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




Bookmark and Share

Go HERE to see all the latest show reviews


Send your comments to the editor HERE