As a middle schooler and high schooler during the 2000s, my taste in music consisted mostly of a combination of metalcore, punk rock, and pop punk. I actually have a playlist in Spotify called “Middle school” consisting of songs by bands like As I Lay Dying, Underoath, Chasing Victory, August Burns Red, He Is Legend, and The Fall of Troy. I also have a playlist called “High school” consisting of bands like Green Day, Sum 41, blink-182, All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, and Yellowcard.
A new museum recently opened up in Las Vegas called the Punk Rock Museum. They had a locals’ discount for Las Vegas residents on weekdays, so I decided to head over earlier today to see if I can have a nostalgic experience and relive some parts of my childhood.
Although it was interesting looking at some of the relics of punk rock history, I think I am a little bit too young to be comfortably within the target audience, as I didn’t really recognize most of the bands until some of the final exhibits in the timeline. I also discovered that my taste in music was a lot more pop punk and a lot less punk rock than I thought it was.
The age difference was further made evident by the fact that, while I was on a self-guided tour, I ran into the guided tour group part-way through the museum. Today’s tour guide was Greg Hetson, the guitarist from The Circle Jerks and Bad Religion. He’s in his low 60s, and the people who purchased the premium guided tour tickets (which were five times more expensive than the locals’ general admission ticket) appeared to mostly be in their upper 30s and 40s.
If you’re really into punk rock, I think this would be an amazing museum for you. However, just like any other specialty museum, your results may vary if you’re not a huge fan of the specialty topic. The museum was a very traditional-feeling museum with a ton of displays holding relics of the punk rock past, safely secured behind glass. It wasn’t particularly text-heavy, but there were a few placards and informational cards spread throughout the exhibits.
They did have punk rock music playing from standard speakers, and there were also a few televisions showing footage from some old concerts. I would have liked for the museum to do something innovative and unconventional, like crafting some sort of captivating and immersive musical experience, but for now, it seems like everything they’ve set up is fairly straightforward.
There were little to no interactive experiences, and I’d say that this museum serves mainly as a potential social experience. If you go as a group of friends or are the more chatty type and can easily make friends with strangers, buying a guided tour ticket to meet a punk rock legend (which rotates depending on the day) and geeking out, then socializing at the museum bar and playing guitar in the jam room, would probably be a dream come true for a lot of punk rock fans.