Saturday, June 17, 2017

Beer and Skanking in Las Vegas: Punk Rock Bowling 2017


Hello friends! The Warlock Team recently attended the Punk Rock Bowling Festival in filthy and filthy-FABULOUS LAS VEGAS! It was quite the adventure and I want to share my experience with you! Not being one to beat around the bush, I’ll just get right into it!


***DAY 1**THE**ARRIVAL***

I always get a little excited when I get to the home stretch of a long drive, excited and hungry.  Man, was I hungry! So after getting into the city, we stopped at a Wendy’s.  We ordered fries, Frosties, and a menu item we’ve been wanting to try, the strawberry mango salad!  After getting our orders, I noticed an adorable Chihuahua sitting on the lap of a skinny tattooed blonde lady.  The lady fed her doggie chicken nuggets and we would have enjoyed the sight more if it weren’t for the homeless insane man behind me babbling about Lady Gaga and the military. Apparently he’s a high-ranking officer and guilty of unspeakable war crimes.  Besides being offered cologne from the trunk of a car, nothing else really happened there.

*CHECKING IN*

Months earlier, I had made reservations with The D.  When you’re as big a fan as innuendo as me, staying at The D is a fantastic experience. As we entered the parking garage, we read a sign saying something like $2 an hour.  As we parked, I wondered if there was another garage for hotel guests.  We found parking on the 7th floor, and while walking to the elevators, we noticed that the festival was setting up across the street!  The view was perfect.  We considered for a moment scalping the tickets and watching from the garage, this thought left me as quickly as it came, as I knew I had to be in the crowd.  After getting our room keys, I asked about the parking and was told that we would use our room keys to get in and out of the garage.  First thing I do at any hotel after putting my bags away is fill up the ice bucket. I grab it, walk down the hall to the ice machine next to the elevators, and to my horror, it’s out of order!  Some passing vacationers informed me I would need to go to the 6th floor for some ice (we were staying on the 5th floor, so this wasn’t a major inconvenience).  In what’s becoming a sort of tradition, we set the TV to Forensic Files.  There’s nothing better to unwind to than a good crime show, and Forensic Files is one of the best!  We took some time to relax and got ourselves ready for the weekend.

*PAWN**CRAWL*

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were in need of a new camera.  We left the room in search of a nearby Pawn Shop.  First one we found only had digital cameras, so we had to find another.  The next one we found had a limo in the parking lot and some guy at the door telling people they could only take pictures, NO VIDEO!  Confused, we entered the shop.  After a few steps in, it dawned on us that this was the Pawn Stars Pawn Shop.  Pawn in the front, show merchandise in the back.  We ask an employee if they have film cameras, and he told us “No, but if we did they’d be antiques”.  Frustrated and disheartened, we gave in and went to a Walmart. There, we bought four disposable cameras.  Mission Accomplished. Time to get back in The D.

Once in the room, we made plans (I say we made plans, but we already knew what was next).  It’s had been a few hours before we last ate, and we’ve really been wanting to try Carlo’s Bakery’s cannolis. We knew from watching Cake Boss that the Vegas location was at The Venetian, so we headed south to the New Las Vegas Strip.  All these new Hotels and Casinos are like big ass mazes, and I wasn’t in the mood for getting lost in one.  I asked a security guard where we would find Carlo’s Bakery, he pointed us in the right direction.  We had to stop after about 50 ft. because a giant Xenomorph statue was too cool to just pass without appreciating. It was awesome.  So we made it to Carlo’s Bakery and the excitement was reaching critical mass inside me.  The hype was fucking real! We ordered two regular cannolis, one chocolate cannoli, and two lobster tails. Behind the counter I could see the packaging machine which was insane! The box goes in and rope flies around it and ties itself! Anyway, when we got back to our hotel, there was a strange Nickelbackesque concert polluting Fremont Street. We went to our room, ate them got dang cannolis and watched Forensic Files as we fell asleep.


***DAY 2**PRB BEGINS***

To start the day right, you need a good breakfast.  We knew before we even got to Vegas what our breakfast was gonna be.  CHICKEN and motherfucking WAFFLES! BUT not just ANY chicken and waffles, we’re talking Hash House A Go-Go chicken and waffles!  One serving feeds two (could probably even feed three). So we headed to The Plaza Hotel and Casino, where Hash House is located.  Not surprisingly, the wait was 45 minutes. Actually, I’m surprised it wasn’t a little longer, but I digress.  We decided to get some McDonalds coffee while we waited. 45 minutes later, we were in.  Paco spotted Alice Bag and had to greet her (Alice! We’d love to interview you someday!).  Sorry about that, not like she’ll even see this, but it would be awesome. So we get seated. I can’t remember the name of our server, but she was super sweet! We didn’t really need the menus as we already knew exactly what we were here for.  We ordered and when the food came out, we made a horrifying realization: Bacon has been put INSIDE the waffles! (Understandably, this would be a welcomed surprise to most, not for us). Paco took them out and I powered through it. Afterwards I wished I followed her lead. Did not enjoy the bacon flavor lingering in my mouth.

Time to loiter on Fremont. This was the right choice as we bumped into half the Happy Drunk Cartel, Hector and Tony; They were also with their close friend, Suzie.  We decided to tag along with them.   We made a quick stop at our room to grab Cards Against Humanity and from there went to I think Suzie’s room at The Plaza.  Knocked Up was on the TV and we started playing.  One thing I like about Hector and Suzie was their love of The Simpsons. The Simpsons references didn’t stop and it was beautiful.  Our game had almost ended when Keith, a friend of Suzie’s came in with a personal pizza, Keith was full of energy and we talked with him a bit about comics and his band, Los Brigands.  Time had passed and it was time for us to be on our way to the Festival.


We must have gotten in around 5:40 or so, because Plague Vendors were wrapping up their set. Up next was The Interrupters and I was excited because I never heard them before! New music gets me hyped. It was refreshing to see a straight Ska band playing the festival. The Interrupters were great!  I would have liked them to have a longer set, but they played the FUCK out of the 30 minutes they were given!  A year ago was our first time going to PRB and while there, we met a nice couple, well, we met a few.  This year, we ran into these couples again. Their names were Holly and Irish Cash, Gabe and Sam. It’s nice to see familiar faces when you’re in strange places, and Vegas ranks high in the list of strange places.  Hunger had come over us and we needed sustenance. We hit the food trucks. A band started playing while we were in line. We didn’t notice until the set was almost over that it was The Spits.  We were disappointed that we missed their performance, but they sounded great from the food trucks and their music was great Pizza Music!  Later, we ran into Gary, a Facebook friend of Paco’s, and his friend Danny.  Good people.   Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies were fabulous!  Bruh, The number of times Spike says “This is a cover” is ridiculous and borders on becoming annoying (I said it BORDERS on being annoying, Paco disagrees).  Sometimes when he said it, I thought Man, that’s hilarious and other times I thought is he still saying that? But in the end, it’s hilarious. These guys do great covers, and their live set is most certainly something to see (hear)!

We stuck around for I think two of Iggy’s songs. The man is a legend and must be seen.  I have to admit, his energy is prodigious for a 70 year old (hell, even for a 40 year old)!  He seriously left an impression on me.  When we left, the masses were still gathering to see Saint Iggy (Yeah, I just called him a saint, get over it). We needed money so we decided to go to 711 for the cash-back.  It wasn’t until we were at the register that we realized we could only get $10 max.  We needed (an assumed) $50.  So we took our Brisk Iced Teas and headed back to The D. We grabbed McDonalds on our way to the room and put on – you guessed it – Forensic Files.  If there’s anything this show has taught me, it’s that it’s always a close friend, lover or relative (mostly a lover or former lover).

***DAY 3**PRB CONTINUES***


The next morning we decided to get some Dunkin Donuts to start the day.  I got one Spring Flower donut and one Strawberry donut, while Paco got a bowtie pastry and garlic taters.  After breakfast, we went looking for the Pool Party™. We thought it was at the Gold Nugget. This was because we heard the GN had a deal with PRB and it made sense to us that it would be where they’d do it.  Not the case.  So we wasted our time looking there and the staff either lied to our faces or didn’t know what we were talking about but didn’t want to lose our potential patronage.  They gave us the run around and Paco looked it up on her phone and found out it was at the Gold Spike Hotel NOT Gold Nugget. So made off to the GS and found the line.  We were told an hour wait.  Met some cool people in line.  There was one guy named Scott, who we liked and invited to hang out with us, nothing came out of it, but that’s life.  Scott told me about his wife and that she was worn out from the night before and was resting in their hotel room.  After waiting for what I believe was more than an hour, word got out that they were at capacity and it would be a one-out one-in deal.  We took that as our cue to leave.

We headed back to The D, where we took a break and I painted my nails.  We got carried away on the Forensic Files marathon and before we knew it, it was time for food again.  We landed on American Coney Island; the price is right, the location was right, and the cheese fries were to die for! After fueling up, we headed to the Festival.  I think this time getting in the line was longer than the night before.  We missed The Dickies, caught the end of Bouncing Souls’ set.  Choking Victim was going on next and I was pumped!  Their set was incredible!  I particularly enjoyed 500 Channels and Crack Rock Steady, where they had members from other bands join them on stage to sing it.  We ran into The Drunks again and stuck around with them.  FIDLAR was up next and my body was ready.  Their set went great.  Choking Victim hit us with the crust and FIDLAR washed that crust down like a cheap beer.  We met what I believe to be a couple, Mark and Anastasia.  Mark was dressed like Hunter S. Thompson and Anastasia was bubbly as fuck, getting everyone around her to dance!   While we were dancing and jamming to the music, it was noted that Suzie was having a moment.  I believe it was Hector who told me that her dog, Josie, had passed recently.  I know this pain.  I had a cat pass recently too.  I did what I could to comfort her, reassuring she’s not alone.  That Josie and my cat are in a better place, or at least no longer suffering.  We hugged it out, and she seemed a little better.

Bad Religion.  FUCK. YES. Can’t really say much more.  After the show, we headed to Suzie’s room where we hung out and talked about the show, life, and everything.  I do mean everything.  These guys got that gab.  It was there Paco and I learned about who we now call Señor Drunk: Hector gave us a glimpse at solos music he had been working on, and we dubbed him Señor Drunk.  We hung around a little longer while The Beatles played in the background, but we felt it was time to head back to The D.  On our way back, we ran into a Punk Rock Marriage!  When we got back, it was Forensic Files and Sleep.

***DAY 4**THE FINAL DAY OF THE SHOW***

Not much was written in my notes about the final day, so here’s what I remember:  We had breakfast at Denny’s on Fremont.  We sat at what I can only describe as a bar.  The TV was glitchy. I liked it.  We had grand slams, coffee and milkshakes.   Think about the day before, we decided to skip the Pool Party™ and just relax in the hotel room.  I’m thinking we didn’t do too much that day.  I remember we took a nap at some point.  Oh yeah!  We took some pancakes back from Denny’s, took a nap and when we woke up we finished them.  Then we headed to the Festival.  First thing we did was head to the merch table.  Remember how we needed change?  It was to get an Adicts Flag.  The Adicts Flag has eluded Paco for years.  We got to the table. GONE!  I guess that’s life.  We later saw they had a flag at the table, but they would only let it go for $100 (fuck that).



We managed to catch Booze & Glory.  Love that name!  They were fun.  Paco and I recognized someone in the distance (more accurately, PACO recognized someone in the distance).  It was hard to miss him, but I’m an expert on missing shit.  After a minute of looking, I finally noticed him. It was Gage, the man in the blue dress!  See, we met this guy at last year’s Riot Fest in Denver.  I definitely wanted to greet him, but there was a large space of people kicking and hitting beach balls around.  I was not going to get in the middle of that!  We made our way around. I’m not sure if he recognized us right away, but he remembered after we mentioned a Polaroid (Paco does this thing where she gives people Polaroids as a memento).  It was nice to catch up with him.  After Booze & Glory, we rested on a fence and people watched.  Eventually, this sort of music track with soundbites came over the speakers.  At first we weren’t sure what we were hearing, but we thought it was Discharge’s intro.  It felt like the never-ending intro. I think it was at least 8 minutes long (but it was epic as fuck)!  Discharge was great.  Now I had never heard Discharge before today, let’s just say I was sold.  While they were playing I noticed some really big beach balls backstage and then I noticed one REALLY BIG BEACH BALL!  They were The Adicts’ beach balls and so while I was enjoying Discharge, the hype was already building inside me for The Adicts!

This whole trip I was wondering if The Adicts were gonna play their intro, and I think Discharge answered my question for me.  Although, it wasn’t confirmed in my mind yet, as I keep myself open to all possibilities.  Discharge had finished their set; we went back to the fence for more rest (The desert heat really got to us).  While we were sitting, Paco made conversation with some dude from Montana (I think).  Then I heard it.  I heard the unmistakable sound of the Clockwork Orange music.  The Adicts were about to take the stage!  I get so overwhelmed with emotion when I see them live.  I was beside myself.  Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.  I absolutely love the crowd interaction Monkey brings.  Streamers, confetti, cards and other tiny gifts.  Later, I even saw a guy wearing half of the large beach ball as a cape! Pennywise was up next and I didn’t know what to expect.  I’ve never listened to their music.  The only way I know them is thru Bassnectar’s “Pennywise Tribute” off his album Vava Voom.  I enjoyed them all right, but their music wasn’t so much my cup of tea.   Turns out though, I did know one of their songs (thru the tribute track, Bassnectar sampled one of their more popular songs).  I did enjoy that song, mostly because I recognized it, heh.

We saw that Cock Sparrer was ending an hour earlier than the other headliners. Now, while this may have something to do with it being the last day of the festival (and Memorial Day weekend), Paco had a feeling there could be a secret or surprise band afterwards.  What really happened was something unexpected, but thoroughly entertaining and gladly welcomed.  The crowd had scattered, everyone was taking a breather, getting ready for Cock Sparrer when suddenly “Hail to the Chief” starts playing.  I should have mentioned earlier, that hanging out in the Merch Area, was a statue of Donald Trump with no balls (an accurate representation). Well, it seemed like they had plans for him.  They wheel out the statue, covered at first.  They uncovered it and got what I believe was an audience member on stage with a bat and invited her to take a swing at him.  She goes straight for his dick.  Fat Mike from NOFX grabs the bat and went for the head.  Mike knocked it clean off!  I think video of it went viral.  Mike made a bit of a speech about politics and after they cleaned up the mess, Cock Sparrer played.  The crowd was in a frenzy!  This band that somehow flew under my musical radar has quite a fucking following.  I felt like the only one in the crowd who didn’t know a word of their songs, but I must admit, they were brilliant!  When they finished, and the crowd dispersed, I found half of the giant red and yellow beach ball from The Adicts set.  I took it back to my room wearing it like a toga of sorts.

It was time for rest.

The next day, we checked out of the hotel, I believe we had McDonalds breakfast in bed then headed out. Before leaving Vegas, it is imperative that you fill the gas tank (and grab a souvenir for mom).  We found a gas station on the southwest end of Vegas, and while Paco filled up, I grabbed a nice rock for her mom (I wrote “Las Vegas” on it so there would be no mistake where it came from).  After filling up, we headed back to LA.  The road was open – for about an hour.  I think about 20 miles before Baker, traffic came to a screeching halt!  The heat was bad, I even saw a kid throwing up on the side of the road.  Some people (ASSHOLES) lost their patience and decided they were so important that they drove on the shoulder to go around the traffic.  We were stuck in this traffic for two hours!  We got through it and made our way home, but not without stopping at Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner.

It’s becoming a tradition with us to stop at Peggy Sue’s after a Vegas trip.  We love the food and the service there!  We also enjoy the décor (this time I saw a poster that got me excited)!  We pull in, and after a short walk in the hellish landscape of Yurmo, we were greeted by sweet air conditioning!  We both had to use the restroom pretty bad; when we got out, Paco told me about a statue that scared the hell out of her (picture right).  When we got to the dining area, Shirley greeted us.  Shirley the waitress (at least I think her name was Shirley, she was sweet).  I ordered the King Kong burger and Paco ordered the La Bamba burger.  Both are great.  Paco highly recommends that I try the La Bamba next time (I most certainly will).  We learned at the register, that we were entitled to a free tootsie roll from the gift shop if we show them our receipt.  Walking out of the restaurant, I noticed a Song of the South poster, which blew my mind.  Considering Disney put a lot of effort in making sure we never see the movie, I imagine a poster is pretty rare.  I asked an employee at the gift shop if it was for sale.  To my great dismay, it was not.


So that concludes the Punk Rock Bowling Story!  Did you go to the show?  Do you have anything to say?  Comment below!!  Yeah, I'm in a few of the pictures! It's my experience, why shouldn't I be pictured!?  Anyway,  I hope you enjoyed my story, and join me next story time!  Byeeee!! 

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