Date: June 11th 2016
Bands: The Descendents, Dag Nasty, Subhumans, H2O, 88 Fingers Louie, Giuda, Iron Chic, Sketchy, Lost in Society
I’ve been wanting Punk Rock Bowling to come to the East Coast for awhile now. It’s finally on the East Coast and safe to say it was a success! It was an awesome 2-day festival with lots of great bands. Unfortunately it ended up with me puking backstage (from a stomach bug) on Day 2. Punk rock! But more about that fun on the Day 2 review…
Day 1 featured The Descendents, Dag Nasty, Subhumans, H2O, 88 Fingers Louie, Giuda, Iron Chic, Sketchy, and Lost in Society. I arrived around 3pm since I had stuff to do in the morning so I missed Lost in Society. I checked in at the table, and security didn’t let me in since I was wearing a wallet chain. I usually tuck it in my pocket but since I had to show my license, it was out. I couldn’t even put the thing in my camera bag, I had to walk back to my car and then go back. Then the guard frisked me like I was about to be cavity searched. I guess the stuff that happened down in Orlando the night before (and sadly the next morning), it’s understandable. I told him, “look I don’t do drugs can I go in already?”
The place wasn’t filled up yet since it was still fairly early. I didn’t catch too much of Sketchy. Iron Chic was okay but not my thing I guess. If I wasn’t shooting, I’d probably would have showed up a few hours later but then I wouldn’t have seen Giuda. Giuda from Rome, Italy were a lot different than the other bands but a lot more enjoyable for me. Their sound reminds me of classic rock and roll, mixed with some oi!, glam rock and other styles. Catchy songs and the lead singer was interesting to watch & shoot photos of. Some well known punk singers just stand in place and sing/scream, and it makes for a boring show. Not with Giuda. They played some songs off their newest album Speaks Devil. I think it took awhile for them to win over the crowd but I think in the end, they won some new fans.
After them was 88 Fingers Louie, who have been doing on and off again reunions. I’ve listened to songs here and there but I never really sat down to listen to a full album from 88 Fingers Louie. So seeing them was a new experience for me. I honestly couldn’t tell you what songs they played but I enjoyed their set. Having them being there certainly made the concert cooler since it’s not the usual punk bands that play in the area, or in general. The festival needed some 90s era punk bands, one could argue more of them.
After them were H2O, a band I haven’t seen since they played with The Descendents and Suicide Machines at Roseland in 2011. I never got a chance to shoot them so that was cool, finally. I miss seeing hardcore shows, since I used to see a lot of them back in Scranton area and Poughkeepsie. So much energy and having them on the bill certainly up things up a notch going forward. No offense to the other bands but the crowd woke up. They played some of their usual stuff like “Everready,” “Guilty By Association,” “One Life, One Chance,” “Family Tree” and “Spirit of ‘84.” Another band I need to see more often!
After H2O were Subhumans, who were one of the two bands I really wanted to see on Day 1. The last time I saw them, they played Coney Island High in 1998. Yeah, it’s been that long ago. I’ve seen Citizen Fish twice after that, the most recent time in 2012 in London with the Levellers. They are practically the same band but different songs. Their songs are still relevant today, if not even more today. This is my quintessential punk band, that have meaningful lyrics (besides the Dead Kennedys of course). Dick was his usual self and screaming and running around stage a lot; and certainly speaking his mind.
In between songs, Dick mentioned that he wasn’t suppose to curse because children could hear on the beach. He was teasing saying something along the lines, Ahh Americans, priorities are out of order. I had a chuckle about that one. The band played songs like “All Gone Dead,” “Businessman,” “Can’t Hear The Words,” “Work-Rest-Play-Die,” and “Religious Wars.” For me, they were so damn good and definitely a highlight of the festival.
Dag Nasty came next; another big reunion. I’ve heard a few songs of theirs but I never really got into them like I did for Minor Threat. The band features Minor Threat’s Brian Baker, who I didn’t even recognize at the concert because he didn’t have his usual blonde hair that I’ve known him to have back in the day or with Bad Religion. Speaking of Minor Threat, the band did a cover which was kind of special because I’d never thought I’d heard Baker play something from them. But for the most part, the played awesome and looked like they were having a blast.
The final band of Day 1 was none other than The Descendents, the band most of us were there to see. I’ve only see the band one time back in 2011, and I’ve tried to see them twice in the past and it didn’t happen. First time was way back at the Warped Tour and I couldn’t get over to their stage (in Asbury Park of all places). The other time was few years ago at the Riot Fest in Brooklyn. I left Brooklyn before I found out that they played at Saint Vitus. So I was just anticipating some thunderstorm or some freak thing that would make me miss their set again. Thankfully it didn’t rain all weekend in Asbury Park and I got to see the Descendents again.
Since their was a curfew, the band breezed by a lot of songs but then again, they are Descendents songs. They opened with “Everything Sux” and then went into one of my favorites, “Hope.” They were on fire that night. It could be that they have to be, since they are releasing a brand new album on Epitaph Records and touring the US in the Fall. Certainly no rust or anything like that. They played one or two new songs from the new album, which sound good to me! They played songs like “I’m The One,” “Silly Girl,” “Clean Sheets,” “Bikeage,” “Myage,” “Coolidge,” “When I Get Old” and finished up their set with “I’m Not A Loser.” I had to get home so I missed the encore but I believed they played “Nothing With You” and a new song. Maybe more songs but not positive.
Punk Rock Bowling Day 1 was great towards the end of the day. I would have picked some different opening bands but that’s just my preference. I can see why they picked some smaller or local bands but would have been cool to see the lineup strong from start to finish. Still, finally glad Punk Rock Bowling is on the East Coast and stays at Asbury Park since it’s close by.
Here are some photos, I’ll have full gallery sets up at SkaPunkPhotos.com this week or so.
88 Fingers Louie