Just before midnight, the Bombs finally took over the stage and started churning out fist-pumping anthems like "U.S. Bombs" and "Yer Country." Duane Peters' Johnny Rotten-esque style of singing makes them sound like a 1970s punk rock band. The band has persevered through tragedy and catastrophe, having lost their longtime guitarist Chuck Briggs to AIDS eight years ago.
A few songs in, however, guitarist Kerry Martinez had enough. "Can we get some vocals in here?" After perhaps recalling that the last two bands repeatedly asked for more vocals to no avail, Martinez revised his request to the sound dude: "Can you at least make the speakers stop howling at us?" After 15 years, you can still expect the same things from the U.S. Bombs: snarling attitude, hard-driving riffs, and them always having something to say.
What could have been a great punk show became a long, drawn out letdown, but not because the bands sucked or were just too hammered to play (as is sometimes the case at punk shows). The show was just put together terribly. We're all about supporting the local scene, but come on ... three opening local bands (plus the other opener) is a bit much for a weeknight show, especially when the doors open an hour late. And for any number of reasons the place was far from packed. But when the U.S. Bombs were rockin' out and fans were thrashing all around, none of that seemed to matter much. - Kelsi Oser