Punk Rock Bowling Day 2 (6/11/17)

Completely stacked is the best way to describe the lineup of Asbury Park, NJ’s second day of Punk Rock Bowling.  I got to The Stone Pony’s outdoor summer stage nice and early to catch New Jersey’s own Bigwig, and the place was pretty empty, but nowhere near as empty as one might expect for an all day no-reentry punk fest.

Bigwig:

Video by Bigwig NJ

The fact that Bigwig was playing so early was a bit shocking to me… surely they were more popular in NJ than a lot of the other bands playing considering the fact they’re local and you didn’t grow up a punk teenager in NJ in the 90s/00s without listening (and skating) to Bigwig.  Regardless, as I stated I got there nice and early to catch Bigwig.

While there weren’t many in the crowd at this point, those that were definitely turned up for Bigwig as they sang along while the NJ punks played through songs from all of their albums.  Playing a relatively quick set, the band didn’t waste any time with stage banter in order to fit in as many songs as possible.  Throwing a hell of a show, Bigwig is a must if you dig bands like Propagandhi.

Setlist (not in order, from what I remember)
A War Inside
Waste
Sink Or Swim
Mr. Asshole
Flavor Ice
Falling Down (I think they did this one)
Cross And Burn
Numbers
Moosh
Girl In The Green Jacket

Posers:

Video by youtube user Lauren Stein

Next up were Philly locals Posers, and I’ve said it before but if haven’t heard of by now you should definitely check out.  Playing female fronted 77 influenced punk in the veins of bands like The Avengers or X, Posers throw a hell of a live show.  Singer Jade is all over the place, and I mean that both musically and physically.  While she’s running, rolling, jumping down to the crowd keeping things energetic… she’s also all over the vocal range as well, quickly changing from classical singing to quick shouts and low growls.

Speaking of which, Posers are one of those punk bands you can tell is comprised of actual talented musicians.  While talent is by no means a prerequisite to be in a punk band (energy, attitude, message far trump talent), it always adds a special something when executed correctly.  The guitar work flips from catchy chord progressions to the occasional solo, which some punk bands try to incorporate but often feels forced or out of place in a song.  Posers nails it without making it the focal point, but as an added layer.  If you like 70s style punk or punk in general for that matter, give Posers a listen.

Darkbuster:

Video by youtube user Lauren Stein

Next up were Darkbuster, who I’ve been a fan of for a while but only got to see once at Asbury Lanes a couple years back.  Boston’s Darkbuster are known for their straight forward catchy oi-punk with the occasional ska number thrown in.  Playing a fun an rowdy set, Darkbuster played a decent amount from all three of their albums, including fan favorites “Rudy” and “Cheap Wine”.

Always a good time seeing Darkbuster live, they sounded much more tighter this time around than the first time I caught them. If you dig straightforward, catchy punk rock with the occasional ska influence, give these Boston punks a listen.

The Pietasters:

Video by youtube user Lauren Stein

If you’ve never heard of them before, Washington DC’s The Pietasters are one of the longer running US ska bands, playing ska influenced by traditional rock and roll, soul, and punk.

It’s been approximately 9 years since I’ve last seen them where they headlined Skanksgiving, so I was excited to be seeing them again.  While I personally think they would have been better suited to play the previous day when The Specials were headlining (maybe swap with Dillinger Four), they definitely had plenty in the crowd singing and skanking along.  Playing a lively set, I can’t remember what songs they did but I do remember they did my personal favorite “Out All Night” and their Business cover “Drinking And Driving”.

Leftover Crack:


Video by youtube user Lauren Stein

As the New York City crack rock steady punks were setting up, it was pretty clear that there were plenty in the crowd for the sole purpose of seeing Leftover Crack.  The band took the stage to a rowdy and excited crowd, and opened with the best possible thing that they could have done: a homage to Asbury Park and NJ with a beautiful rendition of a crust influenced cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run”.  Yes, it was glorious.

With a circle pit through the entirety of their set, the band played songs from their 3 LPs Mediocre Generica, Fuck World Trade, and their latest Constructs of the State (which if you haven’t listened to yet, do yourself a favor and hop on that shit… it’s really damn good).

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order)
Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen Cover)
Archaic Subjagation
Muppet Namblin’
Don’t Shoot
Slave To The Throne
Bedbugs and Beyond
Corrupt Vision
Gang Control
Life Is Pain
One Dead Cop
Nazi White Trash
Gay Rude Boys Unite
Stop The Insanity
Crack City Rockers

Lifetime:

Video by youtube user Lauren Stein

Maybe it’s the fact I’m from NJ originally, but while I love all the bands that were playing today, I was most excited to see Lifetime again.  There’s just something about seeing them in NJ, and it’s been about 3 years since I last caught them at The Stone Pony (only inside).  Besides, the last time I tried to see them at Starland Ballroom the promoter canceled the show.  With their blend of melodic hardcore, Lifetime was one of the most influential punk bands to come out of NJ with countless bands citing them as an influence (including other NJ bands like Saves The Day, etc).

Opening with “Turnpike Gates”, Lifetime had people singing along and two-stepping as they blasted through a set playing songs from Hello Bastards, Jersey’s Best Dancers, and their Self Titled.  Definitely one of my favorites of the day, Lifetime is one you need to check out.

Setlist (From what I remember, not in order)
Turnpike Gates
Northbound Breakdown
Airport Monday Morning
Daneurysm
The Gym Is Neutral Territory
The Boy’s No Good
Haircut and T-Shirts
Rodeo Clown
Knives, Bats, New Tats
Francie Nolan
Just a Quiet Evening
Irony Is For Suckers
25 Cent Giraffes

The Buzzcocks:

Video by youtube user PhillyUpstart

I’ve seen The Buzzcocks a few times, and I wasn’t exactly sure how the crowd was going to react.  Every time I’ve seen them, it was an older crowd who was excited to catch them and sing along, but the crowd was always pretty tame.  Not tonight… These 70s UK punks had arguably the largest pit of the day.

Known for their sarcastic and snarky love songs, The Buzzcocks played a cohesive and catchy set of mostly their hits from Singles Going Steady.  One of the longest running punk bands around, The Buzzcocks still put on a killer show after all these years.

Setlist:
Boredom
I Don’t Mind
Autonomy
What Ever Happened To?
Why She’s A Girl From The Chain Store
Sick City Sometimes
Noise Annoys
You Say You Don’t Love Me
Promises
Love You More
What Do I Get?
Orgasm Addict
Ever Fallen In Love
Harmony In My Head

NOFX

NOFX is one of those bands that need absolutely no introduction.  Chances are that if you’re into punk at all, you’re either a fan of NOFX, or you used to be a fan of NOFX but then decided that they weren’t punx enough/too immature/insert your own damn elitist reason here.

They’ve been playing since 1983 (and have had the same lineup since El Hefe joined the band in 1992), and have since more than perfected their craft, and are way past the point of giving a shit what anybody thinks (keep in mind this is a band that in the past announced that they were called “Half-FX” and would only play half of each song).  For that reason, along with their massive discography NOFX’s setlists tend to be a bit all over the place.  Nonetheless, the California punks played a solid, energetic set as usual.
Setlist:
Instrumental Intro
Seeing Double At The Triple Rock
72 Hookers
Murder The Government
I’m Telling Tim
Six Years On Dope
Leaving Jesusland
It’s My Job To Keep Punk Rock Elite
We March To The Beat Of An Indifferent Drum
Pharmacist’s Daughter
The Man I Killed
Ronnie & Mags
The Idiots Are Taking Over
I Don’t Like Me Any More
Louise
I Believe In Goddess
Linoleum
What’s The Matter With Parents Today?
Bottles To The Ground
Don’t Call Me White
Stickin’ In My Eye
Kill All The White Man

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