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Punk in Drublic Craft Beer and Music Festival in Arizona

The music, friends, and plethora of beer is still burned into my brain since Punk in Drublic. While the Arizona sun was hotter than it should be for October and the Missus and I forgot any kind of sunscreen, the festival was a blend of new obsessions and nostalgia in the best conceivable way. In one night, I relived parts of my childhood, reveled in the current earworms that get me through the day, and found new favorites that I can’t believe I never discovered before now. All this begins with beer.

I’m not a huge fan of pale ales. I’ve found over the years, in and out of the country, the darker the beer, the happier I am. My current favorite is a stout from England, Bath Ales’ Dark Side. Aside from what I like, I chose to try everything I could. There were a lot of pale ales. My previous experience held true but there were a few surprises. Most of the stouts and porters at Punk in Drublic had either chocolate or coffee hints. Despite this, I found Sun Up’s White Russian to be my favorite stout of the event. Aside from my preferences, this was not my overall favorite beer. The winner for me was Ninkasi’s Dawn of the Red. It was smooth, pleasant fruit notes, and had the right amount of bitterness for me. In all my searching of the evening, I did find my way to trying the titular Punk in Drublic beer. In short, I didn’t really care for it and it was not the beer for me. Punk in Drublic certainly has more flavor than a lot of beer I’ve come across but it’s far too hoppy for me. Before I knew it, the tasting was ending and the first set was coming up. I gave away the last handful of tickets I had and got settled for the show.

First up was the 2nd place winner of the local punk-off, FoL. There have been countless shows I’ve been to in which these guys were playing. After so many coincidental encounters, I’m glad to see them take such a large stage. While I missed being up in front with everyone else, FoL still had an amazing sound and energy that reached back to the accessible seating. The set felt like it was over too soon, but I look forward to hearing them again. FoL will be playing a show later this month with Authority Zero.

 

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With a swift turn-around, Skull Drug took the stage. An unstoppable force in local punk and the 1st place winner of the local punk-off, there was no doubt in my mind that these boys would rock the Punk in Drublic stage. One of the best moments was watching Justin “Hoon” Waldrop (Guitar/Vocals) make use of the large stage by running around like an elated maniac. From my point of view, the pit seemed receptive to the band. At the end of their set, true to form, Skull Drug topped it off with their cover “I love Lovin’ in the City” by Fear. You can catch them at their next show later this week at Joe’s Grotto on November 18th, 2017 where they open for Strip the Soul’s album release party.

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Next was Guttermouth. Now I had heard of Guttermouth before and have a few friends who are fans. After seeing them live and listening to their music, I’m still undecided on how I feel about the band. I appreciated a fair amount of the humor presented on stage but the music itself didn’t exactly stand out for me. Upon streaming some of their songs, I found one or two that I did like. In the end, I’m not exactly rushing out to buy a CD but I can’t say I hate them either. Guttermouth was removed from the tour before the show in Huntington Beach, California and despite my efforts, I have not found any reason given for the change. Yet, Guttermouth will be starting a new tour with The Koffin Kats starting November 18th.

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Following Guttermouth was Authority Zero. Seriously, how have I not heard of these guys before? I was surprised to hear they were from Arizona. I always need more bands that make me long for the pit and these guys hit that on the head with a sledgehammer. I fell in love with their sound immediately and crave more. We even made a point to pick up their latest album, Broadcasting to the Nations, which was released June 2nd, 2017. The highlight of their set for me was watching Dan Aid (Guitar) play using what I can only describe as a pick tool. I love seeing how people adapt and make their own way. Dan was a reminder that where there is a will there is a way and I might have to find some time to practice my bass that’s been collecting dust. Authority Zero will be playing later this month at Marquee Theatre on November 22nd, 2017.

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Goldfinger took me back to my high school days. In truth, I hadn’t listen to many Goldfinger songs other than what I stumbled across in old Tony Hawk games and an awesome cover of “99 Red Balloons,” originally by Nena. I heard enough to know of them and to like the sound. Seeing them live was like finding a missing piece to the puzzle. I was completely blown away by the energy on stage. Now I have a few new favorites by Goldfinger that I have been listening to almost regularly in addition to the old favorites. You can catch Goldfinger before the year ends at the Novo on December 16th, 2017 with MxPx.

 

 

 

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Next is the reason behind the whole event, NOFX. I’ve mentioned before that it’s thanks to NOFX and Nubs that I found my confidence in being me and owning it. To finally see NOFX perform live was certainly an experience. A lot of the humor that I find in their songs translated perfectly on stage. While I’m certainly not the biggest fan of their music, I enjoyed their set. Since, I’ve found a few new earworms to listen to by NOFX and I’m keeping an eye out for more music that I haven’t heard yet. NOFX will be playing at the Download Festival in Australia on March 24th, 2018.

 

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The final band of the night, Bad Religion. I got the opportunity to see them last year at Marquee Theatre while enduring the front of the crowd. Almost a year later and I’m taking a back seat at the show but still having just as much fun. Bad Religion was a band I listened to a lot as a kid before I even knew what punk was. I find that the older I become, the more their music means to me. What used to just sound good grows more relevant with each passing year. So as Greg Graffin (Vocals) sings on stage, I feel compelled to scream the lyrics along with and that urge has never been stronger. While Bad Religion doesn’t seem to have any upcoming shows, I will be keeping an eye out and an ear to the ground because I can’t wait for them to come back to Arizona.

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As the night came to a close, the Missus and I made way back to our car. I left satisfied with the beer, making a point to add a few to my fridge when I have a chance. As for the music, I knew there was a lot I’d be listening to obsessively over the next few weeks. Some, I’m still listening to frequently. While I may not run to the next Guttermouth or NOFX show, I’m content blasting all the new music I heard and added to my music library, turned up to eleven.

 

All photos are taken by Pardo Photography.

One Comment

  • Dave

    November 13, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Just by the name ‘torso boy’ I know who you are. I saw you and your missus at the show. You had a red mohawk. I then proceeded to see you in West Phoenix two more times while driving to ASU West. You seem to keep popping up in my life recently.

    Anyway…good article. And I am happy that nofx and ‘shes nubs’ were your inspiration to rocking the cards you were dealt. I look forward to unexplainedly seeing you again. 🤘

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