Note: I know. Rebel Fest was last weekend. But that doesn’t change the fact that I want to give the review that gives credit where it is due.
I’m not an easily excitable person. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy things, but something has to be pretty spectacular to get me waiting eagerly in anticipation. And letting loose once said event comes to existence.
Every year, Rebel Fest gets me waiting and acting less restricted. It is a celebration of the current Canadian Punk landscape, and a lot of people turn out to support the vibrant scene. Bands, individual performers, and of course fans; were all part and parcel to the 2 day marathon of Punk music that took place at This Ain’t Hollywood on April 14th and 15th.
1st Band: At What Cost.
I can no longer see this band and see just ‘a Punk band.’ Instead; because of time and circumstance, I get nostalgic. I know that sounds silly, but I am serious. I have seen the band three times. But the first time I saw them, I was new to Punk shows. And every time I have seen them since, I am reminded of that time. Their music is still cool, politically driven, and socially conscious. And I am still a fan. They still put on kick-a*s shows that make you think. The best part about seeing them live though is how I feel like I’m 17 once again. And how fresh and inspiring everything in Punk feels once more. 10 out of 10.
2nd Band: The Rebel Arms.
It wasn’t that long ago I saw this Grimsby band, and I took an immediate liking to them. Sure they play Hard-Core, but it’s melodic, appealing, and has political overtones. It also has it’s funny moments, making for a wild mix of Punk. This band has an insane amount of energy, which made for some difficult shooting moments, but it all turned out in the end. I love seeing Punk from other areas of Canada, and The Rebel Arms teaming with Rebel Time Records to help produce this festival help provide a great opportunity for that. 10 out of 10.
3rd Band: The Rotten.
Yes, their original songs are brilliant. (They concern the state of modern Punk Rock, Canadian politics, and other topics.) But then; Steeltown Spoilers guitarist Chris Crash was called up to assist on a cover of the Dead Boys seminal ‘Sonic Reducer.’ And everyone in the audience went crazy, myself included. We sang along too, and it made for some wonderful chaos. 10 out of 10.
4th Band: Brutal Youth.
An already speedy four-piece,it’s like this band took the exquisite craziness left over from the Rotten’s set and transplanted it into theirs. People were literally climbing over one another to sing the bands lyrics up front, and it was amazing to take it all in. Lead singer Patty O Lantern is an especially energetic performer, so it’s interesting to see that manifest in the audience. But their set, amazingly, has it’s more poignant moments too. Like in the song ‘Postman’, which is about Alzheimer’s affecting a band members grandparent. 10 out of 10.
5th Band: Class Assassins.
Even though they are from Hamilton’s rival city of Toronto, The Class Assassins are always greeted with enthusiasm. And with such timely lyrics, and great music that provides the right amount of punch, it’s easy to see why. Their music talks about a lot, and they perform wonderfully. It’s a fantastic combination, and that is why I remain a fan. 10 out of 10.
6th Band: The Rebel Spell.
Since last year’s Rebel Fest, I have not been able to get this band’s music off my mind. It’s staunchly political, highly opinionated, and full of irony. And yet, it is not preachy. If anything, it’s insanely likeable. Their set was as incredible as the previous year. They exploded into their songs, and the audience responded like they were hearing Punk for the first time. I could not believe it when they performed my favorite song, as it was not on the set list, but myself and a bunch of others were cheering like crazy when they did. (And some of the more nervy ones, like me, went onstage and sang along.) 10 out of 10.