Frontside Five keeps punk alive in Vail
Vail, CO, Colorado
Frontside Five is a bit confusing. Besides having a name that sounds like a superhero team, the Denver-based skate-punk band Frontside Five has only four members. It’s been that way since their original lead singer left the group about a year and a half ago. But drummer Robdogg, aka Rob Crawford, said the band’s name won’t change because it’s named after a skateboarding trick, not the number of people in it. Besides, it gets them an extra drink ticket or wristband when they play certain clubs, Robdogg said.
“We kind of pretend someone’s always the fifth member that’s not really in the band,” Robdogg said during a break from recording a new Frontside Five album.
The current lineup (Robdogg on drums, Shane Henry on vocals and guitar, Bart McCrorey on vocals and guitar and Brooke Crawford on Bass and backup vocals) have a somewhat different sound now than they did as a five piece, according to Robdogg. Instead of having one singer, Henry and McCrorey share vocal duties and Brooke fills out the sound with backup vocals, allowing for two- and three-part harmonies. Other than that, it’s still pretty straightforward skater rock ” high-energy, fast-paced and loud.
Frontside Five is headlining another triple-billed show at the Sandbar in West Vail, the second such show in three weeks. Only instead of indie rock bands, Friday night’s lineup also features local punk band Primer, and Black Lamb, a stoner-metal band from Denver.
“There’s such a lack of aggressive hard rock that comes through the valley region in general,” said Dick Dime, talent buyer for the Sandbar. “There’s a lot of people, snowboarders, skiers, that really want to see more of that pop-punk type music, even harder punk, but it doesn’t happen, and if it does, it’s very rare. So to mix it up and keep it exciting, I wanted to bring a punk band in this month.”
So what exactly is skate-punk?
“Skate punk or skate rock … came from skateboarders that started making music about skateboarding, drinking, pretty much as a lifestyle,” Robdogg said. “Back in the ’80s, when in first came out, skateboarding wasn’t on X-Games, it wasn’t accepted socially so it automatically clicked with a lot of the punk rockers.”
But over the years the sport, along with the music that represents it, has gone more mainstream. Robdogg has mixed emotions about this development. He said he’s glad that more kids have access to skateboarding and punk rock, but on the other hand, the corporate marketing of both has turned a lot of purists against their mainstream success.
“I think you got to represent, kind of bring back the old feeling of going out and having fun and being yourself,” he said.
Robdogg said his band will show skaters of any age group a good time, though.
“There’s a lot of kids listening to us for the fist time and they’re like ‘wow.’ There’s so much energy there and then you get these older crowds ” people in their 40s ” and it brings them back to their roots, kind of when it was a movement for them,” Robdogg said.
And the members of Frontside Five still get plenty of time to skateboard, even with a busy tour schedule. They plan tour dates around skate parks they want to hit or around skateboard events they want to attend.
“That keeps it really exciting,” Robdogg said.
High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or email@example.com.
What: Frontside Five with openers Primer and Black Lamb.
When: Friday night at 10 p.m., doors at 9 p.m.
Where: Sandbar Sports Grill in West Vail.
More information: Call 970-476-4314 or visit http://www.sandbarvail.com.