Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival 2024 – Day 1 (25/05/2024)

/ 0 Comments/ By :

I am in a very hot Las Vegas for this year’s Punk Rock Bowling Festival. This year there has been much fan discussion about the line-up and lack of big names, but this doesn’t seem to have affected the fan turnout, there are still a lot of people here. Punk Rock Bowling isn’t just about the music, it is about the people you meet, the friends you make and the experiences you have in this weird and wonderful place! It is not for the fainthearted, the days are long and hot (the sun can really take a toll on you), if you take in the aftershows you can be out until the early hours, then try to grab a couple of hours sleep before getting up for a pool party and starting all over again.

Viva Las Vegas!

The Iron Roses

I always feel sorry for bands who appear early on in the proceedings. They give their all to what is usually a sparse crowd and sometimes get little encouragement in return. Thankfully this was not the case today, the band hit the stage running and were very well received by a small but enthusiastic crowd.

The band wove their spell on the audience led by their two pronged vocal attack of Nathan Gray and Becky Fontaine who bounced energetically all over the stage delivering the band’s brand of all-inclusive political punk rock.

The songs are fast, catchy and cover serious subjects, everything punk rock should stand for and be.



Screaming for a Change

Soldier of Fortune

Hearts of Fire

Around & ‘Round

Old Guard

Rebel Soul Sound

Raising Hell Raising Hope

Bad Cop Bad Cop

It’s off to the main stage to see Bad Cop Bad Cop, another band who deserve a better starting time and bigger crowd. A four-piece female band, and these women really rock, with bassist Lihn Le and guitarists Alex Windsor & Stacy Dee full of energy as they shoot across the stage.

They have great songs full of catchy riffs, and they certainly get the crowd going.


Teen Mortgage

On the Monster Street Party Stage, it is the turn of Washington’s Teen Mortgage to entertain, something they do exceptionally well. A barrage of noise and feedback heralds the duos (guitarist and vocalist James Guile and drummer Edward Barakauskas) first song. Their sound kind of defies description, let’s say they make a lot of noise for a duo!

Their ferocious sound builds throughout the set and by the end resembles a runaway train – no stopping it. I had never heard of this band before, I would definitely go and see them again if the chance arose.

The Skatalites

Celebrating 60 years of existence, the Skatalites provide a chill vibe to the proceedings with their ska and reggae. A nine-piece band, their first couple of songs were instrumental and pretty laid back, then percussionist Larry McDonald came to the microphone to sing, and the set really took off.

They managed to introduce us to new song Dance Away before bringing the house down with old ska favourite Guns Of Navarone. It was truly wonderful to sit in the sunshine  and listen to the sweet sounds of this truly iconic band.


Freedom Sounds
Man In The Street
Dance Away
Iron Bar
In The Mood For Ska
I Wish You Love
Guns Of Navarone
Freedom Sound (Reprise)




Back at the Street Party Stage, the crowd has been building for old time English punkers 999. This was as packed as I saw it over the weekend, and there was a lot of love for the veteran band. With a set time of only 30 minutes you would expect to get the crowd pleasing hits and that is exactly what Nick Cash and his boys delivered.

Feeling Alright With The Crew, Homicide, Emergency, Nasty Nasty all were present and correct and drove the crowd into a frenzy. Nick looked to be loving every minute of it, as did the rest of the band. He was full of energy darting around the stage, fists pumping the air, rolling back the years. The best reaction to a band yet from the crowd.


The Street Party stage has been the place for the more raucous bands today, and so it continues with New York hardcore merchants Madball, originally an Agnostic Front offshoot. This set literally went by in a blur as frontman Freddie Cricien was a complete bundle of energy, constantly tearing about the stage getting the crowd to respond to his “When I say New York, you say hardcore.”

The crowd were really loving this and were well receptive when Cricien brought his young daughter on to the stage to sing.


Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
Hold It Down
Set It Off
Smell The Bacon
Across Your Face
Face To Face
Rev Up
Get Out
Freight Train
Look My Way
Doc Marten Stomp
It’s My Life
Colossal Man


Billy Bragg

I must admit I was ambivalent about seeing Billy Bragg but also a little intrigued. I was pleasantly surprised as he absolutely slayed the audience. He told jokes (plenty of them) which were funny, he reminisced, he was very political and made impassioned speeches about racism, homophobia, transphobia, Trump and the Israeli / Palestinian conflict, and he also sang inspiring songs!

He opened with The World Turned Upside Down and followed it with  To Have and to Have Not which had the whole crowd joining in. Bragg already had the crowd in the palm of his hand and he continuously reminded the crowd that they can make a difference, no matter how old they are, driving it home with a rendition of Which Side Are You On, another audience singalong. He was absolutely mesmerising and highly entertaining, and was rapturously received by the crowd when he finished his set with his classic A New England.




The World Turned Upside Down

To Have And To Have Not


Which Side Are You On ?

All You Fascists Are Bound To Lose

Help Save The Youth Of America

There Is Power In A Union

Waiting For The Great Leap Forward

The Milk Of Human Kindness

A New England

Gorilla Biscuits

Last band of the night on the Street Party Stage was another NYC hardcore band Gorilla Biscuits. Like Madball before them, they produced scenes of mayhem within the crowd who reacted joyously to songs like Degredation, Big Mouth and Minor Threat cover Minor Threat.

Frontman Anthony Civarelli was constantly up on the barrier and into the crowd, who were absolutely loving it.


New Direction

Stand Syill



Things We Say

High Hopes

Big Mouth

Sitting Round At Home

Gorilla Biscuits

Hold Tour Ground

Minor Threat

Cat’s And Dogs

Start Today


So to the final band of the night, The Descendents. This seems a very safe choice for headliner as they are virtually guaranteed to put on a good show and send everyone away happy, which is what in fact happened. The set included songs from all phases of their career, but mostly relied on songs from the Milo Goes To College and Everything Sucks albums. The band’s 2-minute classics provided the perfect end to the day, left you feeling happy and filled you with optimism for tomorrow!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *