Austin | Day Two

May 19, 2023 Review by Karen Lowe
At first glance, day two started off smoother than day one as most people had their bands for entry and the queues to get in were pretty much non-existent. Of course, what is a festival if there aren’t at least a few casualties or issues, and for Austin, the main casualty was the poor merch tent that seemed to have taken flight overnight.
With any multi-day festivals, there are usually a lot of sorry-looking people wandering around with the tiredness (hangovers…) evident all around. With such a lineup as we had in store for the day ahead, the hangovers and the exhaustion were quickly chased away.

The Bombpops started off the day’s proceedings, and while they certainly had the poppiest sound on the lineup for the whole weekend, they were the perfect start for a Sunday afternoon.
Punk In Drublic

They brought the energy up quickly and successfully, and even had El Hefe dancing alongside of stage… albeit wearing a Groucho Marx disguise.
Get Dead came highly recommended from Aussie band Frenzal Rhomb who advised us “not to miss them.”
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We were not disappointed. Lead singer Sam King puts so much of himself into the performance, and the audience fed off of the energy that King and the band transmitted. If you haven’t seen Get Dead before, you really need to rectify that as soon as possible.
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Bad Cop/Bad Cop are fierce, fantastic, and so much fun. They play with attitude and pour their heart into their performances. The only disappointing part of their set was the fact that it had to come to an end. Someone in the audience asked where Jennie Cotterill was. Stacey Dee replied, “She’s not here but you know what? This is Alex. She’s awesome! Say hello to Alex!” cut out if touchy subject.
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Another band that puts everything into their performance is The Bronx. These guys are always so good to see live; whether they are playing a small venue in Perth, Western Australia, or a massive festival, they play like there will be no tomorrow.
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Every performance, Matt Caughthran will get amongst the audience while a circle pit goes on around him. This time was no different although he did pick out a bald representative for the VIP side of the pit so no one “missed out.”
As Face to Face took the stage, they announced, “We are going to play older songs because we are an old band. I see a lot of older people out there.” We wanted to protest – the ‘90s were only yesterday right? For an “old” band, they certainly didn’t move like it, and even more importantly, they sounded just as good as ever. Face to Face is one of those bands that are consistently amazing live.
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We were getting down to the business end of the show as Pennywise prepared to take the stage. The security guards were starting to “freak out” as experienced Pennywise crew/fans told them about their usual stage antics and how it was their job to stop a whole festival from trying their hand at joining the band onstage. Jim Lindberg pointed out to the audience that he “could be at Coachella watching Blink-182 right now, so you guys better bring it!”
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As someone who has been lucky enough to see Pennywise many times, I don’t think I have ever seen a Pennywise crowd not “bring it.” They are one of those bands where you simply cannot stay still, even if you tried, and this show was no different. They have such great energy about them which strengthens the symbiotic bond between band and audience. Of course the security guards were relieved when the mosh pit stayed firmly on the ground and didn’t try and climb the stage for “Bro Hymn.”
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The night took a slightly sombre tone as NOFX prepared to take the stage for the last time in Austin. Fat Mike appeared onstage looking fabulous in red, and Melvin looking slightly less fabulous with a plaster on his nose from his encounter with Fletcher the night before.
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The albums played in full were “Wolves in Wolves Clothing” and “White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean.” While there was no tackling Wookie on Sunday, there was definitely controversy as Fat Mike did his best to be cancelled all over again. Of course, he was picking the wrong audience to “get cancelled” by. further explanation??
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There was a bittersweet feeling to the day with the knowledge that it would be one of the last times that most of us would see NOFX live again. We are going to miss the banter, the friendship, and the love that they have for each other onstage. We are going to miss the way that NOFX brings people together from all walks of life and from all corners of the world. We are going to miss singing along to “Franco Un-American” and “Don’t Call Me White.”

For those paying attention, there was a familiar story that connected quite a few of the bands that played Punk in Drublic in Austin – many of them had broken up at least once over their time and yet they were still playing at this festival. Fletcher Dragge gave NOFX four years before they would play again. It gives many of us hope that it won’t be the last time that we see them play as a band.
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Festivals around the world are pretty much the same. Bands play, people come together, people go home happy. Punk in Drublic was no different. Once more, music brought together people who would not necessarily meet otherwise and connected everyone there in ways that no other activity can. Music crosses barriers – language, borders, age, and politics to name just a few.
To NOFX – a massive thank you for all your music and for the connections made because of you. There are no words that can fully describe the impact that you have made to punk rock over the years and there are certainly no words that can fully describe the emotional impact your music has had to so many people across the world. You will be missed.


by Karen Lowe Photography



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