A Night of Punk To Remember
Punk rock is my favorite genre. Shows like the one tonight are what remind me why I love the genre so much. So I want to celebrate that in this, so I’m only going to spend a sentence on why I do not like going to Club Red. What transpired with the ownership after Kim Commons passed, and how friends that used to work there were pushed out is the reason I do not want to give them money or attention. With that, last night was one of the best lineups of punk music I have seen in one show. It was just a dash from the starting line to still breaking the sound barrier at the end with Fatskins.
Starving Wolves, out of Austin, starting out the show would best be compared to going from 0 to 100 in a second. This band comes out and their music kicks you right in the teeth. There is so much enthusiasm and energy on that stage with Starving Wolves. Not to mention, they have Krum Bums ties with Dave, lead vocals, and Josh, on bass, which explains some of it. The entire band clearly looks like they are having fun up there playing. Dave was trying to get the circle going early with usually two to three swirling around it. All I know is, these guys are fantastic.
Following them was another awesome band I haven’t seen live in about two years, Sniper 66. Also out of Austin, they bring another high energy, punk rock sound to that stage. A little less stage movement, but even on drumming her second set of the night, April was one of the most expressive up there. Later in the set we had the pleasure of Jeff doing leads on a song too, Dylan swapping to stage right. I came into this show excited to see them again, and they did not disappoint.
The special reason I was at this show followed them, James was back in town and we had the delight of catching one more Unstable Youth set. These guys before they stopped playing, I put in my top five favorite punk bands in Phoenix. Every show was fun, and there was always something funny or crazy happening. Tonight was no different, and James powered through what sounded like a sore throat before the show. Unstable Youth was having fun up there, engaging the crowd singing along to most of it. If we’re lucky, this may happen again on another visit. I’m crossing my fingers.
After them was the Rile 9 Collective, made up of some guys with a lot of roots in other punk rock bands. It certainly showed on stage with a sound that was awesome. Frankie Loyal not only is the front man on the band, but he is their drummer too. About two thirds through the set, his wife took on the drums and he just did lead vocals. Per Frankie’s own words, she is the better drummer. Meeting them later had a cool moment, as Eddie, of D.I., The Dickies, etc., remembered me from the last Punk Rock Karaoke I sang at. We talked some until his tacos were ready. I will see him at Punk Rock Bowling with the Dickies, and I hope I can catch the Rile 9 Collective again too.
Next comes one of the most unique performers and punk bands in Arizona, the Besmirchers. They are a fast paced punk rock from Tucson, but that isn’t want makes them stand out. What makes them standout is Lenny’s stage presence, which involves an assortment of pain on himself and grabbing in his pants while he sings. This set included bashing the microphone into his head, cutting his forehead, and stabbing his legs of what I was able to watch. It seems I have found something that makes me squirm watching it. Two of the last three times I’ve watched a set, I usually have to turn away at a point. Again, I can easily endorse the music and that stuff is great, even if I have to turn away from some of it being performed.
Second to last comes one of my favorite punk bands in Arizona, Bricktop. These dudes come ready to put on a punk show, and have yet to disappoint me. Bricktop is all over the stage, and appreciating all their friends through the entire set. You would find him putting the microphone to everyone wanting to sing. Partway into the set, there was a disruption that involved a Nazi who would be chased the heck out of there by the punks. Racism is not welcome in our scene, ever. After that, the set continued with a great guest singer for the final song. I love every opportunity I get to watch Bricktop perform.
Last band of this epic night of punk, came the Phoenix born band, the Fatskins. I’d seen Mike perform before in the excellent Oxley’s Midnight Runners, and I’ve seen Tom, on bass, in the harder punk band Phoenix Hooker Cops, but have somehow not caught a Fatskins set. It was clear I was in for a treat that was fantastic. This set was a lot of fun, despite my lack of sleep catching up to me at this point of the night. Mike showed his appreciation through it and voiced it multiple times through the set. The entire band was having fun and you could tell. The crowd fed off that and nostalgia, making for such an exciting place to be to watch Fatskins perform. This was, by far, one of the best nights and lineups of punk I have experienced. I took a lot of great pictures, so be sure to check them all out below.