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Punk Rock Bowling Monday: Pennywise, Hot Water Music and fans watching for free

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G.B.H.’s Colin Abrahall performs on the final day of Punk Rock Bowling.
Photo: Chris Bitonti
Chris Bitonti

Punks celebrated Memorial Day Downtown, at the last round of the Punk Rock Bowling music festival. Although crowds thinned a bit on Monday, the fest was still well attended—punk fans unable (or unwilling) to purchase tickets even gathered in the open lot next to the grounds, to rock from beyond the fences.

The final day featured another stacked bill, with 7 Seconds, Hot Water Music, G.B.H and Pennywise closing out the bill. Recently formed supergroup Dead Ending kicked it off, featuring members of Alkaline Trio, Rise Against and Articles of Faith.

Shortly after 6 p.m., Florida’s Hot Water Music took the stage for Chuck Ragan's second Las Vegas performance in 24 hours. (Ragan rocked a solo, acoustic set Sunday at Beauty Bar.) HWM plays a style of punk with jazz-influenced drumming and complex harmonies, setting it apart from standard three-chord rock outfits. Ragan and Chris Wollard split vocal duties and had an unintentional “who can talk with a raspier voice” contest between songs. Their set featured a few tracks off new record Exister, along with fan favorites like “Trusty Chords” and “Rooftops.”

Braving the pit for British punk kings G.B.H. was a peak PRB experience for many. The crowd was in a frenzy from the second Colin Abrahall and crew took the stage. The ever-expanding ring filled with punks cycling frantically as G.B.H. raged through a loud and fast set of seminal street-punk songs, which undoubtedly had influenced many of the weekend’s other performers. The English outfit reached deep into its 34-year catalog, playing timeless favorites like “Timebomb,” “Maniac” and ”Kids Get Down.”

Monday night’s final performance came from Pennywise—surprisingly, the band’s first Punk Rock Bowling gig. The Californians recently released their 10th studio album, All or Nothing, and their anti-establishment, pro-riot songs offered an ironic close to a memorable weekend. Pennywise band complimented the crowd for its good behavior, and named Punk Rock Bowling "Coachella for f*cked-up people with bad tattoos and bad haircuts."

Time to rest up for PRB 2013.

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