The other week I attended day 2 of Circle pit Fest (I was at a show in Philly during day 1). It was totally worth the 3 hour drive for a pretty action packed Saturday.
Got there during Cloak/Dagger, due to a necessary Waffle House stop. Missed Chainsaw to the Face (sorry dudes), but caught the majority of Cloak/Dagger's set. I like this band a lot more live than recorded. If you're not familiar, they have a early 80's California punk sound, but recorded it just sounds too slick for me. I guess their LP coming out on Jade Tree will be pretty polished sounding as well. The place the show was at is a bike collective. I have no idea what that means, but it looked like a warehouse with a bunch of bikes in it. It was a decent size, kinda narrow though. It seemed like there was a ton of room in the back, which was filled with bikes. There was alos no bathroom at the place, which kinda sucked that I had to walk around the corner to the movie theater to pee.
Fighting Dogs, who I saw the day before in Philly, were next. I've seen them a lot, since they kind of local. Their sound is sorta crusty metal, but is a lot more interesting than most of that stuff. Played mostly the songs off the cd they released in the little envelope.
I had already see La Piovra twice on their US tour in NJ and Philly, and they kept getting better every time I saw them. It was moreso by chance that I saw them 3 times, but I'm glad I did. They're from Italy, and do the old hardcore sound similar to stuff like Regulations or the Young Wasteners. If they're playing anywhere near you, go see them. It's probably hard for an unknown HC band from Italy to draw people, but it's totally worth your time.
Up next is what some people referred to as the "superset," which consisted of Build your Weapons, Warzone Womyn, Magrudergrind, and XbrainiaX. During this chunk of time, the people I was with went and checked out a movie. I decided to stick it out, plus I had wanted to see Xbrainiax, and had heard good things about the others. They all have an extremely similar sound, paying homage to the heyday of powerviolence.
XbrainiaX was definately my favorite of the bunch, and played over 30 songs in maybe 20-25 minutes. Really short, really fast thrashy hardcore. With bands like that, I like them better in smaller doses. None of the "superset" was bad, just extremely similar to me, but I'm sure someone w/ a more trained ear for that sort of think could tell the difference.
I was really excited to see Positive Reinforcement, since getting their 1 sided LP over the summer. Their sound definately slowed down, to a more midpaced punk band. Their earlier stuff had some catchy parts, but was mainly fast thrashcore. They played everything off that LP, and a few other ones from their 7". People seemed into it, but it looked like a lot of the room left unfortunately.
Blank Stare has 1/2 the members of PosiForce, but has a more agressive sxe sound. Last time I saw Blank Stare, the singer was jumping off everything, and running around like a maniacac, and today's show was no exception. They played mostly the songs from their 2 new 7"s (which I highly recommend), and did a Last Rights cover ("chunks") and a Judge cover ("fed up"). At one point, the singer was standing on top of a cabinet, which didn't look too sturdy. They were definately great, and I think they should be one of the more talked about hardcore bands.
I was really excited to see Government Warning, they were amazing at Pointless Fest, plus by this point I've had their LP for over 3 months. That LP may be the best hardcore record I've heard in the +/- 10 years I've been into hardcore. It seemed like a lot of the crowd re-apeared at this point, and people were going nuts circle pitting and diving from pipes during their set. They played a new song that was awesome, and did a block of 4 covers (minor threat, descendents, adolescents, vile). Covers are pretty fun, but I would've preferred to hear more of their own songs. Either way, if you don't think Government Warning is the best current hardcore band, you're kidding yourself or have bad taste.
86 Mentality and Mind Eraser were next, but a bunch of us went to the Ottobar to catch the Ergs play. I saw the first five 86 Mentaliy songs, which were all off their first 7". It was really good, and I'm glad I finally got to see them, since somethign always happens when I'm supposed to go see them.
Got to the Ottobar during the last Paper Dragons song, which kinda sucked because I liked their demo and wanted to see them. The Ergs were great as always, and it was surreal to see them on a stage with lights and mics. Played a lot of new songs, which the NJ attendants all knew. They even did their Gin Blossoms cover, which is always a hit. Saw a little bit of the Parasites (Para-Ergs), but left since we had a long trip home. Finally got to sleep at 4am, and was totally wiped out.
I got a bunch of new records there, and in general. I'm going to post more reviews, and do a best of 2006 post also. You can check out more pictures from the fest at