The Bastard Suns – April 20th – The Marquis Theatre

Photos by Johne Edge

The Scene: Move over Peter Cottontail, Easter isn’t the only holiday in April anymore.  April 20th has evolved into a counterculture holiday, especially here in Colorado, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.  Staying with the holiday theme, Friday’s show at the Marquis Theatre was headlined by Silver Surfer Vaporizer sponsored band The Bastard Suns.  Hopping down the bunny trail known as Larimer, I ducked into the Star Bar on my way to the Marquis and downed a  Hemp Ale to get into the holiday spirit.  Arriving at the Marquis at a little after 9:30, I caught the end of The Repercussions set from a barstool.  I sat across from a unicorn with a sparkling mane and tail dancing across flavored vodkas, and ordered a PBR as I waited for The Bastard Suns to take the stage.

Opener: No Bueno!  Denver punks No Bueno!  took to the stage around 10:00.  In the next 30 minutes, the foursome showed the crowd just why they are chosen to support national acts like Unwritten Law, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and The Briggs.  Although their name seems more relevant to a May versus April holiday, the band was able to put aside their love of cerveza, and midget lucha libre, just long enough to get the crowd worked up with their homegrown melodic brand of catchy punk.

The Bastard Suns:  This was the tour that almost didn’t happen between blowing a trailer tire before they got an hour outside of Atlanta, and their guitarist Wes being arrested for less than an eighth of weed during a (insert air quotes here) routine, traffic stop in Florida.  Thanks to tenacity, new tires, and bail money, the five piece outfit  The Bastard Suns hit the stage just before 11:00.

After all the adversity the band had seen on this tour, it only seemed appropriate that they start the show with the song “Never Say Die.”  Jay Tea pounded out the rhythm on the drums, bottle of Jameson at his feet, while frontman Clayton belted out the anthem about not giving up in a classic punk rock chest voice.  Guitarists Wes and Kevin  kept the music going at a neck injuring,  head banging, pace as they lit off into fan favorites “Underestimated” and “Lowbrow Hijinks.”  Omitting beat one and playing on the upbeat, bassist Levon slowed things down a bit by providing the rhythm on the reggae and ska tinged songs like “Start a Party” and “Wasted.”   Denverites met songs about drinking, “Pirates of The Whiskey Sea” and “My Pint,” with raised voices and tall cans of PBR or fists in the air.  Of course, no 4/20 The Bastards Suns show would be complete without a little “Sweet Leaf Between My Teeth.”

Including the encore their set consisted of twenty-two songs.  This was my second time in less than a year to catch The Bastard Suns brand of Southern fried punk, and I am here to tell you they might just be the best thing to come out of Georgia since Coca-Cola and Wafflehouse.

Energy: A+
Sound: B+
Musicianship: A
Stage Presence: A
Set/Light show: A

Overall: A


Who Is Johne Edge

Wherever the music is, you'll find me with my camera, shooting on street corners, from barstools at clubs, from the side of the stage at theaters, and from photo pits in places like Red Rocks. Clicking away, trying to capture the emotive essence of music, and all those moments that we forget because of one too many Pabst Blue Ribbons.