Punk Rock Bowling: Day 3

Sunday was my longest day with a physical camera. Having not gone to bed until about 5 AM, I started my day at the main festival. Hearing that the pool parties at the new location were more of a headache to get in, seemed a little more sleep was a better idea to prepare.

I opened up my day with the only band representing Phoenix on the main stage, the Venomous Pinks. A good amount of support congregated for their set from Phoenix, and then some more. They didn’t seem nervous at all, as I couldn’t tell a difference in their performance energy up there. Not deterred by how many musicians spit on that stage the day before, Corrie went her traditional barefoot too. Fingers crossed this opens up more doors for the Pinks.

Following them was the rarity for this day, a band I didn’t know, Ten Can Riot. These dudes out of Texas rocked that stage too. Brought some personality and the longest beard of the day.

Of course, I wasn’t missing the guys in Lost in Society. I’ve seen them a couple times now coming through Phoenix, and they put on a great performance. Last year, they got to help ring in the first Punk Rock Bowling at Asbury Park. This year they got invited back, but to play the Vegas festival this time. Speaking of great energy, these guys are jumping and emotions all over that stage. They did a fantastic job up there.

After them was the Real McKenzies, a band I have listened to but never seen a live performance. It was a great change of pace with the only Celtic punks on the bill. They ended on their own ridicule song “Fuck the Real McKenzies” and a more revealing look at what Paul McKenzie has under his kilt.

Then the standout set of my day, the Dickies. This is a band I was seeing for the first time that I’ve followed for a while. Eddie and Stan Lee I have seen play in other bands, such as Rile 9 Collective and together in Punk Rock Karaoke. However, this was my first time seeing them in the Dickies.

Expressive and personality is probably an understatement watching their set. The continuous props just lend to the humor of the songs. They ranged from a dog hand puppet to blow up dolls and a scuba mask. At one point, Leonard tried to hug Eddie, which he didn’t want any part of. Their personalities exude from them down to the bowtie and suspenders on their drummer. That was a memory making set for me.

Following them is a band with one of the most charismatic lead singers, Bouncing Souls. Greg usually moves to the fronts of every stage I’ve seen him perform on, and usually to the crowd. At the first Its Not Dead Festival, he made the best of a microphone not working situation by singing with the crowd by the stage.

That entire band follows his lead showing off personality and flair. Unfortunately, it would mark the last set of the night I could stay close and keep the camera safe.

For Choking Victim, I ended up further back. I actually used that time to get some food having hung near the stage since I got there.

After them was Fidlar, a band I had never listened to before. I enjoyed what I saw of them up there going in blind. The crowd seemed reluctant at first, but slowly got more concentrated as their set went on. Talking to some people out at the festival who knew who they were, it didn’t seem there was much middle ground. People either liked them or didn’t at all. This part of my night lended to some of those fun Punk Rock Bowling stories. I stayed closer to the pit, grabbing a couple shots of that. Plus at one point a girl saw I had a camera and just wanted to be in a picture on it, so I obliged.

After that would be punk rock staples, Bad Religion. These guys I have come to respect more as I got older. While you do get a tamer Jay Bentley in this band, he still played a role in a joke. Fat Mike ran on stage in a dress, takes his bass during a song, and played it until the song ended. Unfortunately I didn’t get to stay the entire set with club shows starting earlier than prior years. I made my dash for the Bunkhouse to try to avoid what happened on Day 2 with the overlap with Iggy Pop.

I got there on the last song of the B-Sharps, and as the Slackers was taking the outdoor stage. For me, there isn’t much better in the ska genre than the Slackers. They are amazing musicians with a great style. Their music more that of a 2 Tone sound blends in kind of a jazz at times. Vic would get a chance to step out from the keyboard to do his usual monolog and vocals for a song. These guys don’t disappoint.

Left Alone took the inside stage after that. They are more a rocksteady sound than the Slackers or Hepcat. Unfortunately the day was catching up to me and my feet told me so. That meant less dancing for my feet, but still able to move around and catch some Left Alone inside. There were plenty of people making up for my lack of dancing for the set. Left Alone was fun to watch, although I wished I could have danced a bit more.

Last was a band I entered Punk Rock Bowling with the goal of finally seeing, Hepcat. Another Rocksteady and Reggae band, but with a similar style as Slackers. While my first time seeing them, they played some new songs for the audience. They were boasting they will be recording their first new music in years bringing some excitement. That was the cherry on top of the amazing day of music I had. Of course, I didn’t go right to bed. I ended it joining friends and with my Punk Rock Bowling tradition of the six layer cake at the Claim Jumper. A bonus with that was Jay Bentley was there too, and I got to tell him how awesome his PEARS shirt was.

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