Review Of Rebel Fest. (Part 2.)

Unlike a lot of people, I’m still as excited for the consecutive days of something as I am for the first day. (Call it a long, weird attention span.)

Rebel Fest last weekend was no different. Day 2 appealed to me as much, if not a little more. (Some bands that were new to me were coming. Not to mention they came from outside of Ontario.)

1st Band: Jesse Lebourdais.

He’s one person with an acoustic guitar, (the ex-singer of Punk band Cambridge), but Jesse filled the venue musically as well as any band could. He touched on a lot of subjects, from a favorite hang-out in Vancouver being changed drastically, to people losing work. Punk is about changing perception and doing things differently, and Jesse is living the ethics in how he performs. 10 out of 10.

2nd Band: Social Club No. 27.

I’m not sure how long ago it was, but for some time, the band Broadcast Zero has been broken up.  Now, three members are back with a new project: Social Club No. 27. It was good to see them performing songs again, and I liken it to Broadcast Zero. (Solid Punk with messages tucked in the lyrics.) I’m interested in seeing them again, as their set was intriguing. Only time will time tell if this project will be as well-liked as Broadcast Zero proved to be,though. 10 out of 10.

3rd Band: Get The Shot.

This band came from Quebec to play Rebel Fest, and it was certainly something to hear and see. Their brand of Punk reminded me of Rage Against The Machine. It was heavy, it had hip-hop elements, and they had a lot to say about people who didn’t take Punk seriously. (They did have pleasant things to say about the Hamilton scene, however.) The singer showed his enthusiasm by going into the crowd and singing in it for a portion of the set, which I always think is a cool touch. They were a little heavy for me, but I do admire all they had to say. And how they said it. 8 out of 10.

4th Band: Nine Eleven.

Nine Eleven is the first international act to play Rebel Fest, (they are originally from France), and this was the band I was properly most eager to see out of sheer curiosity. They were even better than I thought they would be. They had sharp, militant drum beats; powerful vocals; and very politicized views. (Revealed in lyrics on their blog.) Whether you agree with their views, don’t agree, or do a bit of both like myself, you can certainly see that they will make you think. And I think that’s part of what Punk should be. 9 out of 10.

5th Band: La Gachette.

Another act hailing from Quebec, La Gachette certainly have opinions. But their music is on the lighter side, and they certainly don’t seem like they take things too seriously. (Part of their set included a cover of ACDC’s ‘TNT’.) One of the coolest parts of their set, though, was hearing about the band’s trip to Mexico and what the Punk scene is like there. They then played the song that was inspired by the trip, so it all made for a great section of a fantastic set. 10 out of 10.

6th Band: Subsistance.

It’s been a while since I last saw Subsistance, (they too are from Quebec), but the band still gives an amazing set to its audience. They performed my favorite song ‘Keep Up The Fight’, which is about keeping Punk Rock alive, well, and true. Their Hard-Core is a subtle mix of sub-genres, ranging from 80’s D.C Hard-Core, to the Hard-Core that Montreal experienced through-out the years. 10 out of 10.

7th Band: Born Wrong.

What better way to close a Hamilton Punk festival than with the Hamilton Punk band that so many people like? (Those who didn’t attend should have seen all the people, myself included, who clamoured for the microphone to sing along with ‘Burn A Debt.’) Born Wrong are one of my personal favorites, as they blend so many different musical styles into a spectacular Hard-Core set and make it all their own. And what’s more, their lead singer often dives into the audience to sing and mosh with the crowd, giving them a cool opportunity to mix with those who are their fans. 10 out of 10.

Review Of Rebel Fest. (Part 1.)

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.