Sunday at Punk Rock Bowling was to be a long, fun day for me with some of my favorite bands taking the stage including La Plebe, The Objex, The Adicts, and Descendents. That’s not to say that bands like Face To Face, SNFU, The Dwarves, and Masked Intruder don’t have special spots in my heart, because they most certainly do.
I began the morning (afternoon) with a little trip to The Plaza Hotel Pool Party, where Los Skarnales and Vic & Jesse (The Aggrolites) were performing under the 7th floor sun magnet that they call a pool deck. This year I was staying at The Plaza, on the 7th floor, so the pool parties were an easy stumble from my room. Brilliant. I couldn’t stay long though, as I had main stage dreams on my mind. Las Vegas friends The Objex were opening the fest, and I knew if I wasn’t there I would never hear the end of it.
If you’ve been to any PRBs in the past, you are most likely familiar (or have at least seen) Felonie Melonie. The Las Vegas native and The Objex frontwoman thrives in the festival environment – posing for pictures, handing out flyers and free merch, shooting unsuspecting photographers in the crotch with a water gun (Thanks Mel!), and being just a fun and belligerent friend. I was able to see the band in a more intimate club show the following night, which was a killer show (Thanks James!).
I had drank about a liter of booze and eaten nothing so far for the day, so I had to sacrifice seeing Lost In Society in exchange for a little food truck grub. It’s worth mentioning that each year the food selections become more and more diverse, and the healthy options keep increasing. This is a good sign that I would love to see continue (there’s only so many funnel cakes and turkey legs one can eat).
After a little nourishment in the form of a ‘Japanese Burrito’, I was ready for one of MY bands. La Plebe is one of those bands where I always try and get my photography work done as soon as possible, so I can drop my gear and get into the pit. The band played relatively early, leaving lots of space in the pit to go nuts, of which I took fully advantage. A photo of me on top of my mate Troll’s shoulders even made it to New Noise Magazine (Thanks Alan!)!
After La Plebe was Midwest pop-punk criminals Masked Intruder. The guys braved the extreme heat and performed on stage with their infamous ski masks – I can only imagine how hot it was for them. If you’re not familiar with the band, their live show will immediately make you a fan. Between the infectious songs, the running theme of how you should buy their new album (“M.I.” (review of which can be read here)) or they will rob you (“allegedly”), and the presence of Officer Bradford, they bring energy and fun from the first note to the final chord. During this performance, they also welcomed members of the audience to come dance with them on stage and then came out to take pictures with fans after their set. Well done.
I’ve never seen SNFU and they definitely lived up to the hype (my self-created hype). Frontman Ken “Mr. Chi Pig” Chinn shows no signs of slowing down (but shows a couple signs of aging), his energy and facial expressions really add to the whole experience. The band, by the way, is pretty much all in their 50s, but they dance and jump around better than some of the youths of today.
The Dwarves are a band that I’ve seen so many times, but every time I see them on a bill I get super excited. I know how the show is going to go down, almost to a T. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as I appreciate consistency. Word of wisdom to any fan who has yet to see Blag and crew – you will most likely see full frontal male nudity. This specific performance however, was a little bit more ‘kid-friendly’, as Blag is known to be. Looking forward to seeing them next month with The Queers and Atom Age.
Up next was one of my all-time favorites, The Adicts. Talk about organized chaos, or should I say confusion. This specific set was different to all other Adicts shows I’ve seen, in that the band was featuring a new violinist and a new bassist, whom I’d never previously seen. The obligatory “Ode To Joy” got off to a bit of a rocky start, but the strings quickly regained their composure, and the rest of the night was Adicts as usual. Confetti, decks of cards flying just as light as the crowd surfers, and glitz and glam were the name of the game, and the band succeeded (pretty much as always) in performing most of my favorites.
Face to Face is a great live band – and their set consisted of many fan favorites. They are the kind of band I forget how much I love until I see them – and find myself dancing and singing along.
Headliners for Sunday night were Descendents, who had not so long ago headlined the main stage on Sunday night of PRB 2011. Not only are they punk legends, but they are one of my favorite bands of all time. It is always amazing to see them play, and this festival was no exception. Their set was a high point of the weekend, as they ripped through fan favorites like “Clean Sheets”, “Hope”, “Silly Girl”, “Suburban Home”, and more. I can’t wait for the rumored new album and to continue see them play for years to come.
As the main stage night came to an end I received a text from my good friend Brian of Bum City Saints, who confirmed the rumored ‘surprise guest’ at Backstage Bar as Cock Sparrer. Another shot and I was off.
You can check out the entire photo gallery of the bands that performed at day two of Punk Rock Bowling below.