It was a punk rock black hole from Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre to the nation’s best small clubs for NOFX’s Punk In Drublic festival—a “Seeing Double at the Triple Rock” sort of time, much louder than a Face To Face acoustic set and a littler ruder, but every band were on their top performance. Things sounded great, and it was a beautiful day for “The Decline.”
A who’s who of punk turned out to play in the natural setting. Most seemed in awe of the acoustics and the views and made the large venue feel like a small Warped stage.
Punk In Drublic started early with Los Angeles’ Bad Cop / Bad Cop. Maybe all that was missing from their show were bassist Linh Le’s drum riser leaps, as the risers were a little lower than normal to facilitate quick changes between bands. Nonetheless, she still spent a lot of time in the air and Bad Cop / Bad Cop had a ton of energy. Vocalist and guitarist Stacey Dee screamed her heart out, and vocalist and guitarist Jennie Cotterill and drummer Myra Gallarza glued it all together.
A bear walked into a natural rock amphitheatre, literally for “Why the Big Pause,” during Teenage Bottlerocket’s set. They came from Wyoming and once again rocked Colorado. Frontmen Kody Templeman and Ray Carlisle filled Red Rocks, as both are incredible vocalists and bounce off one another hysterically.
The Lawrence Arms’ vocalist and bassist Brendan Kelly swaggered onstage, assessed his surroundings, and growled out some great tunes alongside vocalist and guitarist Chris McCaughan and drummer Neil Hennessy.
The Bouncing Souls are just timeless, sounded great, and didn’t miss a note. “Kids and Heroes” was among the best of their set, which featured lots of singalongs.
Surprisingly—OK, actually not—Me First And The Gimme Gimmes did a few covers. As always, they were two-parts comedy to one-part rock ’n’ roll, wrapped in yellow suits while making the hits a lot more fun than the original authors ever knew possible. The highlights included vocalist Spike Slawson’s ukulele version of “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” by Billy Joel.
By the end of the night, NOFX brought the crowd back to the spirit of The Triple Rock Social Club, the Minneapolis club to which they infamously paid homage on 2006’s Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing. It can be argued there were plenty fans seeing double thanks to NOFX and Punk In Drublic, especially after almost seven hours of music.
Everything wrapped up with a full performance of “The Decline,” filled out by Baz’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Beers were consumed, three chords were on repeat, and it all ended spectacularly with one of the greatest punk songs of the 1990s.