No, these three bands didn’t perform together, although that would be an interesting lineup. The Punk Rock Bowling festivities around the country have now come to a conclusion, and we are left with fuzzy memories and bruised ribs. Now to think about the next festival. As solo photographer for DyingScene, the work load was incredible and it was definitely a challenge picking and choosing which bands to see, and when to try and lay my head down for some sleep – which I barely got over the whole weekend.
Night one of Punk Rock Bowling began with balls. Joey Balls & Friends performing at the Rush Lounge at The Golden Nugget – a venue which has served as de facto meeting place for new arrivals for the weekend. My weekend roommate had yet to arrive so I rolled up with gear and all to grab a beer and plan the night ahead.
After getting everything situated at the hotel, I headed over to the Fremont Country Club to check out H2O. This band was formative in my punk upbringing and it was great hearing some old favorites. I stuck around in the photo pit just long enough to catch “One Life, One Chance”, and had the fortune of getting the microphone handed to me for the chorus. Epic memory and I couldn’t imagine a better band and setlist to kick off the long weekend. As will be witnessed many more times over the weekend, there was no time to sit and marvel at the moment, as it was off to the next venue and the next band.
Shift from NYHC and move to LA reggae/rocksteady/ska band The Israelites at The Beauty Bar. One thing I love about being able to float from venue to venue over the course of a night is the extreme variety of the club shows – catching such a vast array of music in one night is awesome. I didn’t stay long for The Israelites as I was off to catch Poison Idea, but the band was jamming. The dance floor was bouncing in rhythm to the uptick of the guitar, smiles were abound – and for that brief reflective moment I thought to myself – this is what Punk Rock Bowling is all about.
I had never seen Poison Idea before, so I was super stoked to make it to the Las Vegas Country Saloon in time for their set. Even though I missed MDC and Slapshot, I was content to arrive right before Poison Idea’s amazing show. Details surrounding the setlist are hazy, but of course the standout was the classic and one of my favorites, “Just To Get Away”.
Night one was a successful night of punk, booze, photos, and reuniting with old friends. If history is any testament, this year would be like those of years past – too quick at points, not over quick enough at others, amazing memories created while choices of venues dictate memories that will never be made. It’s always a balancing act at weekend festivals, and I was super excited for what was to come over the annual reunion of punks in the desert.
Have a look at photos from Friday night’s sets below, and stay tuned for Punk Rock Bowling concert photos the rest of the week.