It’s been nearly two decades since the first Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival brought a few dozen bowling teams and a band or two to Las Vegas. The event has since expanded to take over an entire weekend and, seemingly, the whole city. As thousands of punks converge on Vegas, here are a few highlights (scroll all the way down for chats with Jello Biafra and more).
At the festival proper, punk godfather Iggy Pop will headline Saturday’s gig, sharing the stage with showmen Me First and the Gimme Gimmes as well as punky ska outfit the Interrupters. Sunday’s big name is (the seemingly ubiquitous) Bad Religion, along with skate punks Fidlar and thrash-happy chicks the Venomous Pinks. On Monday, it’s Cock Sparrer, the Adicts and Pennywise for your old-school punk pleasure.
If big crowds aren’t your thing, there are a number of official PRB club shows scheduled for smaller venues Downtown. Thursday kicks off with the O.G.s of garage, the Sonics. Other bands this weekend include the heroes of ’70s CBGB, Television, as well as pop-punk outfit Mr. T. Experience, Giuda’s glam-punk and Hepcat’s ska dance party. And the Gold Spike will be hosting afternoon punk rock pool parties Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Of course, there are plenty of unofficial events that offer the PRB flavor. Beauty Bar is hosting matinee shows in its backyard for those who want to get their ears and liver to work early. Friday night, feral rockers the Mentors take the stage at the Dive Bar, and on Saturday night, Evel Pie is throwing a punk rock pizza party with bands and a $5 beer-and-slice deal; that night, Jello Biafra will also host his Incredibly Strange Dance Party at the Golden Tiki and a dozen thrash bands play at the Hard Hat Lounge until the wee hours. Even if you don’t intend to be part of Punk Rock Bowling, you may find it impossible to avoid.
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