I had originally planned to do a full review of all the bands I caught, and recount the events of the past weekend. However, if you've been reading various messageboards lately, you may have heard about a riot at this year's Pointless Fest. I'm not going to spread rumors, just stick to an account of what I saw.
Ray, Katy, and me got there a little late, and totally missed Carpenter Ant. The only thing I have by them is their first 7", which kinda sucks, but I hear they got a lot better. Got there in the middle of Witch Hunt. I unfortunately wasn't able to get any pictures of them, since I couldn't stalk out a good spot. Witch Hunt recently added a new drummer, and their old drummer moved to second guitar. Their new stuff is really really good, I didn't get a chance to pick up their new LP though due to the fest ending early. They ended with the song, "Twenty Five" which reminds me a lot of the Degenerics' "Send in the Clones."
Fighting Dogs were next. I had seen them a bunch of times, and they've always been really good. Since recording their LP they've added a new guitar player and bass player. I guess I should mention that the second guitar player is female and handles half of the vocal duty. Pretty awesome stuff, I picked up the CD of their newer demo.
No Hope For the Kids was the main reason I was willing to venture to Philly on a Thursday. Musically, NHFTK is very melodic punk, from Denmark, that's extremely catchy. They flew out just to play this fest, so I knew that if I didn't go I may never get to see them. Aside for a little argument between members at the beginning, I thought they were awesome. I had a pretty good spot for pictures also. Played all the songs I wanted to hear, and a lot of people knew the songs.
After that, Hellshock played. I never really heard them before, but gave them a shot. The sounds was almost more metal sounding than anything really punk. The vocals were screamed, with double bass drums. Maybe it was just such an extreme difference from NHFTK, but we left early since we had work in the morning.
Since we got there late yesterday and missed the first band and part of the second band, we decided to leave early. We wound up catching the last 2 Violation songs. Doors were at 7, and we got there at 7:30 so they must've been running pretty early. I've seen Violation like 3 times before, and they're not bad. They're from Philly, so I'm sure I'll get to see them again soon.
Pissed Jeans was next, and I've seen them about 3 or 4 times, and knew what to expect, but wasn't sure what the Pointless Fest crowd would think. Their sound is a heavy stoner punk, and their singer is a maniac. Couldn't get close enough to take pictures, but enjoyed just watching them. They closed with a song off their new single, "I Don't Need Smoke To Make Myself Disappear," which is a slow droning long song. There were a few heckles from the crowd, but people seemed to be into it for the most part.
I was also unsure of what people would think of Government Warning. When Career Suicide played the fest 2 years ago, it seemed like maybe 10 people were really into it, but those 10 people loved it. I made sure to get a spot right against the stage so I could take pictures, which was great, but I got pushed pretty hard into the stage and the speaker a few times. Government Warning has 2/3 of Direct Control, and have a similar old hardcore punk sound, but more melodic. They played a bunch of new songs off their "No Moderation" LP, which was available for the first time at the fest. Thanks to the internet though, it seemed pretty much everyone in the front already downloaded the LP and knew the new songs. They also covered the Descendents, Vile and the Adolescents. I would say they were hands down the best band on this fest.
World/Inferno was next, and I really wasn't interested. I took this free time to go to the record room, and go shopping. I wound up dropping around 50 bucks on records, mostly from the Government Warning table's distro boxes. I had planned on picking up the rest of the items on my shopping list the next day, so I didn't bring all the money I took out. This moderation proved to be a bad decision.
Around 10:30, someone came into the record room and made an announcement that the show was over, and the cops were there. This meant that Severed Head of State wouldn't get to play. When I left the show, I saw a paddy wagon in the middle of the street to the left, and lots of cops with clubs running down the street on the right. There were also news cameras; that would be my cue to exit. When I got to the car, I saw a helicopter hovering over the church so I knew something really bad must've went down.
When I got home, I saw a lot of messageboard posts about how the squatter punks had a riot with the cops. Let me explain, people travel to this show to not see bands, but hang out in the alley on the side of the church and get wasted. These people are a cross between homeless people and hippies and sometimes have dogs with them. They smell and look terrible, from not showering or eating well. Apparently they'd been harassing people in the neighborhood, which got the police in the area. From what I hear, there was an altercation where a group of these "punks" surrounded and attempted to overpower a cop, which was when backup was called and a riot of sorts broke out. None of this would have happened, however, if they were inside watching the bands. So the actions of a few idiots who decided it was cool to be an asshole and travel to Philly to hang out outside the show ruined everyone's weekend.
After reading that the show was cancelled, I conceded and showered. However around 1pm it was announced that at one of the after party shows that was already scheduled, that Kylesa, No Hope For the Kids and the other out of state/country bands would get to play at the Mill Creek Tavern at 9pm. After destroying some burritos, Ray and me got there, and it was already almost packed. This show was 21+, since it is a bar which in theory should keep the riff raff out. However, the trouble-makers from the night before were probably my age and older.
I haven't seen Kylesa in a few years, and to my surprise they've upped the ante with 2 drummers! I've always loved Kylesa a lot more live than recorded, but I'm still really excited to hear any new stuff with this 2 drummer line-up. They sound a lot heavier than before, and it works really well for them. For some reason I have no interest in metal sounding stuff in the summer, but in the winter I listen to metal a lot. Must have something to do with the weather.
Dismal were supposed to play the after party show anyway, but were also on the fest. I wasn't really too into it, sounded like heavy metallic crusty hardcore. Not generally a bad thing, just didn't really stick out as anything too different. People seemed to like them...
Thought Crime was next, and were laughable terrible. If you were to make the most generic punk band ever, it would sound like Thought Crime. Despite the awesome name, it just sounded like generic "smash the state" punk, complete with a British accent.
It was really awesome to get to see No Hope for The Kids two times, since they were supposed to play Sunday's show and I didn't plan to go to that. I think they played a lot better here than at the church on Thursday. They also played a new song, which was awesome. I had a different side of the stage for pictures this time, so I got some of the other guitar player, despite some chump who kept standing on the stage pretending to know the words.
Severed Head of State apparently played the after party show the night before, and were taking World Burns to Death's place on the show due to their drummer apparently having a seizure the night before. I have a bunch of SHOS records, but haven't listened to them in a few years. I wish I was more familiar with the majority of their songs, because they were fucking incredible. I had a spot on the left side of the stage for picture taking.
After that was the West Philly All-Star Oi! Tribute, however it was getting really late at that point and we made the trek back to NJ, getting home around 3am. Overall, it was a really good time, I just wished it went more according to plan. It just sucks that the actions of a few assholes had to ruin a lot of people's weekend, and ruin future Pointless Fests.
"If you contribute nothing, you deserve nothing; if you contribute something, you deserve everything"- Jack Control (SHOS)