Bubba’s Bowling Club
The Give-ups, Blackcat Rebellion, Flatfoot 56, Messengers, The Jabs
Saturday, Dec. 4
One thing I’ve learned about music is that over time, most small venues will fade away and get replaced. The Music Mill, a restaurant and over-21 venue on 82nd Street (where Discovery Zone used to be), opened on Saturday night with 7 Degrees From Center, Pravada and Shadeland playing at the opening. They’re planning on eventually having shows five or six days a week.
And then there’s Bubba’s Bowling Club, the new home of all-ages Punk Rock Night. It is now basically the same as the original PRN at the Melody Inn, every Saturday night — same bands even — before they play at the Melody. The last venue, a skate park called ISC, closed on Oct. 8 and, at first, it looked like all-ages PRN was dead. By the end of October, though, I was one of the many people handing out flyers for the grand opening of the new PRN at ... a bowling alley?
I was skeptical and didn’t know what to expect, and, of course, got lost on the way. I have a horrible fear of downtown so trying to get to 325 S. College was a nightmare — especially when I got lost — but I finally found Bubba’s around 7:30. The first band, The Give-ups, was playing by the time I got there and I walked in the door in time to hear them cover “Judy is a Punk” by The Ramones. I realized there was an actual stage instead of the corner I was expecting. The best part, though, was it was like a family reunion after nearly two months since ISC closed.
Blackcat Rebellion played next and then Flatfoot 56 from Chicago came on and mentioned Dustin Skirvin, the drummer of Blackcat. The last time Flatfoot played in Indiana, Dustin got shoved into the bassist and got his head cut up on the tuning pegs. This time, it was my turn. I got hit in the face hard enough to shove three or four teeth halfway through my lip (one has been loose ever since) and I even had to ask where I was.
The Messengers played next, a great band from Cincinnati with a female singer, and The Jabs were set to finish the show. I looked around at that point and was disappointed. The crowd had been great, but by the time The Jabs came on, it had thinned out to about 20 people standing there and looking bored while they set up. I had seen half the band play the night before — Jade and Ben didn’t make it on Friday — and they still sounded great but with a singer and a bassist, they were obviously even better. The highlight of their set was “Nowhere to Run” and, of course, as a Dead Boys fan it was just as good when they covered “Ain’t Nothing to Do.” It was a pity that nobody stuck around to see that, but the opening was still a success and proof that Punk Rock Night is still alive and kicking.