It’s beginning to be that time of year again — the countdown to Punk Rock Bowling! Like every year the festival has a majorly stacked line up full of great veteran bands and up-and-comers. The 2018 line up has a very special set of long-running bands that the staff think you should not miss if you are going to the festival, so we listed some of our favorites out for you. Be sure to add your picks in the comment section below.
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The club shows at prb are shaping up to be amazing. The headliner of the first club show to be announced was none other than Reno, Nevada’s own 7 Seconds. The veteran BYO band is an excellent choice to appease the aging PRB crowd. 7 Seconds’ live show still pack a punch, and their melodic hardcore has aged surprisingly well. If you’re making the trip to Las Vegas, be sure to spend a couple extra bucks to check out Kevin Seconds, Steve Youth and the rest. -Tom Trauma
Against Me! is one of the bands I have seen the most amount of times and I never get sick of it. The band is still one of my favorites after al these years and I could not be more stoked that they will be playing Punk Rock BowlIng this year. The last time I saw them perform was in September and they played a surprising amount of songs off Reinventing Axl Rose. My hope is that they give us west coast fans a full Reinventing Axl Rose set list just like they did at FEST 16. Whether or not that actually happens, I’ll be happy just seeing them up on that stage this coming May. -Ricky Frankel
At The Drive-In
At The Drive-In is alive and kicking again. They've finally put aside band differences and egos, and apart from Sparta's Jim Ward, they all got back together to put out in•ter a•li•a last year. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform in 2017 and this more or less cemented just how big a tribute this new record is to Relationship of Command. And don't worry because they're just as energetic and intense as they were in their youth breaking the wave on MTV.
Cedric Zavala's vocals haven't lost a step and Omar Rodriguez on guitar continues to create magical riffs that cut through the thickest of nights. What's also enjoyable is that the El Paso natives are as political as ever but clearly much more mature and focused, reining in years of anger and channeling everything with, well, a purpose. The break-ups and internal issues really did make them a stronger band and one that's better off for the arduous road ahead in America. -Renaldo Matadeen
These dudes are loud and snotty! The Briefs give you that old world angst with the new wave feel. While I have seen them once before, I was having too much fun and too much to drink to remember anything. But, I look forward to seeing them on such a big stage and pogo-ing to such jams as “No More Presidents” and my personal anthem “Poor and Weird”. Put on your skinny ties and plastic sunglasses because The Briefs are coming back to Punk Rock Bowling! -Okrah Windfree
DOA are a machine. Lead by founding member Joey Keithley, the band has cranked out slamming 150 second bangers for over forty years now. This is classic in-your-face, raging, political punk rock. It’s good that there are some great hooks, too. This is a band that has flown the punk banner with pride and have never backed down for their stance, never went soft, and definitely never went commercial. Come watch these guys and see how it’s done. -John Gentile
Oh boy…if NOFX is playing a festival then you know it is going to get rowdy. I don’t think that I have seen the band perform in over a year. so I think I’m due. Their 2016 album First Ditch Effort was some of their best material to date and I really hope we get to hear them play more songs from that record. Plus NOFX is a band that has some of the funniest between-song banter and on-stage shenanigans that I have seen, which is perfect for the Punk Rock Bowling experience. -Ricky Frankel
Much has been made about the troubled life of SNFU singer and sole constant member Chi Pig. What sometimes gets lost is what an incredibly dynamic frontman he can be. He and the rest of SNFU are still capable of pulling off legendary, jaw dropping live performances. Chi Pig might also have one of the most wonderfully twisted senses of humor in all of punk. These Edmonton (and later Vancouver) BYO veterans will thrill the older Punk Rock Bowling crowd, but they might just shock the younger folks too. SNFU are playing a club show with fellow old timers 7 Seconds, and they are not to be missed.-Tom Trauma
Steve Ignorant with Paranoid Visions
Dammit, songs were meant to be played and not locked away in some dork’s record collection and Steve Ignorant is proving this once again. When he was tearing through a 35 song set of Crass tunes in 2010 and 2011, venues were shaking with the sheer ferocity of those performances. Don’t believe me? Check out the Last Supper live album. Thank goodness he’s doing it again with long running anarcho-punkers Paranoid visions. In recent performances, the team up up have played songs from across Steve’s discography, including Conflict and Schwartzeneggar tunes, as well as a few choice covers- Ruts, Dirt and, Poison Girls for starters. No one can bring the violent ferocity and intelligent to these songs like Steve and you need to see him do that thing that only he can do. -John Gentile
Suicidal Tendencies has been experiencing a bit of a career revival over the last few years. Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo joining Mike Muir and company really seems to have renewed the band’s sense of urgency. ST is set to release two EP’s in 2018. The first will be called Get Your Fight On!, and it promises to be ST’s most topical/political material since the 80’s. Muir is one of punk/metal/hardcore’s all time great frontmen, and is capable of keeping even a large festival crowd at rapt attention. Don’t miss your chance to see him work his magic on the big stage at Punk Rock Bowling. -Tom Trauma
X is legendary. From their unique stance on punk and hardcore to their intelligent and real lyrics, they deserve a place in any respectable punk’s collection and they are a perfect fit to celebrate the 20th year of Punk Rock Bowling. X is a timeless band whose riff-age transcends time and genre. This is one of the few bands mothers and daughters, sons and fathers can truly enjoy; I’ve seen young ones mosh to “Nausea” while the more senior punks nod in agreement along to “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts”. I look forward to seeing DJ Bonebrake show Crazy and The Brains’ Jeffrey Rubin how to slay a marimba! -Okrah Windfree
Missing Youth Brigade was one of my big regrets of Punk Rock Bowling 2016. Aside from the fact that the Stern brothers run the festival, the band is a must-see for any punk fan. Between their awesome releases like Sound & Fury and the Possible EP and all of their other fantastic contributions that have given to the scene through BYO Records it would be crazy not see them. Who wouldn’t want to hear classics like “Blown Away” and “Let Them Know” live? -Ricky Frankel