1. Fat Wreck Chords’ 25th Anniversary Tour didn’t stop in Las Vegas, but we’re lucky enough to land one of the better spillover shows at Beauty Bar, pairing rising Fat bands Masked Intruder and The Flatliners on a Wednesday night.
2. Masked Intruder performs music from a self-created genre I’ll call retro-crime-punk—taking ’50s doo-wop tunes and speed-punkifying them, with lyrical topics like burglary, armed robbery, puppy love and general disarray. It would feel super niche if M.I. wasn’t so damn good at it. Songs like “Stick ’em Up,” “Crime Spree” and “25 to Life” are catchy, funny, well-crafted pop that resonates beyond the shtick.
3. “I come from a little town called prison.” The members of Masked Intruder (Intruder Blue, Green, Yellow and Red) never break from their secret, hardened criminal personas, and even sport heavy Brooklyn accents … though they’re from Wisconsin. Their stripper/cop/hypeman Officer Bradford spends the whole show riling up the crowd, instigating dance-offs and sweatily hugging anyone within reach.
4. Heavy-drinking Toronto-area foursome The Flatliners are headlining tonight, but the crowd has thinned out a bit post-Masked Intruder. In contrast, the pit has expanded and intensified, fomented by singer Chris Cresswell’s shrieking yell.
5. Live, The Flatliners surge as a straight-forward punk outfit. What they lose by ditching the ska/reggae style of their recorded work, they more than make up for with velocity and energy.