Fest Review & Gallery: Punk Rock Saves Lives Fest 2022 – Day 1 (Ratio Beerworks – Denver, CO)

Punk Rock Saves Lives has been doing some incredible shit in our beloved community for a few years now and during that time, they’ve come to be one of the largest non-profit scene related charity organizations, focusing on Health Concerns (both physical and mental), Equal Rights, Human Rights, and so much more. If you’re not familiar with them, check them out, give them a follow and stop by their tent at pretty much any large punk fest in North America and say ‘Howdy’!

This year the ever growing charity decided to throw their first ever Punk Rock Saves Lives Festival in Denver, CO. The terrific, two day event (not counting the pre-party show at EastFax Tap on Friday night) was held at Ratio Beerworks (Overland) to help raise awareness and funding to allow them to continue providing vital resources to our comrades in punk (anyone really, they just lean towards us filthy lowlifes for some reason 😛). Since The Masked Moron, Anarchopunk lives in the Mile High now, we dispatched him to take some pics, drink some locally brewed beer, eat some great food truck grub (those CFH Sliders from Brutal Poodle truck slapped), party with a whole slew of awesome people…..and get Covid. We hear that he successfully accomplished his mission (especially the getting Covid part), so check out his report below!

Local solo act, Sputnik Slovenia started things off, promising to be the tamest act of the night and even though I think he was right, we were still treated to some pretty raucous tunes including a rousing cover of the theme to “Gilligan’s Island” which scored major fan participation points, because who doesn’t sing along to that one, even if it’s just the “…threeeee hour toooouuuur” part?

Next to hit the stage was Adams County’s premiere appliance repairmen/punk rock band, Dryer Fire. Some bands have political messages, others may speak on cultural/social issues, some just sing about having fun. But for this group, appliance safety is paramount, taking ample time between songs to remind everyone to clean their lint traps and check their dryer exhausts on a regular basis. Sooooo……go clean your lint trap and check your dryer exhaust.

Tacoma, WA based pop punks, Let Me Downs flew in on short notice to cover for a band that had to fall out and I think the crowd appreciated them a little extra for that because the energy level spiked significantly during their thirty minute set, which was supposed to be the last indoor set of the night (that’s called foreshadowing, kids).

Time for some fresh Rocky Mountain air! Local favorites, Discomfort Creature (fresh off of a Euro Tour) kicked things off on the outdoor stage. The extra space on the lawn was quickly filled with a humble yet aggressive circle pit and the band fed off of the power that was generated by the constant swirl of the denim and leather clad cyclone.

Denver based super-group, Record Thieves were up next and the crowd definitely knew it as they started slowly creeping towards the stage area, in small waves prior to the band taking the stage. Musically speaking, these guys probably hit the highest mark on the ‘Talent Meter’ for Day One and always bring a pretty high level of intensity. But the highlight for me was hearing the first live performance of their new single “Fault Lines”. Stellar work as always, comrades!

Thousand Island Records representing hard at PRSL Fest! Chicagoland residents, Counterpunch took the stage next. The Windy City punks played through some songs from their most recent LP (and AoTY Contender?) Rewire. But they also tipped their hat to the local scene by inviting The Gamits‘ ex-frontman Chris Fogal to provide vocals for their cover of the defunct band’s most popular tune, “Dotted Lines”. Side Note: I think I have a new favorite basser. That cat fucking briiiings it!

Yes, everybody enjoyed all of the other bands. Yes, everyone had a fabulous day, all around. But let’s be real, everyone was ultimately here to see Chicago hardcore stalwarts, The Bollweevils. Before the set even started, the pit was starting to form and it got more fervid as the band took the stage. After the first song, the weather started to shift and Dr. Daryl, as expected, took his secondary position down in the middle of the ever swelling pit, thrashing around with the fans. The weather continued to deteriorate and as the winds picked up to 25+ MPH 98Gotta love Denver weather), a large tent that was affixed the pergola caught air and nearly flew away. At that point, it was determined that for eh safety of everyone involved, the show had to move back indoors. The sound crew did an amazing job and had the show back in operation inside in about twenty mins. As the set recommenced, The Good Doctor asked the crowd if they could remember where they had left off before Mother Nature interrupted, to which the reply was a hearty “Start Over!”. The band complied and we were treated to a bonus ‘extended set’! It’s been four years since I’ve been tossed that badly down in the pit. Damn, it felt good!

*Check out the rest of the day’s action in the below slideshow! Keep an eye out for Day Two coverage, coming soon!

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