|BLISTERS ON THE STRIP|
I have not followed up on Punk Rock Bowling day by day, as normal life has intervened, and anyway it would have been pure fiction to pretend I kept an ongoing diary, because I was too busy having fun. Here is a great photo essay from Brooklyn Vegan.
It would be easy to say some cliche stuff about walking the Vegas strip for half a day. Needless to say, we were totally fried after taking a cab to Mandalay Bay and wandering most of the way up the strip, hoping to crash one of the hotel pools. The fountains at the Bellagio were epic, but I also saw this: a chubby Spiderman talking on a cellphone, looking bored, because no one seemed to want their picture taken with him. Also: champagne bottles with handles. That might be the Vegas experience concentrated in one image. And massive wrap-around LED billboards on the facades of buildings. It was truly over-stimulating and fun.
The power naps and pool time after this ramble were needed, as there was a Turbonegro show to attend that night. The trippiest part of that show was that Scott K had his wallet pickpocketed (most likely, since it happened to a handful of others) about two songs into one of his favorite bands of all time. Luckily he didn't have much more in it than I.D. and a debit card, but this made for interesting flight preparations the following day. Very common at the Vegas airport: folks who have lost their i.d. get hooked up to Big Brother and asked a series of questions to prove their identity so that they can get on the plane and go back home.
Turbonegro was super cool, my first time seeing them. A total rock and roll experience, and watching Euro Boy play guitar was great. He was a riveting, stylish, old-school, rail-thin Mick Ronson kind of guitar hero presence. Some people have that--it's an intangible, androgynous thing. After that we saw TSOL at a smaller club. They were great.
The final day was total pool day, 100%, until going to see Flag. DRI was just before them--very fun. But Flag had the mystical, urgent kind of energy that made it rough on anyone going on before them. DRI kind of sounded like a raw local band opening a matinee bill in 1983, and maybe that was how it is supposed to be.
The Flag lineup concentrated so much of the authentic Black Flag ju ju with crucial members from along the way--there was nothing missing, they played as a unit, and just blew everyone away from the first bar. Stephen Egerton held up the guitar end and completely ruled. It was an ecstatic, explosive show, and included two mid-era songs that Keith Morris wailed on: "My War" and "I Love You." Seeing Chuck Dukowski play bass and Dez play guitar was...so awesome.
R.K. got us back stage and I met Rob Holtzman from Sacharine Trust/Slovenly/Overpass and got to hang out with him for a while. We are geeks, it is true, but meeting musical heroes means alot, and they kindly took some time for us. It was a great trip, and if you get a change to see Flag: GO.