Punk Rock Bowling, May 28

New factors made me both anxious and excited about this year’s Punk Rock Bowling. I’d heard the event was selling more tickets, which hopefully meant bigger crowds. Local promoter Brian Saliba was no longer involved, but it seemed beloved Vegas groups such as the Vermin and Guilty by Association were still featured prominently. And some of the classic bands (England’s Cockney Rejects? Um, OK.) were unfamiliar to a punk generalist like myself. So I wondered how these adjustments might impact the music. Well, I needn’t have worried. I dropped in on a vintage stand-by, SoCal melodic-punk act Pennywise, who’ve been making music off and on since the late ’80s. They sounded tight (even in the sound-diffusing outdoor stage at E. Stewart Ave. and N. 6th Street), and the crowd reaction was intense. Clearly Pennywise is a band people love to see, despite the fact that Ignite’s Zoli Téglás is the new musclebound frontman. He outdid himself, though, pulling off every classic pop-punk tune the band ever penned, including a few from brand-new disc All or Nothing. But it was when bassist Randy Bradbury pounded out the opening notes of “Bro Hymn,” and the band’s friends and fans all rushed the stage, that I nearly lost my shit and finally stopped complaining about Bad Religion not headlining. Making Punk Rock Bowling an open-to-the-public, less bowling-focused event over the years wasn’t a dumb move; it was brilliant. Can’t wait to see which bands—immortal, obscure, young, local—are brought in next time. ★★★★☆

Suggested Next Read

Lord of His Own Destiny


Lord of His Own Destiny

By Sean DeFrank

Kurt Divich always aspired to be a novelist, but it took some misfortune to get him going in the right direction. The local freelance writer and publicist conceived the premise for his debut novel in the ’90s, but he had barely written a chapter over the next several years before he blew his knee out playing soccer in 2005. Laid up following surgery, Divich wrote 140,000 words in 11 months, laying the groundwork for the political thriller Lords of Las Vegas.



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