Punk Rock Bowling Festival: Day Two – Refused, Murder City Devils, Turbonegro, Jello Biafra, A Wilhelm Scream, The Muffs

Day two (or three (or four) depending on how you look at it) began with puffy eyes and a thirsty mouth. Bishops Green and co. played an amazing set the night before, and we were now well into the swing of things at the ol’ Punk Rock Bowling. After the traditional liquid breakfast, we scurried over to the Plaza Hotel for a pool party featuring Mercy Music and 88 Fingers Louie (shots of which disappeared just like my recollection of certain parts of the day). After catching the Chicago legends it was back for more refreshments and off to the main stage where Eliza Battle, Get Dead, and Pears were openers. I was pretty bummed to miss Pears’ set, but again, this whole weekend is a true test of time management and tough decisions.

SoCal-based female fronted punk band The Muffs is gritty, yet pretty and plays a great blend of garage, surf, and punk. I am such a sucker for this classic Southern California sound.

Next to the stage was A Wilhelm Scream. The band has tons of energy and shares it with the fans, gettting as close as they can and ripping up the stage. I had never seen these guys live but they put on a great show.

Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine are one of those bands you just have to see, if not for the nostalgia of hearing Jello’s voice to the outlandish things you may hear him say, for the fact of seeing this supergroup of sorts. And of course, the band obliged by playing a few Dead Kennedys’ songs.

You might’ve thought Turbonegro were the headliners by the looks of all the Turbojugend in attendance. I swear they quadruple every year, and are a standout with their obligatory denim vest. The lot are a bunch of great people, always down for a laugh, a beer, or a pick-me-up. And Turbonegro absolutely never disappoints. The band really knows how to get a crowd alive, involved, and begging for more.

Another first for me was Murder City Devils, which followed the Turbo. Heartfelt, angstful, reflective, and nostalgic….but there was no time for that as the crowd began to move…

Refused headlined night two at PRB to a packed house. There was much anticipation in the air as the older punks pondered what the set was to entail, and the youth pondered who the hell Refused was. The Swedes came out guns blazing and didn’t quit til the end of their set. The band is getting ready to release a new album, “Freedom”, later this month and played a bunch from the new work, while still playing some fan favorites.

I stayed just up until the end, but as always time is of the essence as I quickly slimmed down gear and took the trek to the Bunkhouse for Chris Murray, The Skints, English Beat, and ‘surprise’ guests Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Also on the bill for club shows was Krum Bums and ‘surprise’ guests Conflict at the Backstage Bar.

You can have a look at all of the photos from Day Two at Punk Rock Bowling’s main stage below.


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