If you passed through Yayo Taco’s old parking lot—the one across from UNLV—a few years ago, odds were you’d bump into a pack of D.I.Y. punk kids waiting for a band to ravage the venue’s rickety interior. But ever since Yayo closed in 2013, the University District has become a graveyard of punk memories, while the familiar scenario has been reimagined over at the west-side independent art gallery, the Artistic Armory.
At least that was the vibe I got Saturday night, when punk fans of all ages turned out to see two local bands, The Quitters and War Called Home, pay homage, respectively, to two of 1994’s classic albums—Weezer’s eponymous LP (the “Blue Album”) and NOFX’s Punk in Drublic.
As The Quitters (or Queezer, as they called themselves that night), plucked the opening strings of “My Name Is Jonas,” everyone inside the gallery shuffled out onto the hot concrete to watch the local punks play under even hotter floodlights. Singer/bassist Marc Rowland led the crowd on a batch of sing-alongs, cushioned by Tom Carr’s guitar solos on “Buddy Holly,” “Undone – The Sweater Song” and “Surf Wax America.” During “Say It Ain’t So,” drummer Micah Malcolm even made a rare appearance on lead vocals.
War Called Home’s tribute to NOFX followed, as singer/guitarist Grant Davis launched into the gnawing verse on Drublic opener “Linoleum.” “Possessions never meant anything to me!” he shouted, and although the crowd had thinned, those who stayed skanked in the pit until their limbs were exhausted. For a moment, it felt like 1994 all over again.