Live Review: The Briefs, The English Beat, The Adicts, NOFX, Hepcat, Rancid + More— Punk Rock Bowling 2012, Las Vegas
Fri, 01 Jun 2012 15:28:37
Copious amounts of skanking and pitting were had this past weekend at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas.
Here are some highlights from day one and two of the event.
After six long years of silence Seattle's pop punk band The Briefs brought home the bacon at PRB this year. The performance of the suited up quartet was reminiscent of the aesthetic and sonic qualities of Green Day and Arctic Monkeys. Steve Nix and Daniel Travanti's enchanting melodic guitars purred along with Stevie Kicks' bombastic bass pummeling full force through each song. The red, blue and black skinny tied, white slim sunglass wearing white boy punkers had the girls swoon over them and then broke out into a raging frenzy.
Ska, ska, ska! Two-tone ska legends The English Beat got the crowd dancing right away with their first song and classic staple "Twist and Crawl." It didn’t matter what race, creed, color, rude boy, rude girl, skin head, punk or hardcore fiend you were, the English Beat made everyone move their feet that night. Toaster Antonee First Class and Dave Wakeling’s sweet vocals and clipped upbeat guitar blended into a skankable mix of soul, reggae, ska and rock steady. They got the crowd roaring with their hits “Tears of a Clown” and "Mirror in the Bathroom." The crowd responded to almost every song with flailing arms and swinging hips.
What followed twenty minutes later was a solid, strong, and superior set from English punk band The Adicts. They started off with Wendy Carlos' Clockwork Orange theme song followed by their classic "Joker in the Pack." Singer Keith 'Monkey' Warren put on a spectacle clad in patterned multi-colored sequins complimented by a large top hat. They definitely put on a performance using bright lights, throwing confetti and playing cards at the crowd while thrashing through each song as barbarians unleashed and ready for battle. Running through each song at a high velocity the epic arena sounding droogs made the crowd wave in unison to "Life Goes On." The singer left mid song only to return as a huge light bright configuration with multi-colored lights studding the singer's hat and jacket while going into another one of their classics, "Viva La Revolucion." Classics such as "Steamroller" got the crowd chanting along to "baby got run over by a steamroller," as well as "Crazy." They had more crazy antics throwing beach balls at the crowd, ending with "Bad Boy."
NOFX by Tyson Zoltan
"I'll be ready in 30 minutes" rang blue mohawked Fat Mike of punk gurus NOFX. Every song had an outstanding amount of energy that was unparalleled right off the cuff. Their infamous in between set bantering included making sure the crowd knew they were tuning to "C," as well as complaining "My back hurts, my nose hurts," asking the crowd about their noses. NOFX then shot into "Linoleum" igniting movement throughout the venue. "This is probably the worst song on our set list, but here we go," Fat Mike teased before pummeling into “Bruise” followed by “Who’s Gonna Be the First to O.D. at PRB?” More gossip ensued as the band made fun of Matt Skiba who was playing at the nearby Beauty Bar as well as the "hippy little horse head" that was found in the crowd. More jeering and jabbing was had at the heads of Epitaph, "I don't see anyone from Epitaph so this is a waste of time...I don't see Pennywise or Rancid here." The band played the most passionate and was so loud that the monitor levels peaked and shut down five separate times! Either that or someone tripped the chord. NOFX were the most amusing and hardest players at PRB this year.
We got to catch the last bit of Boston Oi! Punks Street Dogs who ended with a wrongly played Clash song “Guns of Brixton,” eliciting an immense sing-a-long. Check them out if you haven’t heard of them before!
Ska/Reggae legends Hepcat got the crowd moving and grooving as they danced on stage. Punks, Rude Boys and Girls danced to the smooth strut of Kincaid Smith’s trumpet, Efren Santana’s sax, Deston Berry’s piano and singers Frank Lee & Alex Desert. They managed to capture those surging ska sweeps within their sound, while emitting abundant bravado.
Pummeling UK band and inventors of the Oi! phrase Cockney Rejects graced the stage. The crowd wasn’t too into cockney-pun intended. “We Are the Firm” and “Till the End of the Day” have been covered by countless underground L.A. punk bands, but there's still nothing as powerful as when Jeff Geggus sings it. Singer Jeff Geggus yelled “Fuck Freddy Mercury,” before guitarist Mick Geggus, bassist Tony Van Frater and drummer Andrew Laing fastened a noxious musical articulation somewhere between The Exploited and G.B.H. with a little Cock Sparrer.
Rancid by Tyson Zoltan
Street punk legends Rancid blared off into the night with “Radio” putting the crowd in a trance singing in unison, “When I got the music I’ve got a place to go.” Not too poppy, not too hard, Rancid thrashed just right. Tim Armstrong, Lars Frederiksen and Matt Freeman made the stage their own with staples “Adena,”“Rejected” and “St. Mary” with the crowd belting along. They continued with “Salvation” and “It’s Quite Alright,” ending the night with “Ruby SoHo.”
Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas is an annual event you'll want to relive over and over again.
Were you there?