Random Punk Rock Bowling thoughts from Saturday night

Original All singer Dave Smalley performs with his old band Saturday night at Azul Tequila.
Photo: Bill Hughes

• Sold out festival? Tell it to the crew watching from the top floor of the El Cortez garage—for free. Ingenuity, thy name is punk.

• How windy is the fenced-in main-stage corral at 6th and Carson (which, I'm told holds 4,000)? The volume level at stage left rises and fades noticeably as the huge overhead speaker bank sways to and fro. Hey, what’s more punk rock than spitting out dust?

• “Good night and fuck off” –Filthy Thieving Bastards

• Stiff Little Fingers are without guitarist Ian McCallum, whom we’re told is “very ill.” John Haggerty (ex-Naked Raygun) fills in for the veteran Northern Irish outfit, which sounds great 33 years after its first release. Singer Jake Burns is in fine voice, leading the quartet through a set of catchy punk anthems that ends with 1978 singles “Suspect Device” and “Alternative Ulster.”

• Celebrity sighting: Pawn Star Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison is in the crowd for Dropkick Murphys’ Day 1 main-fest-capping performance.

• Culture clash at the El Cortez. Oxygen tanks alongside blue Mohawks.

• Great concept by All at Azul Tequila: All three of the band’s singers—Dave Smalley, Scott Reynolds and Chad Price—take turns at the mic. Why didn’t Van Halen ever try that? Oh yeah, because they’re Van Halen.

• How much love does the late-night throng have for All? When Price strays too close to the edge of the stage, he's bear-hugged so hard by the crowd, it takes everything two security guards have to bring him back. He gets back to his feet with the back of his white T-shirt ripped in half, top to bottom.

• Hipsterish post-PRB bill at Beauty Bar, capped by New Wave cover outfit Flock a Goo Goo (which pulls off a tricky Melt With You -> Rio segue) and melodic punkers The Muffs. Singer Kim Shattuck’s still got it.

• LVCS is pretty packed when LA ska band See Spot finishes at 1:30 a.m., not quite so much when legendary ska forefathers The Skatalites start up at 2:15. Sure, having eight members requires a lengthy line check, but 45 minutes is too long between acts. Still, their horns sound great and the crowd is sizeable enough to give the ’60s survivors a proper reception—and Saturday a suitable sendoff.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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