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Dead Boys Resurrected at Punk Rock Bowling

by Sarah Tonin
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Dead Boys

Resurrected at Punk Rock Bowling 2018

Backstage Bar & Billiards, Las Vegas – Saturday, May 26, 2018

I heard a lot of grumblings about the Dead Boys show at Backstage Bar & Billiards at this year’s Punk Rock Bowling club series. And, as a longtime Dead Boys fan, I understand the fear, the reality that this show could destroy your fantasy Dead Boys appearance. Stiv throwing himself off the stage, belt around his neck, in a reckless show of dysfunctional self-pity in the seemingly true hope that this will be the show that kills him. How do you find a stand-in for the energy and charisma of someone who truly does not give a shit? A true punk from before the days of big festival shows and sponsored record tours. Even when Bators hit it big with Lords of the New Church he carried that swagger of invincible stage ownership; like a Gladiator into battle he stole the show (every show) and he beckoned the attention of his audience. He would win you over without even trying to. How would someone be able to emulate that?

Introducing Jake Hout (lead singer, formerly of Zombie). Jake channeled Stiv Bators in every way, all the way back to his roots of early Dead Boys shows. 1970’s youth, having narrowly escaped Vietnam and attempting to survive the Disco revolution, the bad economy, and religious fervor of the mid-late 1970’s which defined and informed the earliest days of punk rock for teens who were victim to society’s past gluttony. On the tiny stage at Backstage Bar, Hout brought the small crowd back to CBGB and the original Dead Boys lineup. From the audience it felt like he managed to drop the original band members (Cheetah Chrome on lead guitar and Johnny Blitz on drums) right into that 1976 club scene where punk was real and raw and it told the true stories of tortured teens fighting poverty and addiction and a very real dissatisfaction with the world they saw unraveling around them. Ricky Rat (bass) and Jason Kottwitz (rhythm guitar) worked to capture the sound while leaving the stage wide open for Hout to transform every inch of it into his own personal playground.

Dead Boys was the surprise show of this decade in my opinion and if they come to town, be sure to go! Jake Hout’s intensity will draw you in. His constant interaction with (and in) the crowd was awe-inspiring. It gave me chills, that awkward laughter of disbelief, that moment of transformation where you forget that someone is standing next to you, that feeling that he is looking straight through you as he reaches in your direction as if to say, “Aint it fun?”. Taunting. Shock and awe. Open your imagination up and let the band, the entire band, transform you to the era of punk that you grew up imagining as the Holy Grail of club scenes. Because, with Dead Boys, you did not miss it, the opportunity is being handed to you, like a time machine opening its doors and begging you to climb aboard for a ride.

DEAD BOYS BAND MEMBERS: Jake Hout (Vocals), Cheetah Chrome (Lead Guitar), Johnny Blitz (Drums), Ricky Rat (Bass Guitar), and Jason Kottwitz (Rhythm Guitar)


1. Sonic Reducer
2. All This and More
3. What Love Is
4. Not Anymore
5. Ain’t Nothing to Do
6. Caught With the Meat in Your Mouth
7. Detention Home (Dedicated to Stiv Bators)
8. Calling on You
9. I Need Lunch
10. High Tension Wire
11. Down in Flames
12. Ain’t it Fun
13. Son of Sam

– Sarah Tonin
13 Stitches Magazine

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