Punk Rock Bowling 2010 – Day 2 – Las Vegas, NV

May 8, 2010

Punk Rock Bowling 2010 photoSaturday morning began like any other day in Las Vegas: people playing the slot machines, drunks trying to make it in one piece to their hotel rooms, and hungover individuals waking up and asking themselves, "What happened last night?" What made this Saturday different from other typical Saturdays in Las Vegas though, was that the first day of the Punk Rock Bowling tournaments would finally commence and take place the entire day. The bowling began early close to 11am, which to the general public is a reasonable time, but to Punk Rockers is a drag and a mission all its own. Regardless of the early beginning, the inside of the Strike Zone Bowling Center was full not just with the competing teams, but also full with individuals who wanted to witness the animating game.
Punk Rock Bowling at Sunset Station Las Vegas
The bowling competition went on to progress into the latter half of the day, and while the bowling proceeded, Saturday's musical entertainment kicked off the music festival promptly at 5pm. Flogging Molly headlined the show with assistance from Against Me!, Swingin' Utters, Riverboat Gamblers, Cobra Skulls, Old Man Markley, and Broadway Calls.

210 teams total competed on Saturday for the chance to be able to make it to the final round on Sunday. Saturday's competition was divided up into 3 bowling sessions that consisted of 70 teams each. The first session began at 11am and ended 20 minutes after 1pm.
2010 Punk Rock Bowling
The second session began close to 2pm, and the third session took place around 5pm. At the end of Saturday's bowling tournament, only 64 teams remained and would finish the competition the following day.
Punk Bowling
While the bowling tournament continued on inside the Strike Zone Bowling Center, the Sunset Station Amphitheater began to see its flow of people as the beginning of the night's musical entertainment quickly approached time. Broadway Calls was the first band to play that day and played a 20 minute set to a small but eager crowd.
Punk Rock Bowling 2010 Photos
The band's catchy Punk music was entertaining, and audience members who were present appeared to be throroughly enjoying themselves.
Old Man Markley
Old Man Markley arrived on stage after Broadway Calls and bestowed upon those who had never heard of Old Man Markley an act which was not the least bit expected. Old Man Markley is a band that consists of 9 members who collectively provide bluegrass sounds with a Punk Rock attitude, all with the help from an autoharp, a mandolin, a banjo, a fiddle, a washboard, and a harmonica. When the band began their set, it was comical to witness Punks in mohawks and studs turn to each other with puzzled expressions on their faces as they asked each other, "What band is this?" and would then immediately shrug their shoulders.
Old Man Markley at Punk Rock Bowling
Within the first song, these same confused Punks began to nod their heads to the beat of Old Man Markley's music and even grabbed one another and attempted to dance. Old Man Makley had succeeded in winning over jaded Punk Rockers. The band played a short set but through the duration of their time on stage, garnered the attention of a large crowd that completely fell in love with the band. When the band finished their set and left the stage, the crowd began to clap a distinct beat in unison and in a sing-songy chant hollered, "Old Man Markley!" The audience hoped to attain an encore, but none was ultimately delivered.

Reno, Nevada natives Cobra Skulls approached the stage shortly after Old Man Markley and provided Punk Rock music with subtle Ska influences and occasional lyrics sung in Spanish. The band performed for a crowd that grew larger and larger as Cobra Skulls' time on stage progressed. Cobra Skulls played a 30 minute set and performed fan favorites such as, "Rebel Fate" and "Hasta los Cobra Skulls Siempre!"

Riverboat Gamblers arrived on stage close to 7pm and performed a 45 minute set. The band had a large audience and an even larger fanbase, and as the band played song after song, more and more people attempted to take part in a circle pit. The band maintained a sound that combined Punk Rock's aggressive tendencies with melodic heavy vocals. Riverboat Gamblers performed a loud and active set that illustrated each band member's intense zeal, which seemed to flourish as the night went on. The band eventually dismissed themselves and paved the way for Swingin' Utters' turn on the stage.

When Swingin' Utters took the stage, the floor of the Sunset Station Amphitheater was packed and ready to burst with energy which the audience could no longer withhold. Upon the emergence of the band's music, a fast paced circle pit was induced on behalf of anxious and excited fans who wanted to pit to Swingin' Utters' music. The band played many of their old songs and managed to please both older and younger fans through their eclectic sound. Swingin' Utters uphold upbeat Punk Rock with Rock n' Roll influences that resemble the musical styles of bands like Social Distortion. The band's 45 minute set ended on a positive note as their dismissal encountered eager cheers, nonstop applause, and shouts of praise and support.

Against Me! made their way on stage once it was already dark out and while people were on their 4th beers. Against Me! performed music that maintained more of an alternative rock sound with occasional fast paced inclinations a la mode de Punk Rock. The band played songs, "Sink Florida Sink", "Don't Lose Touch", and many more which are dear to their fans.

Throughout the band's set, no circle pit took place on the floor, but instead people headbanged or moved their bodies to the beat of the music. Near the end of the band's set, to everyone's surprise, Against Me! began to cover a song familiar to most of the Punk audience members who were on the floor: Cock Sparrer's "Because You're Young". The song immediately caused a circle pit to conquer the floor, and Cock Sparrer fans ran around singing along and pushing anyone who got in their way. Against Me! soon left the stage and left their fans screaming for more songs and more Against Me!
Flogging Molly at Punk Rock Bowling 2010
Flogging Molly finally began their performance close to 9:40pm and was met with forceful cheers and enormous crowd participation. Upon the band's first song, a circle pit abundant with people conquered the floor and never saw its end, which was an indication that the band was successful in seizing its audience. Being headliners, Flogging Molly had the longest set and played for over an hour, which resulted in a large number of songs being performed, among them "Tobacco Island" "Seven Deadly Sins" and "Life in A Tenement Square." Flogging Molly's sound is diverse and unique; the band incorporates Irish Folk influences into the brash substance that Punk Rock is and maintains.
Punk Rock Bowling Flogging Molly
Vocalist Dave King constantly connected with his audience and spoke to them to create a more personal concert experience. At one point during the band's set, Dave King paused to mention the Arizona bill recently passed, and remarked that Mexicans and Irish are one and the same. The audience let out "aww's" and Dave King eventually tied Mexicans and Irish people with one single great connection, beer! The crowd applauded and cheered Dave King as he rightfully defended Mexicans and at the same time made jokes about the similarities between Mexican and Irish cultures.
2010 Punk Rock Bowling
Once 11pm neared the night, Flogging Molly's time began to run out quickly. The band finished their set and left the stage, and once they were out of sight, the audience requested an encore with great energy. Flogging Molly arrived back onto the stage to perform a short encore for the crowd, but eventually it truly was time for the band to leave the stage. Once Flogging Molly was done playing, the audience walked out of the amphitheater and happily sang verses from several Flogging Molly songs with one another.
Bowling Center punk rock
Saturday's events were over at last, and the realization that there was only one more day of Punk Rock Bowling left began to slowly dawn on several people. The second day of Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival was another success and a fulfilling day that brought more to the table than the previous day had as far as events. The next day would be the last day of Punk Rock Bowling, and would also be the day that would determine which team that made it through Saturday's fierce competetion would go on to become the 2010 Punk Rock Bowling Champions. Saturday night had arrived, and another night of endless drinking and Las Vegas activities would at least sustain the crowd until the next day.


-Stephanie M.-
Big Wheel Senior Staff Writer


More photos of the event can be seen HERE


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