top of page

The Mable Effect: Punk Rock Bowling 2023

Words by Angela RoseRed

IIt starts with a glance that quickly evolves to a subtle stare. Ansty thoughts of mistaking them for someone else sneak in, so you quickly look in the other way.

“It might be her,” you wonder to yourself, “but it’s best to stay back since social media footprints can often be deceiving.”

Unintentionally coming off as a creeper is last on your agenda, but it’s essential to make contact before they walk away. Drifting back, both sets of eyes lock. Almost instantaneously, a smile swiftly overtakes each of your faces, in a way that could make a passerby believe these expressions are contagious.

“It’s her in the flesh,” you tell yourself. “The fellow Mable you’ve developed a virtual friendship with is now someone you know in real life.”

A roar of laughter and hugs overtake you both, just like two long lost childhood friends reuniting for the first time. In reality, you’ve never met before, but this thing called punk rock binds your sisterhood in a profound way.

That’s what it’s like to be a Mable.

I lovingly nicknamed these interactions as “The Mable Effect''. When I first joined the Mable Syndrome ranks a year ago, it was somewhat of a process explaining to the outside world what makes this outlet so unique. After a few months in, I had my spiel down:

“Mable Syndrome is an international punk platform that supports those who identify as women through our podcast, blog, and social media outlets. It’s a collective where all are welcome and seen. You can go to a punk show by yourself, not knowing anyone, but see someone with a Mable Syndrome shirt on and strike up a conversation. Boom. You have instant female support.”

Although I’m no stranger to “The Mable Effect '', it hit differently in Vegas at Punk Rock Bowling (PRB) 2023. For context, this PRB had a few firsts for me:

  • Attending as a Mable

  • Going without my husband

  • Photographing the festival

Between bouncing around at crew happenings with my besties, The Venomous Pinks, and photographing the festival, I would often find myself roaming solo. As a believer in the buddy system, this forced me to dance outside my comfort zone and spend time with new people. Circumstances like these are when The Mable Effect kicks into full throttle. This sentiment was no exception on Friday, the first night I arrived in Vegas. After getting settled and a quick wardrobe change, I headed to a Mable meetup on Fremont street. The goal was to participate in video footage for an upcoming Amy Gabba music video. My hotel roommates had sound check, so this was going to be an adventure by myself amongst, for the most part, strangers. Overstimulated by piercing bright neon casino lights, the bustling of rowdy sounds from street performers, and rushed intoxicated punk rockers, the nervousness of being on camera with people I barely knew was real. That soon dissipated when recognizing a familiar face from the small circular Facebook messenger profile pic I see daily floating around in the Mable Board group chat. There she was, in all her Mableyness, someone I knew only through my DMs. For months, I have spoken to this person about an array of subjects spanning from my work/homelife, Mable projects, period cycles, and most importantly, music. A face to face meeting never happened since we live hundreds of miles apart. Mutual smiles and giggles rapidly ensued. I finally met my friend. This energy gave me courage to introduce myself and connect with everyone else around me. Minutes later, filming began. I suddenly found myself chanting lyrics and laughing with these newly acquainted Mables as if we had an entire history together. Was it an act for the camera? No. It was the Mable Effect, revealing who my new people are.

As far as the actual event , it was another successful year filled with an insane lineup both from the festival front and the club shows. Memories of unforgettable musical moments like Amy Interrupter behind the scenes getting ready to sing “Sorrow” with Greg Gaffin, hearing intense piercing sounds of Wattie Buchan pounding his skull with a microphone, listening to Lars Fredricksen’s laughter while telling jokes to calm down the audience as production fixed a crowd barrier, seeing Ken Casey being swallowed by the crowd while fist bumping as he sang along with those around him, watching club performances like Me First and The Gimme Gimmes and TSOL without a ticket, and supporting my dearest friends, The Venomous Pinks, when they played a packed Friday night club show at Backstage Billiards to ripping through another set under the scorching sun for Saturday’s festival are engraved in my heart. Experiencing these instances live is something I will never take for granted. Arguably, anyone can find footage on social media and YouTube of these performances. What’s not captured in cyberland is the connections created during the biggest punk rock reunion of the year. Even now, these memories burn a little brighter because of who I shared them with.

What’s so special about events like PRB, is my Mable experience is not unique. On the contrary, it’s common. The power of music is undeniable and it creates a synergy that binds us together through a collective experience. Whether it was giving a long reunited hug from a close Mable friend while checking in at the Golden Nugget, to exchanging Instagram handles with fellow photog Mables in the photo pit trenches, or gabbing alongside freshly met Mables at an impromptu Kaos Merch tent meetup, I found community.

After capturing over 21+ bands over the course of three days in 90 plus desert weather, I exited the media pit for the last time high-fiving other photographers like we just survived war together. With the loud sounds of Dropkick Murphys playing in the background, I made my way through the audience to an empty spot in the back. Standing solo amongst a crowd of many, I sang the words of “Rose Tattoo” in sync with those around me. It was at that moment, it was clear I wasn’t alone in the music. Sure, I had the shared experience with other concert goers, but there was a new sense of belonging to something bigger than myself. That made me hum along a little bit louder.


Here it from a Mable! Punk Rock Bowling 2023 Experiences & Advice for First Attendees

"Taking my 11yr old daughter to Monday's festival and dancing with her through Suicidal Tendencies and Dropkick Murphys [top PRB moment] !Advice for first time attendees- focus on the late night club shows, the venues are super intimate. Also, remember, PRB is a marathon, not a sprint. You don't want to end up on next year's edition of passed out punk! p.s. Take comfortable shoes/insoles. We averaged about 20k steps each day."

- Natalie Brizuela-MacLean

"Highlight was seeing all my existing Mable friends and making new ones. Getting the gang together for the Amy Gabba video was the highlight for my 11 year old daughter Rowan. This was her first PRB and even though we didn’t make it to the fest this year she had an amazing time meeting all the amazing Mables!"

- Lizzie Amerman

"Absolutely incredible weekend! Finally got to meet so many of you amazing Mables, my heart is full!

All the club shows I went to were incredible. Aimee singing sorrow with bad religion was pretty awesome and I was lucky enough to be front row for it. This was my 7th time at PRB and I already can't wait til next year!! Definitely check out the punk rock museum if you're in vegas too!"

- Jodie Jodz

"It was my first Punk Rock Bowling! The highlight was getting to meet so many new Mables and hang out with those I’ve met at other shows. Signing along to the Casualties with a group of Mables was the best.

As a first timer, I was exhausted after the first day and had to learn to pace myself quickly. And a very personal favorite memory for me is that this was my first festival sober! I had more fun than I remember having at any other festival."

-Erin Parrish

"This was my first PRB where the pool parties and club shows were a noticeably better time than the MainStage. Not just because I was crazy-excited for a lot of those bands (The Skints, Manic Hispanic/Left Alone, The Drowns, Let me Downs-all who lived up to or exceeded my expectations) but also because the sound quality was so bad for some bands (ahem, Bad Religion) and you know it wasn’t them. And the dusty, bare concrete was brutal on my no-longer-25 year old joints!! Skipping time at the main stage allowed me to connect and catch up with friends better than I would have had we been in the crowd during someone’s set. And that was awesome!"

- Emily Hoesly

“I can’t pick just one favorite memory. That first day, when everyone is checking in at the Nugget is always magical (even if you arrive on 3 hours of sleep).I finally met Erin in real life, but she already felt like an old friend.The Barstool Preachers club show was pure joy. I wish every single Mable was there. PRB always feels like a reunion, but this was extra special. I had not hugged those friends since Rock the Ship, in October of 2019. I was smiling from ear to ear the entire time. For that time, everything was exactly right in the world. My advice for first timers is make time to eat and drink lots of water! Next year I’m going to be the dork with the selfie stick all weekend. Not just the last day!" - Danielle Lampert


Music Photography by Angela RoseRed


Photos submitted by Mables

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
bottom of page