Saturday March 18th at Kick Butt Coffee in Austin Texas, Altercation Records delivered another incredible day of punk rock fun at the 7th annual Altercation Punk Rock BBQ.
I have been lucky enough to experience the last 4 years of this event held each year in Austin during the South By Southwest Music Conference, and I have to say it is probably my favorite punk event after PRB, although it in no way compares size wise to major events like PRB or The Fest, the people at Altercation know how to throw a party! First off It’s free admission for all ages, there is free BBQ and free Beer for a limited time, this usually last for the first hour or so, during the first two sets, of which there are usually 10-12 sets of amazing bands, half of which are brand new up and comers, others are gritty road warriors who have been at it for years and usually there is at least one old classic band or figure like Cheetah Chrome, Fishbone, or Sylvain Sylvain…This year there were no classic punk acts, I don’t know maybe they are getting harder to come by? This year the venue also changed from the Vortex to a smaller indoor venue called Kick Butt Coffee, at first I was suspect of a punk show of this size in a coffee house, but Kick Butt Coffee is an actual venue with a stage and a full bar.
The place steadily filled and by the 4th set it was mobbed with the crowd spilling out into the parking lot, first up were The Glory Holes out of Memphis who do an all gay oriented Ramones styled pop punk that is really fun…Second to hit the stage was Heels who are a really awesome duo who are sort of like Lucero on speed…followed by New York City’s Jukebox Romantics who always put out a killer performance and this day was no different than the last few times I have seen them, super high energy take no prisoner punk rock…The next band up was a new one on the Altercation label who’s name it took me a minute to figure out; Dr. Beardfacé And The Spaceman, which if you don’t immediately get it is a hybrid of two television characters, Dr. Beardfacé from Scrubs, and Dr. Spaceman from 30 Rock.This band was new and interesting to me, the front woman Kerrie Trube has a really rich voice which during some songs really stood out, I think we will be hearing more from them in the future as their sound and live performance matures…After that was another new band on the Altercation roster The Split Seconds from Washington DC, this might be my favorite new act of 2017, The Split Seconds are a pop punk/retro punk band who have a fresh new sound yet still pull on my spirit of 77 heart strings, I really liked this set…They were followed by The Hangouts who reunited for this show, I love The Hangouts, I have seen them maybe 4 times and they are always great and I was stoked to see them reunite for this show…Next was Boston’s OC45 who do straight up Boston style punk rock, and they do it very well with lots of fist pumping whoa oh’s…American Pinup returned this year and as always delivered a phenomenal set, I don’t know if there is a better voice in rock & roll than Lauren West? This woman I adore…I felt bad for the next band up having to follow American Pinup but Houston’s Grizzly Band did not disappoint by any means, and truly rose to the occasion with a killer alt country set of their own, This is a band that you just have to see live at least once before you die…Mind Spiders were wow, these guys have a post punk garage rock vibe all their own…Then came From Parts Unknown out of Dallas whos Upright bass fueled set was breakneck and furious…And last in the lineup up was F Woods of Mercury Radio Theater form Philadelphia PA who brought solo guitar quirk to the BBQ which was unsurprising considering his regular touring alongside of The Dead Milkmen.
So there you have it the complete lineup, all in all one of the best shows I have been to, I watched all 12 sets and in all honesty have to say that the Altercation Punk Rock BBQ impressed me once again, not only was every band great, but the mix of genres and the placement in the lineup kept it interesting and kept us in the audience wondering what was next…Hope I can make it to number 8