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The 5 best sets at Punk Rock Bowling

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Flag closed the first night of Punk Rock Bowling’s 18th installment on May 28.
Photo: L.E. Baskow
    • Off With Their Heads

      2016 Punk Rock Bowling: Day 3

      Vocalists/guitarists Ryan Young and John Polydoros were cheerier than during other recent Vegas stops, making for a looser and more satisfying OWTH experience. The clowning didn’t strip away from the impact of emotionally devastating songs like “Come Find Me” and the rarely played “Old Man.”

    • Dwarves

      2016 Punk Rock Bowling: Day 2

      The frequent PRB visitors were almost violently mesmerizing, so much that we almost believed frontman Blag Dahlia’s proclamation that the band “invented punk rock.” The band played all of 1990’s Blood Guts & Pussy, best among the festival’s five full-album performances, and the energy didn’t ebb even after those songs ended, as Dwarves cycled through guest vocalists to help finish the set.

    • Flag

      Flag closed the first night of Punk Rock Bowling's 18th installment on May 28.

      Flag closed the first night of Punk Rock Bowling's 18th installment on May 28.

      It’s a shame guitarist Greg Ginn’s lingering hostility will likely prevent a true Black Flag reunion from ever happening, but a lineup anchored around the heart of the legendary band—bassist Chuck Dukowski and original vocalist Keith Morris—is hardly a poor substitute. Morris has become more comfortable performing BF songs that didn’t originally feature his vocals, and no one’s more animated onstage than the 62-year-old Dukowski.

    • Descendents

      Descendents perform during the 18th annual Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival in downtown Las Vegas, May 29, 2016.

      No complaints here about the best pop-punk band of all-time headlining the festival for the third time in six years. The Descendents’ latest set was memorable even before the added bonus of hearing half a dozen songs off forthcoming album Hypercaffium Spazzinate and an organic four-song encore.

    • The Bronx

      2016 Punk Rock Bowling: Day 1

      A question hovers over each edition of Punk Rock Bowling: Which modern acts might be able to headline when the current crop’s no longer available? The Bronx presented the strongest answer from any middle-billed band in years. In its first show of 2016, the hardcore-influenced, LA-based band ignited the highest-energy set of the weekend, which found frontman Matt Caughthran getting thrown around the circle pit during a two-song foray into the crowd.

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