The 31st Street Pub closed in September with abrupt speed and a hastily organized farewell, but now comes something of a Pub parting gift in the form of “Yinzer Fest.”
The double-DVD package, shot and released by the Canadian-based Punk Rick’s Videos, captures the Pub scene (not to mention the very essence of rock ’n’ roll) in its gnarly, breakneck, bare-knuckled glory with sets by Bottle Rat, The Cheats, Legendary Hucklebucks, Photo Joe & The Negatives, Scratch N Sniffs, Thundervest and Volcano Dogs.
Loud, wild and dimly lit, it will be launched with a free DVD Release Party from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Sinners and Saints Tattoo, 252 S. Highland Ave., Shadyside.
Punk Rick, who is Rick Scullion of Hamilton, Ontario, was indoctrinated in the Pittsburgh scene a decade when he visited the city and became friends with Todd Porter of The Cheats, who gave him an open invitation to crash at his place.
“Since 9/11, not many bands come up to Canada anymore, because it's so much of a hassle to get across the border, so I come down to the U.S. to see the bands I like,” Scullion says. “I would come to Pittsburgh to see bands like Sloppy Seconds, the Meatmen, ANTiSEEN, the Dwarves, etc. And at every show there would be these amazing Pittsburgh bands opening up. I was blown away by how good they all were. And the hospitality shown by all the people I met was incredible. I was made to feel like a part of the family.”
He also became friends with Pub owner Joel Greenfield, and he says, “When the Pub went up for sale a couple years ago, I knew I needed to document the scene that revolved around it. Beside documenting the Pub scene, it was a way of saying thank you to all the people of Pittsburgh. Also, I wanted to show the people of Pittsburgh that they have a really great scene going on.”
Seven of the city’s crustiest punk bands were invited to Yinzer Fest -- which a crowd member jokingly refers to as “Yinzer Fat” -- and Scullion treated it with his first multi-camera shoot.
“It's punk rock 'n' roll all the way. I even left the red shades on the Pub's lights, when someone said I should take them off so the lighting would be better. But I wanted it to be exactly as the Pub looked every night. So you might have to adjust the color on your TV when you watch it!”
With the Pub now joining the Electric Banana, the Decade and Graffiti in Pittsburgh club heaven, he says the DVD “is really as much a tribute to the 31st Street Pub as it is about the bands.”
The party will have beer, food, prizes and music from DJ Todd Cheat. You can pick up the $10 DVD at the party, the bands’ shows, various stores (probably on the South Side) and at https://www.facebook.com/PunkRicksVideosCanada/