The Fourth of July bring out your usual patriotism and fireworks. For me, and a lot in the Phoenix punk scene, it brings other fantastic traditions and get-togethers. The annual Pre-Independence Day Barbeque is one of those amazing events. This is put on by Bo, of the Industry, and his wife Marcia, of Bowcat, alongside a bunch of their punk musicians and friends. I started attending them about three years ago. I have had a blast and made new friends at every one of them.
This year mine kicked off missing We Might Be Wasted, who swapped into the opening slot. However, it did start with a goal I set forward and that was to catch more of the Ass Wipe Junkies. There is more raw and energy in their brand of punk rock. Plus their lyric writing brings some hilarious songs like “Stuck in my Zipper.” They are expressive and a blast to watch. If you haven’t checked out the Ass Wipe Junkies be sure to go grab their new EP then head to a show.
Whiskey and the Barrels were next celebrating our Independence Day. Hearing Celtic rock is a perfect example of the broad range of culture we get to have in the U.S. Adorned in their usual kilts, Whiskey and the Barrels took to the warm summer day like it was any other performance. It brought flutes, accordions, and, of course, bagpipes. Marcia and Donny jumped on microphones for the last song too. This was a great performance to get people moving early in the afternoon.
After them were Killer Neighbors for my first time. Their guitarist, Kirby, many probably know from his art. He has some great song writing skills too. The last time I saw him play was in Dime Museum. So this was a treat. The music sounded like spoken poetry put to rocking instruments. Killer Neighbors was one of the more unique performances of the day.
Then we moved onto Era of Extinction. They come at you playing hard and loud. I don’t see them play often, but a terrific band to catch when they do. I think the last time I saw them was at the prior Pre-Independence Day celebration. Only thing to say coming out of this is that I hope Era of Extinction plays more often because I can see a lot people enjoying them if they get a chance to.
The Working Mutts followed that one up. These guys bring the ‘Oi’ with them from Yuma. It wouldn’t be a celebration without them hanging out. New to the band was their guitarist who looked like the perfect complement to the rest of the band. He moved around, screamed his vocals into the mic, and had a matching energy. Working Mutts are excellent whenever they come up to Phoenix to play.
Bo and the Industry, our amazing hosts for this barbeque, then took the mic. Their set was the best example of how much comradery and friends were out at Kiwanis Park. There were people jumping in and out on microphones singing along. We had Marcia, his wife, jump in to sing lead vocals on a song with the Industry. There was Dane returning to play a little bit at the end. A lot of enjoyable times came from the Industry’s set.
After a short break, we had our brass section of the day play with Bowcat. The set started a little different, beginning with Steven singing lead vocals for the first song. Then he handed the microphone over to Marcia to take over for the rest. Becoming a tradition, we had Dane’s daughter do backup vocal for a couple songs. In addition, we had a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for both girls too. A cool thing was that for the end of an afternoon in the Phoenix summer, Bowcat had a lot of people dancing. I want to end with a huge thank you to Bo, Marcia and everyone involved with putting this on. I can’t wait until next year!