On November 16th, what many would claim to be the epitome of punk rock came to Vegas: Fat Wreck ladies Bad Cop/Bad Cop, the elusive folks in RVIVR, and the ever-championed old timers Propagandhi.
Veterans of Vegas shows, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, did not disappoint. Despite guitarist/vocalist Jennie Cotterill fighting a horrible flu, she and the other members still gave it all they had, playing bangers from their newest album Warriors. In true woman warrior fashion, when a spat between some old timers in the crowd became apparent, the band entirely stopped playing and asked what the problem was, refusing to play until the two boys got along. And once they saw that wasn’t happening, they asked who the asshole was and had security kick him out. It was incredible to watch a show be made into a safe space for fun, friends, and great tunes again.
Continuing with the optimism and safe-space air of friendliness, RVIVR took the stage next, and everything in me wanted to dance and jump around the entire time. Being the first show RVIVR has ever played in Las Vegas since forming in 2008, it was fantastic to see the energy and emotion they put in their set. During the performance of an unofficially titled song that will appear on their new record, singer/guitarist Erica Freas had tears streaming from her face while guitarist Mattie Jo Canino shredded heavily.
Now, for the unpopular opinion: I didn’t enjoy Propagandhi’s set. Maybe I’m just too jaded to complain about the way the world is. Maybe I’m not jaded enough. Maybe I just missed the stepping stone where Propagandhi would have been central to the formation of my taste in music. Lead singer Chris Hannah addressed the crowd with some unsettling yet obviously rehearsed zingers between songs: “Who here wants to punch themselves in the face,” and calling the undersold crowd a “pig pen.” For someone that spouts so much about compassion, humanism, and equality, it’s certainly a tad awkward to watch Hannah say such strange things.
But the audience did not seem disturbed, as they continued to jump and push about as the set continued on. The majority of the songs were from the band’s newest album, Victory Lap, but Propagandhi did throw in some fan favorites, including “Anti-Manifesto” and “Night Letters.” And the rest of the band sounded tight, particularly with the addition of new guitarist Sulynn Hago.
Photos by Anthony Constantine | https://www.facebook.com/anthonycphotography