What do bowling and punk rock have in common? Absolutely nothing. But it sure makes for a fun weekend.
The four-day music festival returned to Las Vegas for it’s 21st year from May 24 through May 27. The weekend boasted over 120 bands, two outdoor stages, and a bowling tournament featuring more than 500 bowlers.
It all began in 1999 when brothers Shawn and Mark Stern decided that they wanted to throw a bowling party for their friends in the punk rock community. What started as a small party and an excuse to head to the Strip morphed into the most hardcore bowling tournament you will ever attend. We had the opportunity to head to Sin City to take part in the weekend’s madness, check out some of our favorite moments below…
Day one started strong with punk legends Pennywise and Sick Of It All headlining the day. The grungy hardcore outfit of Drug Church helped kick off the night with their sunset show, playing songs off their 2018 record, Cheer. They closed out their set with a large sing-along to their hit “Weed Pin.” Later, the New York natives of Sick Of It All took fans on a journey through their successful career, playing songs off their 1987 self-titled debut as well as their 2018 release, Wake The Sleeping Dragon! The Southern California rockers of Pennywise helped close out the night playing songs off their latest release Never Gonna Die while also paying homage to their classics including “Fuck Authority” and “Bro Hymn.”
The Skints got crowds warmed up early Saturday — giving fans their first taste of their new album, Swimming Lessons, played live. Attendees also had the opportunity to win plenty of strings, picks, and merch over at the Ernie Ball booth throughout the day.
Black Flag helped get fans settled in for a night full of music, while also having special guest Stephen Egerton of Descendents join them on stage. The Casualties closed out night two playing their hardcore riffs to thousands of punk enthusiasts.
The Vandals took to the stage at sunset, playing their hits from the 80s all the way to their early 2000s anthems. Descendents made their fourth Punk Rock Bowling appearance headlining on Sunday night, rally crowds upward of 10,000 belting out every word to their punk classics “I’m the One” and “Suburban Home.” Despite heavy wind interrupting the band’s hour onstage by cutting out the sound a couple times over the final songs, the California-natives persevered, not letting technical issues stop them prematurely.
None of Shame‘s five members is older than 22 — and their reckless spirits and chaotic energy shined through during their mid-Monday set. Bassist Josh Finerty leapt on everything in sight and pulled off a mid-song cartwheel, while drummer Charlie Forbes broke a cymbal about halfway through their hour set. The band’s stage presence was exhilarating, and left fans chanting their name by the end.
A day after bowling with fans, Teenage Bottlerocket drew the second stage’s largest crowd of the weekend. The four-piece played in their typical tight, fast, funny, and frantic manner, maintaining momentum throughout their entire set while even playing past their allotted time. Although no one seemed to be complaining, and few left.