Punk Rock Bowling 2012 Music Festival – Las Vegas, NV

May 28, 2012

Punk Rock Bowling 2012 Music Festival - Las Vegas, NV - Monday - May 28, 2012The last day of the outdoor music festival that has been part of the huge Punk Rock Bowling weekend arrived and the time to wrap the Memorial Day weekend was near. Despite this, a plethora of big bands would bid the weekend goodbye, with Pennywise headlining the entire event. The line-up on the final day consisted of The Bots, Union Hearts, Toys That Kill, Dead Ending, Youth of Today, 7 Seconds, Hot Water Music, GBH, and Pennywise. Across town at The Golden Nugget hotel an exclusive pool party (you can check that out HERE)was being held for the top ranked bowling team with a feature performance by Old Man Markley. For those that came to downtown Las Vegas for the music, they were in for a kick ass finale to the Memorial Day weekend.

Up first were The Bots and this duo provided a pretty intense performance. Mikaiah Lei’s guitar playing was a brilliant combination of Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, mixed with some Hendrix, mixed with some tried and true, honest to goodness three chord helicopter Punk rock style. Lei's vocal style was equally dramatic, varied and gave the songs a depth not usually heard in Punk music. Lei's brother Anaiah’s drumming was outstanding. Loud. Hard. Fast. And clean.
The Bots - Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival
The small crowd seemed to really enjoy the set and I think some were a bit blown away that two young dudes (18 and 15 respectively) from seedy Los Angeles could tear it up like that. All in all, I’d say these guys are on their way up.

Following them was Union Hearts. Less than a year old (as a band), these guys have a real clean sound, reminding me a bit of Rise Against. They are polished enough to be immediately radio-friendly, but with just enough aggression to fit in at any Punk show--and no wonder, since they've already shared the stage with 7 Seconds, and the band is fronted by Hanover Saints frontman Brian Hanover.
Toys The Kill - Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival
San Pedro locals, Toys That Kill, killed it. (And I'm not just saying that because I grew up in Pedro. Well, maybe I am, just a little bit.) After a 6-year hiatus, the guys are back on tour supporting their recently released Fambly 42. The audience was a bit subdued, but I think that was mostly due to the heat (it was really fucking hot), and nothing to do with the band. They put on a great show.

Dead Ending featuring bassist Joe Principe (Rise Against), drummer Derek Grant (Alkaline Trio), guitarist Jeff Dean (The Bomb, Noise By Numbers, All Eyes West), and singer Vic Bondi (Articles of Faith), Dead Ending changed the atmosphere by providing screamy vocals. The drumming was definitely a prominent element to the band's music.

Ray Cappo’s brief stint in the Hare Krishna movement was apparent on Monday afternoon as he took several opportunities to present ‘life questions’ to the crowd and then answer them himself in between songs. No one seemed to mind though, as songs like "Positive Outlook" and "Break Down The Walls" even got the security guys up front to bob their heads a bit, while the punks behind the barricade thrashed about with flailing arms as they kicked up clouds of dirt.
Youth of Today at Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival
The highlight of the set was when the guys brought Kevin Seconds and Steve Youth (7 Seconds) out to sing "Young 'til I Die".

7 Seconds at Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival

7 Seconds are true Punk rock pioneers. “You Lose” and “In Your Face” seemed to be crowd favorites, but when they played “If The Kids Are United” as their tribute to Sham 69 (who couldn’t make it to the festival), fists pumped in the air along with the chorus. Even though Youth of Today just covered "Young 'til I Die," it was a real treat to hear 7 Seconds perform their song. They proved that even after 30+ years, a bunch of guys from Reno can bring it.
Hot Water Music at Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival 2012
Hot Water Music proved to be a band that truly enables an amazing live performance. Recently releasing Exister, the band performed a range of songs that were both old and new. The band's performance genuinely offered a different experience that was more profound than their digital recordings.
GBH at Pukn Rock Bowling and Music Festival 2012
Speaking of Punk rock pioneers! GBH was hands down the highlight of Monday’s lineup. These crazed cats from Birmingham, England kept bodies flying round in circles and up and over the crowd with their signature fast, slicing, powerful songs. Security definitely earned their paychecks during GBH’s set with the many crowd-surfing-boot-kicking punks that flew over the barricade. With songs like "Sick Boy," "Lycanthropy," "Kids Get Down," and "Give Me Fire," everyone was charged up, including the band. At one point, Colin(vocals) introduced the rest of the band and when he got to Scott Preece on drums, he actually referred to him as “the Susan Boyle of Punk rock drummers” which got a chuckle from few not so hardened punks in the crowd.
GBH in Las Vegas
It was more than apparent that GBH was there for one purpose… to stir up the masses and wreak as much havoc on Las Vegas as humanly possible, and they did indeed.
Pennywise at Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival in Las Vegas 2012 photo
Zoli Teglas of Ignite had some huge shoes to fill in replacing Jim Lindberg in Pennywise, however, he and the rest of the band got things churning right from the start and they did not slow down once. Pumping out tracks like “Fuck Authority,” “Every Single Day,” and “Can’t Believe It,” they gave every mohawked, stud wearing, misfit in that crowd exactly what they came for and then some. As evidenced when they played “Bro Hymn," with somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 or 50 people on stage with the band, it got the entire crowd to “Whoa ohhh OH OOhhhhh” along with Zoli. That was pretty freakin’ rad.

With the end of Pennywise's set signifying the end of Punk Rock Bowling weekend, the only thing left to do was browse downtown Las Vegas and pack... or go see Punk Rock Karaoke with Eric Melvin of NOFX. Whatever the choice, the 14th annual Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival met its official conclusion on Monday night. Until next year! At least you've got pictures of all your friends passed out in hallways to preserve the memories!

More photos of the show can be seen HERE

-Corrina P.-

Big Wheel Staff Writer

-Anni Thyme-
Big Wheel Staff Writer & Photographer

-Christopher D.-
Big Wheel Contributor


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