Before I talk about day two of Hangover Helper shows at the Beauty Bar, let’s take a second to thank TJ at Suckerpunch Concerts for being a super cool dude, running shows on time, having excellent taste, and providing free tacos. *THANKS TJ!* If I had one complaint, it would be that he should use his considerable fortune (punk promoters make millions, right?) to hire some sort of mad scientist to build a climate controlled dome over the Beauty Bar’s backyard. Didn’t Mr. Burns have an idea like that? How could it go wrong?
Anyway, the afternoon started out with Neutralboy, a crass punk band (not to be confused with a punk band called Crass) from Bremerton, Washington. When not asking for blow jobs for free stickers (one dude in the crowd yelled out “but I want a shirt!” and I cringe to think what he’d have to do to get that), they were plowing through uplifting jams with lines like “I’m high on instant coffee and I hate my fucking life,” and “my life is a fucking disaster.” They definitely brought along some fans, identified by their ability to sing along to every word. Neutralboy is definitely a fun live band, and although they’re outside my wheelhouse for everyday listening, I found myself singing along as I quickly learned the words. Frontman Mike the Pike (not to be confused with PRB celebrity Mike the Pipe) thanked the crowd for still showing up after 25 years, at which point someone yelled “free tacos!,” the perfect response to the small moment where the band tried to be serious.
Do you know what a super underrated punk rock instrument is? The kazoo. Go Bold frontman Brock Frabbiele whipped one out while tuning, seemingly to the surprise of bandmates Dave Bartlett and Josh Estrada. Frabbiele, decked out super dad-like in a hula girl print Hawaiian shirt (Brock’s a dad now! CONGRATS BROCK AND KATE!), brought the buzzing instrument back out during my favorite Go Bold song “Rock Bottom,” and now I’m pretty sure that songs needs a permanent kazoo solo. And as we were rolling into the second full day of Punk Rock Bowling, I especially appreciated Brock’s public service announcement for PRB newbies: “Drink water. Find shade. Don’t die by 10 a.m.” After browsing through #passedoutpunks on Instagram – it looks like a lot of people failed to heed his warning.
“If I pass out, just play over my lifeless body” exclaimed Rev Peters, frontman for Seattle pop punk band Success. Of course, this was a very real possibility in the heat that was only increasing as more fans piled into the crowded Beauty Bar trailer court. The heat was so sizzling that Success keyboard player/hypeman Sean Lovett noted that his keys were so hot that he was burning his fingers every time he tried rock out for us. I think he should write a blues song about that, or maybe invest in some oven mitts.
Excellent jam “Nowhere Kids” was dedicated to those that saw the band open up for Swingin’ Utters at the same venue last November, and a shout out to the old guys in the audience was given before a really spot-on cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” Rev is a great frontman, and I particularly enjoyed his reminder to everyone that people with jaded punk attitudes can GTFO, because we’re all here to help each other and make each other’s lives better. As the band rolled into closing song “Revolution Schmevolution” crowd surfers hopped atop everyone’s shoulders and members of No Red Alice and Go Bold jumped up to sing along. It was a joyous ending to a really excellent afternoon, and I celebrated by immediately retreating into the air conditioning to wring the sweat out of my bangs.
Photos by Shahab Zargari | http://www.shahabzargari.net/