The first day of Punk Rock Bowling always begins with a meeting of hungover, yet still fresh punks – gathering for shuttles to get carted off to Sam’s Town or Gold Coast for an attempt at bowling. The Dying Scene crew never lasts very long, but it is always a fantastic time. This year, our lane mates seemed to have begun the party long before us, and ended up spilling drinks on the lane. After that, any semblance of seriousness went out the window, and the drinks started flowing a little more freely. The downside with bowling is that you are forced to miss the beginning events of the weekend, including an Infa-Riot pool party, and a free-screening of “Salad Days: A Decade of Punk In Washington DC”.
By the time I got back around the fest grounds, I had missed Sounds of Threat and Success!, but was front and center in time to see Austin punks Sniper 66 rip it up (I would later see the band perform at the Plaza Pool Party).
Bombshell Rocks came out swinging and put on a great live show. Their energy pumped up the crowd as the late afternoon of the festival set in. Their melodies were infectious and got people moving in the crowd.
Anti-Flag played the main stage just a few short days before their new album, “American Spring”, hit stores. The band tore through their set with so much energy and chanting that they could have been the headliner. Posting up near Chris is always a good idea, as there is no shortage of jumps during his set (a photographer’s favorite). The crowd favorite was “Fuck Police Brutality,” which got the pit moving and middle fingers in the air.
California legends TSOL took the stage as the sun started to go down, showing the crowd that they can still put on a great live show. My favorite (as well as the crowd’s) was their hit “Code Blue”, which touches on every funeral director’s hidden desire.
Sick Of It All is the epitome of NYHC. As the sun set, these guys brought one of the most lively sets of the night. The crowd eagerly waited for them to take the stage and went absolutely wild as they tore through the night with a frantic energy.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones hit the stage with their infectious ska-core, playing fan favorites like “The Rascal King” and closing with “The Impression That I Get.” During their set, the band announced that they were the surprise guests for one of the club shows the following night, playing “Devil’s Night Out” in its entirety.
Headliners for day one were East Bay legends Rancid. To fans delight, the band performed “And Out Come The Wolves” in its entirety, and was true to the track listing, playing one legendary song after another. For many of us “older” punks in the crowd, this album was one of the first (or at least, one of the most influential) 90s punk albums that got us into the scene. Rancid proved why they are punk legends and why that album has stood the test of time. A little guest appearance from Interrupters guitarist/organist Kevin Bivona rounded out the set. I left after “Journey to the End (of the East Bay)” to get ready for the club show featuring my favorites Bishops Green, in addition to Booze & Glory, The Beltones, and headliners The Templars. Up the punx and skins!
Have a look at the complete day one gallery below.
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