The 13th annual Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival brought some classic bands out of hiding this Memorial Day Weekend and put them on the outdoor stage at Sixth Street and Fremont.
On May 28, Stiff Little Fingers hit the stage. Inspired by the then-new punk movement, SLF formed in Belfast, Ireland, in 1977—their politically charged lyrics still resonate. They opened their 45-minute set with “At the Edge.” Old and new fans sang and danced with vivacity to “Wasted Life,” and the beloved “Suspect Device.” SLF bid farewell to their fans with “Alternative Ulster,” a song about feeling displaced, an emotion to which many could relate.
Up next, the Dropkick Murphys performed with their famous high level of energy. “The Gang’s All Here” and “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya” had the audience doing Irish-inspired jigs across the grounds. Hurroo, Hurroo indeed. The show ended with about 50 fans onstage as DM performed “Kiss Me I’m Drunk” and AC/DC’s “TNT.”
Anticipation for the Descendents’ return to the stage was felt even in the parking lot on May 29. After almost a 10-year hiatus from performing, they returned to a crowd so large it spanned all corners of the festival grounds. Roaring into the first song, “Descendents,” the fans burst into delighted screams and hollers. The set list included (the highly covered) “Hope,” “I Don’t Want to Grow Up” and “I’m Not a Loser.” Fans hugged each other as they sang along to the frustration-filled lyrics of “Rotting Out,” the final song before the 15-minute encore. With the turnout on that night, the Descendents may be motivated to hit the road more often.