Punk Rock Bowling - Las Vegas: Day Three (Cover Artwork)
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Punk Rock Bowling

Las Vegas: Day Three (2016)

live show

Read Day 1 here and Day 2 here!

So once the Descendents closed out day two of the main festival the four of us headed to Backstage Bar & Billiards where we just barely caught the end of Red City Radio’s set, but has more than enough time to catch Teenage Bottlerocket.

This was a show I knew we needed to attend because it was the first TBR performance that we saw since Brandon Carlisle passed away. There was definitely a slightly tense feeling in the room one the band took the stage. You could tell everyone in the audience was thinking about it, but the tension was cut once they began. The still put on an incredibly fun and energetic show and their new drummer was clearly a good choice considering the unfortunate circumstances. They really powered through it though. They played a killer set of songs like, “Maverick,” “Skate Or Die,” “Bigger Than Kiss,” “Headbanger,” “I Wanna Die,” “They Call Me Steve,” “Dead Saturday,” and “Blood Bat At Burger King.” Towards the end of the show Ray did thank everyone for the support when Brandon passed away. It was really genuine and it was a perfect way to address the elephant in the room, without putting a damper on the show’s energy. Teenage Bottlerocket are still going strong – very strong.

So because the Teenage Bottlerocket show ended after 3AM, the four of us didn’t even make it to the main festival for day 3 until around 4PM. We walked in during the middle of the only band I had never of heard of before, which was Italy’s Guida. They had pretty good stage presence, but the music they were playing seemed more to be straight rock and roll, rather than punk rock. The only reason I say that is because the one song that was recognizable that they played was a cover of “California Man” by Cheap Trick.

Once Guida finished Off With Their Heads got on stage. I had seen OWTH once before back in 2013 in San Francisco so I was pretty excited to see them after several years. And I have to say that this performance was much better compared to the one I saw a few years ago. They were really tight and played a good selection of songs from their discography such as “Altar Boy,” “Shirt,” “Janie,” and “Seek Advice Elsewhere.” Leader vocalist and guitarist Ryan Young would crack a few funny jokes in between songs, but one was directed at one of the members of Dillinger Four that just cracked me up. OWTH ended their set with “Clear The Air” an absolutely perfect closer during which Ryan Young dove into the crowd to sing along with all the audience members that were surrounding him -- a seriously stellar performance from Off With Their Heads.

There were two bands that celebrated a twentieth anniversary of an album, so both bands played their respective album all the way through. Following Off With Their Heads was Strung Out and they played their album Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues. Strung Out has never been a band that I have really gotten into, but have seen them plenty of times and they are always energetic and just as enthusiastic playing those songs as if they were just released. This was by far the best show I have seen them put on. The other band celebrating an album’s twentieth anniversary was Face To Face. I had only seen them once before on the Fat Wreck Chords 25th Anniversary tour, but this time they played all of self-titled album. But towards the end of their set Face To Face managed to squeeze in a couple tracks from their most recent album Protection.

But the band that played in between Strung Out and Face To Face’s set was yet another band I thought I would never see live. All of four of us had them on our “must see” lists and that band was Dag Nasty. It was fascinating to Brian Baker on stage in a totally different band. They played classics like “Can I Say,” “Circles,” “What Now,” as well as their new songs from their recently released 7-inch “Cold Heart” and “Wanting Nothing.” This was a performance for the books not only because it was a mind-blowing performance, but also because I totally wrote off ever seeing Dag Nasty.

Closing out the whole festival was Flogging Molly another band I had yet to see up until this point. They played their classic tune “Drunken Lullabies” fairly early into their set – like second or third, but what interesting was that they mentioned how they were working ona neew album that should be released some time in early 2017 and they played a new a song from that they said they would hope would be just as embraced by fans as “Drunken Lullabies.” The song was called “The Hand Of John L. Sullivan.” But Flogging also performed “Tobacco Island,” “Another Bad of Bricks,” and “The Wanderlust.”

So that was my first time going to Punk Rock Bowling. The whole weekend was more than anyone who is into punk rock could have ever hoped for. If you haven’t gone yet…GO! It is one hell of an experience. I’m definitely hoping to make it back in 2017.

You can see some pictures on the Punknews Instagram.