band hailing from Los Angeles and dressed as Mormon missionaries (3-piece, if you include their drum robot), were next up. Their awesome performance had people leaving the shaded areas to come to the front of the stage. Not only are they great musicians, they are pitch-perfect comedians (how could they not be? They were able to get the crowd moshing and chanting out different brands of toothpaste). With songs like “Jesus is Love” and “Sodomy Basket”, there was not one minute of their set that wasn’t entertaining. The lead singer danced around in the pit and crowd-surfed intermittently, when he wasn’t tossing out travel-sized toothbrushes. Tartar Control was my favourite of the opening bands of the weekend—I can’t wait to see them again!  

Revilers brought some Boston street Punk to the festival. They do not have the antics of Tartar Control, so it was a nice balance to have some solid, and very good, Punk. Apparently the lines were still long to get into the festival, so fans unfortunately missed their raw and angry sound, with songs like “No Bullshit Reactor” and “Sick of Being Sick and Tired” that they played. I think a trip to Boston is in order, so I can see these guys shred in their home turf.

CH3 were not just playing the festival, they also bowled in the morning! (For their take on the weekend,  check out their blog: HERE) Always ones to put on a great show, they didn’t disappoint. From “You Lie” to “Manzanar” to “You Make Me Feel Cheap” (Maria Montoya supplied the vocals on that), they helped get the crowd riled up for the remainder of the festival day. 

Los Angeles locals, The Briggs, came up next. To quote our own Louie B., “The Briggs rock like the best UK bands from the 70’s intermixed with the flavor of 80’s Los Angeles”. Having only listened to the band, I didn’t know what to expect from their live show. From start to finish, The Briggs high-energy grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go until the final chords of “This is LA”. Their anthemic street punk got the crowd bouncing and moshing for most of their 45-minute set. (I wish I hadn’t waited until now to see them. That stupid oversight will be remedied next time I see them listed on a bill.)  

Swinging Utters brought their melodic 90's flavored Punk Rock to the festival. As always they put on a great energetic set with Johnny "Peebucks" flailing around the stage and popping his mic chord. These bay area boys are always well received by the Punk community and it showed as the pit got rowdy as fuck during their set.

One of the most anticipated acts of the weekend came up next, The Weirdos! This Los Angeles band form in 1976 and broke up in 1981. Since then, they have recorded once and only played a handful of times. They have been described as one of the best in the first wave of Punk Rock and paved the sound for other LA Punks that came onto the scene after them. 

Their set went off with a bang. One of the great things about the Stern brothers and Punk Rock Bowling is that they have been known to book elusive bands and bring some of the best musicians back into the public eye. The Weirdos were amazing, if you didn't catch them at PRB 2013, they will be playing again in Santa Ana at The Observatory on September 7th this summer. 

The Damned made their way to the stage looking fashionable as ever. Captain Sensible with his signature red beret and Vanian with the black shades and trench coat that he's become known for. Insanity would ensue in the crowd. They started with "Love Song",  which was an indicator of how great this set would be. 

Aside from adjustments in sound and lighting that Vanian  requested, The Damned sounded tight as ever. They played hits such as  "Neat Neat Neat", "Anti-Pope", "Plan 9 Channel 7" and closed their set with "Smash It Up". Just as it is anytime you see one of your favorite bands at a music festival, the time on stage never seems long enough. The crowd insisted on an encore to no avail, as The Damned time slot was finished. 

It was time for DEVO. Just as it was expected to see Turbo Jugend vests adorning the crowd for Saturdays festival, Friday was full of DEVO fans rocking the infamous red pyramid hats. 

They opened with "Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)", as always DEVO put on a show full of theatrics including synchronized dance moves, a large projection screen, smoke, sporadic lighting and wardrobe changes. Age hasn't slowed these men down AT ALL. One of the great things about DEVO is the catchiness of their tunes that allow the masses to sing along with ease. 

DEVO ruled Punk Rock Bowling weekend. They played "What We Do", "Girl U Want", "Jocko Homo", and "Gates of Steel" amongst other classic and new DEVO songs. Unlike The Damned, DEVO was able to oblige the elated sweaty crowd with an encore that included "DEVO Corporate Anthem", "Freedom of Choice" and "Beautiful World". 

I remember making my way to the exit...satisfied, thinking "Punk Rock Bowling could be done now, I've experienced the best this weekend has to offer in the first day!" Right when I thought the evening couldn't get any better, one of my favorite LA bands "The Mormons" had assembled their mobil unit and were playing in front of the exits, as a group of drunken show goers gathered around them dancing.

People loved their music so much that they were scrambling, shoving money in their back packs attempt to get their 7" singles before they were all gone. I over heard some saying, "I can't believe I'm getting to see The Mormons!" and others exclaiming how excited they were to catch them for the first time. I knew exactly how these folks felt, it brought me back to the first time I saw them marching by the gates of the FYF in downtown LA while I was waiting in the worst line of my life. 

The first day of the Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival was an amazing success and set the tone for the next days to come. 

 

 

             More photos of the show can be seen HERE


-Anni Thyme-
Big Wheel Staff Reporter

 


 

 

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Inciters Pool Party – at Gold Spike Hotel – Las Vegas, NV

May 25, 2013

Inciters Pool Party - at Gold Spike Hotel - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013Saturday was hot, meaning it was perfect weather for a pool party. Over at Gold Spike, The Inciters were gearing up to bring some soul to Sin City. Based in Santa Cruz, this normally 11-piece band has been around for a few years.

 

The crowd was small when the band started--most people were content to sit in the shade and relax--but as soon the lead vocalist belted out her first note, the people started getting into it and venturing out into the sun and pool. 

Inciters Pool Party - at Gold Spike Hotel - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013

I was blown away by Betsy Jane Kniffin's vocals and how her voice laced so well together with the back-up singers. I can't describe how she sounds, other than fan-fucking-tastic. After a few songs, the pool got a bit more action and some people were skankin' in the water. Finishing up their first set with "Soul Clap", the band took a short break, as more and more people started filling the pool. 

Inciters Pool Party - at Gold Spike Hotel - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013

Starting back up with "100", the ladies of the band did a dance routine while the horns wailed away. More and more people were dancing now, both in and out of the water. Unfortunately, I had to dash out of the party and head over to the festival, so I missed the rest of their set. I look forward to when I can see the full band perform someday, but I'm happy I had a chance to catch them at the pool party. 

Inciters Pool Party - at Gold Spike Hotel - Las Vegas, NV - May 25, 2013

 

 

             More photos of the show can be seen HERE


-Anni Thyme-
Big Wheel Staff Reporter

 


 

 

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Bowler Kick Off Party Featuring Lawrence Arms – Nothington – and No Se – at The Las Vegas Country Saloon – Las Vegas, NV

May 24, 2013

There was a buzz of excitement in the air as the concert goers were gathering outside the Las Vegas Country Saloon. Friends from all over were meeting, embracing, joking, happy and ready for this fine evening of Lawrence Arms and weekend of Punk Rock Bowling. The venue slowly filled up as fans filtered their way inside. The overall good feeling permeated the crowd and vibes of everyone in attendance. 

 

No Se charged the stage and demanded the attention of everyone inside LVCS. Their power-packed set sent electricity out into the audience and vibed everyone up for the rest of the night with Nothington and Lawrence Arms. Their energy was what rolled us into the next band.

Nothington jumped right in and didn’t even miss a beat; the crowd didn’t either. It seemed like the more songs they played the more energy the crowd had. As the crowd grew in size so did their happy energy. Lategoers jumped right in with the thrashing-dancing crowd and built up the energy even more.

Before Lawrence Arms came on, it was sort of the calm before the storm, so to speak. Everyone was excited but also patient; they had been waiting for this band for a long time and knew the night would be a good one. As Lawrence Arms set up their gear there was a sort of quiet awe from the crowd. When they finally took the stage the crowd surged into a wave of energy and bliss, singing every lyric.

This sold out show definitely was worth the wait. Imagine the crowd as a cluster of stars and the pit for Lawrence Arms a black hole, drawing them in, funneling them around into pure chaos- that was how it looked to me. I was even drawn into this chaos, wanting to be apart of it.

Lawrence Arms brought this first evening of Punk Rock Bowling to a fine end. There’s nothing better than an amazing show to kickstart a great weekend.

 

            

More photos of the show can be seen HERE


-Jen Reightley
-
Big Wheel Staff Reporter

 


 

 

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