Monday, May 4, 2009

Posted by xjustinx |
As we're getting ready to leave our hotel, I feel it's time to do a small amount of reflecting on the Burning Fight weekend.
The wife and I had some flight issues, which resulted in her not being able to fly into Chicago until Saturday morning. I still got in Friday evening though, and hit up the Indecision show. Wait In Vain played a great set. They got more love in Chicago than they seem to in their own hometown of Seattle. Timm's voice has gotten much stronger over the years, and it's great to hear him step out in front of a mic, as opposed to being behind a guitar all the time. Having not seen Indecision with Tom on vocals in a little over 10 years, I was really excited to see them again, and they didn't disappoint. They played a stellar selection of songs, although they did leave one out that I was dying to hear (you're dead to me now, Tom!).

The start of Burning Fight has been something I've been anticipating for so long now, but it ended up exceeding my expectations in most ways. There was good ventilation in the venue, and enough room to breathe, but there was one major bummer: a fucking barrier! Nothing is a bigger drag at a hardcore show than a barrier. From here, I'll just recap my favorite sets from the weekend.

Damnation AD - I'm not so sure why they played so early in the day, but they sounded incredible. Damnation always had a great ability to set a dark mood, and they definitely did that on Saturday as well. They opened up with No More Dreams of Happy Endings, and followed with a strong set of some of the heaviest hardcore the 90s ever saw.
Trial - Holy shit! Pandemonium might be the only word to describe Trial's set. I've seen them more times in the Northwest than I could possible count, and I attended all three of their reunion shows in 2005, but this was just plain insane. Kids were packed up front, and singing along like I never expected off of the West coast (they always seemed extremely underappreciated out East). They played a shorter set than I expected, but it was great as always. No band can make me feel quite the way that Trial can, and I was having a blast until I got kicked right in the eyeball, and then only had one contact lens for the rest of the weekend.
Disembodied - One of the most anticipated sets of the weekend for me came in the form of Disembodied. Definitely in my top 5 hardcore bands of all time, I was craving their downtuned sound since I last got to see them in '99. For the longest time now, Disembodied have been the soundtrack to every depressed, fucked up era of my life, and being able to hear the songs that got me through so many rough patches in a life setting again was well worth the wait. Each and every song they played is a classic in my eyes/ears, but the peak for me was when they played Gone. The duration of their set was about as nuts as Trial's was. Kids were piling on top of each other like something I haven't seen in years. Here's to hoping that they get back together, and bless us with another record.
Threadbare - Without a doubt, Threadbare were the most underappreciated band of the weekend. So powerful, and so emotional, it's a real shame that more people weren't in the building when they played. This doesn't happen very often, but I got goosebumps as they played Midas. Seeing as how Threadbare never made it out to my town in the 90s, I'm thankful they played Burning Fight.
Unbroken - Another band that never played Portland in the 90s, I was chomping at the bit to see how Unbroken would be live after all these years, and I was not let down at all. The sing alongs during their set damn near could have been deafening outside of a music venue. They ran through all the songs I wanted to hear, and their singer had a lot of great things to say about how priviliged they felt to be playing something like Burning Fight.

Overall, it was a great weekend, and a perfect fest. Normally, I really hate fests, but this was put together really well, and the attendees were all great people for the most part. Not having to deal with lameos in flat brimmed hats all weekend was awesome. There are so many people that it was great to see again, even if just briefly, including: all of Trial (as always), all the Seattle and Bellingham friends, Tom from Indecision, Tara from Disembodied, Rick from Ferret, Jason Shrout, Jeff Jawk (awesome to finally meet that guy after all these years), Jav, Norbi from Budapest, Ben from Redding, Clint from SLC, and so many more. Of course, it was great to see my partner on this site, Chip (move to Portland ASAP!). Anyone I met for the first time this weekend, feel free to shoot me an email, so I don't forget about you.
I'm leaving Chicago feeling inspired again, and I hope to take that with me, and apply it to all aspects of my life back home. Everything from my marriage to my band can benefit from the feeling that 90s hardcore gives to me. I know it can never be the same again, but I hope that the intelligence and raw emotion of the 90s comes back like a flood to hardcore. I'll end this with the quote of the weekend, which was supplied by Greg Bennick (surprise, surprise):
"There are 1100 of you, and 1 barrier. You do the math."


David Agranoff said...

Nice that Trial got proper respect.

I'll second Chip moving here!

Anonymous said...

Good bit of writing there, Justin. I felt the same way as you after the Hardcore Reunion show in March with No For An Answer, Carry Nation, A Chorus of Disapproval, Headfirst, Blackspot and ICE. Even though many of those bands sound more '80s than '90s, I still regard '90 to '94 (my years of heaviest involvement in the scene) as some of the absolute best years of my life and I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the '90s in general.

Thanks for the memories.

Sanford said...

great recap. best weekend ever. i get shivers whenever i think about disembodied's set.

Jeff J Jawk said...

Great to finally meet you sir!
Hope I get to see more of you!

Jason Shrout said...

it was great seeing you guys! i felt like i wasnt alone this weekend in my love of 90s hardcore. haha. strain cover/ripoff band asap. i need to get to portland again.