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On Saturday at This Is Hardcore we got an awesome all-day lineup with Brooklyn’s Biohazard killing it still. Pennsylvania’s own Wisdom In Chains played, who are a fan favorite and a gift every year. Mad Joe even gave us the gift of telling us he was going to be a father again. New Jersey’s Lifleless is a band that is making the east coast look amazing again for hardcore. If you haven’t heard Dream it’s a must to own.
Sand of Japan came close to stealing the show. Makoto, their lead singer is wilder than Greg Puciato of Dillinger Escape Plan. It was sad to see Philly’s Rock Bottom come to an end, but they were amazing. The guys basically threw a party and chucked a bunch of toilet paper around the Electric Factory the whole set. It was actually pretty fun. Xibalba from Los Angeles is the band that is bringing hardcore and metal to the extreme. I think to me they remind me of the 90’s Swedish Death Metal bands. Turnstile killed it. In my mind Nonstop Feeling is the best album of 2015. Bane, those Boston boys, will always hold this festival night down. They “won” This Is Hardcore 2K15 to me. It’s sad to see a band who mattered in hardcore to me since 2000 call it to an end.
On Sunday the winners for the fest were Foreseen (HKI) from Finland. If you are a D.R.I. & Municipal Waste fan, bands like Foreseen are the best. I definitely thrashed like an athlete. You also had Twitching Tongues who to me is the most metallic hardcore band out there. Tongues also recently signed to Metal Blade Records. They are a game changer in heavy music. All Out War also played Sunday and featuring some songs off the new EP which I have to say is heavy. All Out War is a great band. Their moshers are wild and as a band they are a must to see. H2O killed Sunday night for me. Toby Morse playing a 20th Anniversary set and getting friends and family to come up and sing with him on songs. Of course The Exploited from the U.K. who I say kicked arse. They still are there to prove “punk is not dead.”
Besides the music at This Is Hardcore, you have food trucks all over the fest. Distros of all kinds like Shop Shogun, Bridge Nine, Deathwish, Fast Break Records, and Harvcore Records. And even apparel like American Straight Edge Apparel. There’s also SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) Demo Fighting in the parking lot so if you want to fight like a knight or a viking. it’s the right place to do it. This is Hardcore is a fest that is important to this city. The fact that this fest moved from a small venue to the biggest venue in Philly, proves something. It was even heart-warming to hear that Joe Hardcore proposed to his longtime girlfriend Jessica Parr here. I have to say that this fest has something for everyone. It’s cool to see how packed it was for days like Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. When I look back at all the fests I’ve gone to, this is the one I approve at all costs. If you haven’t been here you’re missing out.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The city of brotherly love, cheesesteaks. Rocky Balboa, and the almighty This Is Hardcore Fest, the biggest music festival on the east coast that supports the hardcore and punk. Joe Hardcore McKay started this fest 9 and he still does not disappoint. The first day of the fest this year was held at Union Transfer in Philly. The other three days were held at The Electric Factory (very close to The Transfer). Day one the fest had reunions and goodbyes. Buffalo New York’s Snapcase headlined this day. Singer Daryl Taberski said to the crowd Thursday Night “It’s great to perform to old fans and new fans”. The great vegan/straight edge band Chokehold from Canada also had reunited at This Is Hardcore. Not only did they co-headline the first day, but they also played an after show at the Voltage Lounge the next night. The sad part about Thursday was saying goodbye to Foundation, probably one of the most promising hardcore bands in this decade.
We also some great friends and hometown heroes in Agitator. They were ready to call it quits and I for one say it was great Joe Hardcore put them on this bill. I heard Joe say a month ago on The Post America Podcast “It wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t put them on”. One band who stole the show that to me was Code Orange. Code Orange is one of the best bands out of the keystone state. The album I Am King (Deathwish Inc.) is a must own. The fact they came off Mayhem Festival and played this and not to mention all surprise guest vocalists to sing including Jeremy Tingle of Lifeless. It was a must see show. It will be amazing when Sunny Singh of Hate5six.com posts that set.
On Friday there were a lot of main event heavy hitters especially the main event. Another reunion that is very important to talk about here. Boston’s American Nightmare (AKA Give Up The Ghost) headlined and made it beautiful. The band played probably one of their greatest sets out of all the reunion shows they’ve done so far. I’ve seen some footage of the Boston and New York shows they played, but tonight they amazed me. Being an American Nightmare fan since my junior year of high school, and now getting to see them thirteen years later, I felt like a kid again.
Another band that impressed me was Seoul, South Korea’s The Geeks. One of the best hardcore bands to graceful the U.S. surface in a minute. They definitely know how to get a crowd going. So does Cruel Hand of Portland Maine. They are that metallic hardcore band who can take the heaviest breakdown into the most thrashy beat to blast. It’s very much it’s a party when they play. Friday also featured power violence band Nails, who also made me a fan.
This Is Hardcore Fest has announced their daily lineups for the 2015 edition and the venues where each day’s event will be held.
Thursday, July 23rd – Union Transfer:
Friday, July 24th – Electric Factory:
Malice At The Palace
Saturday, July 25th – Electric Factory:
Misfits (“Earth A.D.” in full)
Reach The Sky
Sunday, July 26th – Electric Factory:
H2O (20th anniversary show)
All Out War
Wisdom In Chains
Fuck You Pay Me