Friday, May 30, 2014

2014-05-24 Punk Rock Bowling

Day 2 - Saturday, May 24, 2014

We slept in until 11am or so after a great evening the night before.  We headed over to the Plaza Casino intent on grabbing something to eat and going to the pool party show.  Fucking ended up with McDonald’s and not getting allowed in the show because it was filled over capacity already (pool was on the 5th floor btw).  Well, if we couldn’t see Peter and the Test Tube Babies then (in place of The Queers who must have cancelled), we would just have to wait until later that evening.

It was about 4:30pm by the time we got to the venue for the first day of the outdoor portion of the festival.  We decided to skip The Gashers and Black Market Syndicate. The heat was starting to pick up for the weekend as it was pushing 100°. Ben, don't wear black shirts when it is that hot. You are from Vegas and should know better like Earthdog ;).

Our first band we watch was The Generators.  I was pleasantly surprised by them and enjoyed the set.  Their live performance seems to have a better sound and more energy than their recorded material.  Here are some songs I remember them playing.

Summer of Unrest
Sound Off the Alarms
Dead at 16
Wrong Side of the Tracks

Devils Brigade fronted by Rancid bass player extraordinaire, Matt Freeman, were next.  DJ Bonebrake from X was banging the drum kit. They started off the set with “I’m Moving Through” and a few songs later played “Vampire Girl”.  Since those were the only two songs I really liked by them, we decided to head for shade under the tent.  Unfortunately for us as I read yesterday, we missed their cover of the Dead Kennedys “Police Truck”.

I was extremely excited to see the next band, Peter and the Test Tube Babies.  It was one of the few bands at the festival I wanted to watch who I have never seen perform live before.  Holy shit!  They did not disappoint other than the fact that I wish they would have played for another 30 minutes.  Gotta love Peter’s beer belly too.  Great set with most of their hits.

Moped Lads
Run Like Hell
The Jinx
Never Made It
My Unlucky Day
Up Yer Bum
The Spirit of Keith Moon
Banned from the Pubs
Blown Out Again

Get the fuck out!  I finally got to see Mensi, the self proclaimed Charlton Heston of punk rock, and the Angelic Upstarts.  This set ended up being my favorite of the entire weekend as you will see in another post when I rank my favorite performances for the weekend.  It was a surreal experience for me.  I still can’t believe I got to see them play live.  They over delivered!  I remember first buying their greatest hits collection Angel Dust and then buying their 12in EP Machine Gun Kelly at Music Madness on Front St in Catasauqua, PA.  Now, almost 30 years later, I get to hear them play “Machine Gun Kelly” and most of Angel Dust live.  I give their set more “Yeah!”’s than the fuckhead singer from the Dwarves says during his set!!!!   Here are the tracks that I recall them playing not necessarily in this order.

Teenage Warning
Liddle Towers
I’m An Upstart
Leave Me Alone
Never ‘Ad Nothin’
Police Oppression
Two Million Voices
You’re Nicked
Kids on the Streets
Last Night Another Soldier
Woman in Disguise
Machine Gun Kelly

Fortunately for me, The Slackers were up next.  While they may play a good round of Third Wave ska, it didn’t fit in for me that night.  I needed a beer and a seat to rest my feet.  I also needed “The Rebel”!

Then I heard “We are the league!”  Animal and his gang were on stage belting out tunes from their first LP.  BTW, I just ordered that same LP re-recorded with the modern day band and with the first set of original lyrics that were banned in the UK many moons ago.  Looking forward to what it sounds like.  If it is anything like their set, I will be smiling.  This is the 3rd time that I have seen The League and it was probably the most energetic set I have seen.  It may have been because I was pretty loaded at the 2000 Tons of TNT fest a few years ago when they came on stage too.  Unfortunately for them, they had to play after Peter and Mensi otherwise this set would have been a topper.  The only disappointment for me was they did not play “Fucked Up and Wasted”, but they played almost all of the first LP.  Here is the setlist.

The old guys (though they decline to age per their own declaration), Cock Sparrer, were up next. These guys have been going at it for over 40 years.  Had I not seen them 2x at Riot Fest a few years ago, I am sure this would have been my highlight of the weekend.  Regardless, I loved watching them belt out the hit tunes.  In traditional Oi! style, they were the band that had the crowd singing along more than any other.  In fact, on a few occasions, the crowd sang acapella while the band soak it up in glory.  What a great way to end the first night of the outdoor festival!

  1. AU

After the set, we headed over to the Fremont Country Club.  The Night Birds had just hit the stage when we got in the door.  I was quite surprised by the energy of their performance.  This was another band that I liked better live than their studio recordings.  I also like their cover of the Simpletones “I Like Drugs”.

In between sets, I was surprised by a tap on the shoulder from Oddgrowth.  I didn’t recognize him with his Rip van Winkle beard.  I hadn’t seen him in almost ten years since we attended the secret Naked Raygun show at the Subterranean in Chicago during Riot Fest. What a pleasant surprise!  And then, I finally got to meet Wretch!  I think I was introduced to Erin too, but I can’t remember anymore it was so loud.  I really wish I got to spend more time with them.  Nonetheless, it was great to see each of them!

By now, my feet were killing me.  I tried to find a seat at the back of the club to rest them, but no luck.

I watched a few tunes by The Briefs.  After “Destroy the USA”, I decided that I had enough.  I told Edog I was headed back to the hotel room.  Unfortunately for me, I missed a great set by ALL based on all other accounts.  That sucked! but I was not going to miss the Descendents the next night because I couldn’t stand.

Besides, I saw Peter and the Test Tube Babies, the Anglelic Upstarts, the Anti-Nowhere League, and Cock Sparrer that night.  Only adding the Cockney Rejects and the UK Subs may have been better!  I could have left Vegas after that night and my money would have been well spent.

Here is Earthdog's account of the day (welcome to Fremont St. my friend!).

DAY 2: KISS AND STEVIE WONDER No, not at PRB silly! Just part of the freaks brigade that lined the street as we walked to the first day of the festival. The dudes playing KISS also didn’t have enough clothes on. Let us not speak of this ever again. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little writing that sentence. Stevie Wonder was there looking for hand-outs too, at least he had a decent red suit on. We had tried to get to the pool party at the Plaza to see Peter and the Test Tube Babies (who were filling in for The Queers who had cancelled), but security was not letting anyone else in. Tough cookies, we would catch them at the festival later today. We arrived at the site around 4:30. Just in time to catch The Generators, one of the few bands here I had not seen before. I dug their sound, the put on a tight show. I only caught about half of Devil’s Brigade set. It was cool to see DJ Bonebrake from X on drums. Exene was also seen walking out of the VIP section; she was DJing later today at one of the clubs. I grabbed a chili cheese dog: AKA “The Rebel” on Lewdd’s advice. He was right once again. Next were Peter and the Test Tube Babies. I thought they were a bit more energetic this time versus when I saw them in Boston a couple years back. Cool set and the crowd was getting into it. Angelic Upstarts were next. I wasn’t as familiar with their music, but I still enjoyed it. Although some crowd members were getting tired of the lead singer talking about how good looking he is (look at a picture online for a laugh), Lewdd thought this was one of the best sets so far. Check please… We came back later on for Anti-Nowhere League-who delivered the goods as always. “I Hate People”-indeed! Finally it was Cock Sparrer to wrap up the first day of the festival. Excellent set by this band as well. They keep getting better each time I see them. Now it was off to the club show at Fremont Country Club. We caught Night Birds first. Beyond amazing seeing them again. They rocked and I picked up one of their CD’s at the merch table. The Briefs were also getting the crowd moving, got a couple of CD’s by them as well. ALL came on around 1:15 and I think played to around 2:30. Chad Price was on vocals and it was phenomenal set. Also got to chat briefly with some other friends of Lewdd: Erin, Wretch, and Todd. Good times but when it was all over but I was beat. Time for some shut-eye.

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