Review of Slamfest’s 2 Year Anniversary

*Note: I was not able to stay for the entire matinee. And I forgot my memory card, so I have no pictures to link to.

A lot can happen in two years. Companies can form, people can start a life together, families can grow.
But on Sunday July 28th, 2 years was marked as an anniversary for Hammer City Records and their Sunday Slamfest matinees.
Always 4 or 5 great bands at an awesome price, Sunday Slamfest has been giving Punk Rockers in Hamilton somewhere to go at the end of every month for 2 years now.
I attended this past Slamfest and it was fantastic as always.
Before I dive into my quick review, I want to thank Craig and Leah, the staff at Hammer City Records, Jaime Problem, and everyone at This Ain’t Hollywood. They all do such amazing work.

1st Band: Sketchbooks.

Sketchbooks is one of those bands that make my personal top 30, and I was really happy to see them. (Before, I had only heard their mp3s.)
Their live set only adds to the experience if you’re a fan. Their set ignited the place. Fast, ferocious, fuzzy Hardcore blared out at me from the band and it was awesome.
Adding to the set was that the singer stood in the pit and let people join in. In my opinion, that’s important. Let your fans join you, and you’ll only see good results.

10 out of 10.

2nd Band: System System.

System System were a completely new band to me. I had never heard anything by them, so it was a nice surprise to see and hear this great band that reminded me of 80’s Hardcore.
The whole band worked as a great unit, playing hard and furious.
My only complaint is I had some problems understanding the lyrics, but other than that their set was great.

9 out of 10.

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Review Of The September 30th Slamfest.

*NOTE: The following are the opinions of the person providing them, and are protected under the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, Section 2 B.

**Note: All possible research has been done regarding the incident readers will read about when they come to the section about Armed and Hammered.

Recently, I noticed Sunday Slamfest, (the local monthly Punk show in my city), has been happening for 15 months. (And we’re close to another one.)

I say ‘I noticed’ because I’m peculiar person. I know anniversaries and birthdays, but I get busy having fun at events.

The result is the full awe or impact usually hits me after the event in a quiet moment by myself.

(E.g: ‘Wow. This is event 15? That’s amazing. I’m so happy for them and proud.’)

And the above was what I was feeling. I saw the bands who would be playing, who was there, and thought “They’ve done it again. Another great show.”

1st band: At What Cost.

Kicking off the afternoon, and it’s very political undertone, At What Cost went on first.

They’re always fantastic to see, because they always make you think. Their lyrics touch on themes of censorship, economics, oppression, and more.

But at the same time, they are catchy as hell. I dare anyone to listen to songs such as ‘Feels Like 1984’ and not get it stuck in their head.

Their musicianship hits just the right level too, being hard-hitting enough to feel like the kick we all need; while being appealing enough to keep anyone interested coming back for another round.

10 out of 10.

 

2nd Band: Gag Order.

Gag Order, to me, are a great example of modern Hardcore.

Most songs clock in at under 3 minutes. The instrumentation is hard-hitting. And while their songs are short, their lyrical content covers so much. Corrupt government, modern technology, lying. (And that’s just what I can think of from my MP3 player.)

They’re really one of those bands you absolutely have to see live. There’s no other way to say it.

You have to see the crowd interaction with your own eyes. You have to feel the instruments humming through the amp and your feet.

But mostly, you have to hear those songs with your own ears.

10 out of 10.

 

3rd Band: Armed and Hammered.

I’ll admit it. When I heard Armed and Hammered would be playing this past Slamfest, I felt my half giddy/half anxious feeling.

Controversy has followed this band ever since 1995. (They were part of an AIDS benefit concert to raise money for the cause. They said  something as part of a routine, and while I can see how people would be hurt, I believe it was part of that routine. I don’t think the band meant any ill-intent, especially when the words are placed with the rest of the routine. But as always, I can’t speak for anyone and they can’t speak for me. I can only know why I do things, and I believe that is true for everyone.)

Now, as for the show I attended, it was eventful and uneventful at the same time. (Which was perfect.)

It was uneventful in the way that no bad controversy happened. (No one misinterpreted anything, no one replaced the Armed and Hammered performance with an R.E.M video, etc.)

And it was eventful in the way that I’ve gotten to see yet another amazing Canadian Punk band. The band has been going, in some form or another, since 1989.

Seeing this band, like seeing any of the Greats, was like seeing a wonder of the world.

10 out of 10.