The Beginning of Punk Rock Bowling 2017

Punk Rock Bowling is the annual gathering of punks, and some rude boys, for about four days of music. That is not including the occasional Thursday night club show they have started doing in the last couple years. It has grown larger each year, now in three cities including Denver and Asbury Park. Punk Rock Bowling has been my carefree, getting drunk, and moshing around to music vacation four years running now. One of the greatest treats has been seeing friends in local scene and beyond making it to this stage. The first day, for me, has always been that of travel and a club show.

The coolest thing was it opened up with the Linecutters, from right here in Phoenix. These three dudes have been exploding. There has been love from every angle of the Phoenix scene. Now on Slope Records and a great new album in tow, they got to open up for an all-time favorite of mine in the Vandals on the first night of Punk Rock Bowling. If unfamiliar to them, a punk rock with a couple ska songs mixed in. They did an excellent job opening up this big show and event. I’m excited to see how far they can go from here.

Another band that has been on fire the last couple years, Get Dead, followed that up. It was probably the most unique set of the night with their style of punk. They bring a little rawer punk rock and personality from the rest of the line-up. It was a lot of happy and smiling times up there through the songs. I didn’t notice until later that Sam performs in his bare feet too. They did what they do best on that stage once again.

The Crowd was the middle of the night, and a band I should have discovered sooner. They certainly match the energy and personality of the Vandals. Their music a similar style of punk, and they are just amusing to watch on that stage. Jim, vocals, is all over with that microphone. I just wish I had discovered them sooner than a week ago.

Another first for me at Punk Rock Bowling was our next band, Street Dogs. This one I had heard about but never listened to. Their performance is energizing and entertaining. It felt like Mike was more frequently off stage on the barrier than the stage. He was pointing and talking to the crowd. Later on, Mike crowd surfed around the crowd. The entire band on that stage echoes his personality and energy. The Street Dogs had to be one of the best performances I saw of Punk Rock Bowling.

Of course, that is followed by one of the most personality filled punk bands around, the Vandals. These guys are one of the first punk bands I attached to when I found the genre. I love every album they compose. One of the coolest things about tonight was that I got to take pictures of them, even if it was from the crowd.

The set itself was a blast that went on for about an hour. Tonight they had Derek, of AlkalineTrio, on drums. I swear it looked like Dave, Joe, and Warren was wearing him out. Derek all smiles back there, chiming in for the humor and keeping with the style of their performance. Dave was having fun walking around, talking to Joe, talking to Warren, and the crowd. They are so expressive on that stage. Warren took over vocals for a song near the end. These guys never disappoint me.

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