Date: 29th January 2017
Review by Sabrina Selkis
Photos by Miguel De Melo
Older hardcore is back and on fire, the bands are still fueled with the same anger and energy as they did when they started. The EMP Persistance tour has been 12 dates long, and took the bands across Germany, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, finishing in London, UK.
Tonight at the Kentish Town Forum in North London, we are spoiled to receive Misery, Burn, Down To Nothing, Walls Of Jericho, Municipal Waste, Agnostic Front and Suicidal Tendencies. What a badass line up for a usually boring Sunday! Hardcore fans are still here and in big numbers!
Sadly it took a while to be able to get our passes so we missed the first three bands; we had to interview Walls Of Jericho and Agnostic Front. We are only back in the venue when Walls of Jericho gets on stage. We apologise to the bands lacking coverage in this review.
The venue is nearly full to capacity when Walls of Jericho take on the stage. The band formed in 1998 in Detroit, Michigan. Opening with “Playing Soldier Again”, Walls Of Jericho shows great energy.
Candace Kucsulain is as impressive as always, delivering powerful vocals, demanding action in the form of a circle pit on the second song “ A Trigger Full Of Promises”. She adds “We are here to have a f**** good time tonight, so let’s turn this s*** up!” They show nothing but raw and relentless energy.
Chris Rawson, Mike Hasty and Aaron Ruby on guitars and bass are solids , producing strong riffs to the deadly drumming of Dustin Schoenhofer.
“These guys at the front [Security] get paid to do a job so let’s get them working!” yells Candace. This unleashes a high number of crowdsurfing fans, security definitely has its hands full. Finishing with “Revival Never Goes Out Of Style”, Kucsulain gets off the stage, stands in front of the first row singing together with the crowd, ending the set on a high note.
1. Playing Soldier Again
2. A Trigger Full of Promises
3. Feeding Frenzy
5. Reign Supreme
6. Fight the Good Fight
7. Forever Militant
8. No One Can Save You From Yourself
9. The American Dream
10. Revival Never Goes Out of Style
After a quick change over, next up is thrash metallers Municipal Waste from Richmond, Virginia. They are back in London again, having played 6 months earlier at The Underworld in Camden. But just before they invade the stage, the audience is cheerfully singing in unison to “Municipal Waste is gonna f*** you up!”. What a great way to be welcomed!
I am not very familiar with this band, but I wanted to see them live for a while now, and they don’t disappoint. The crowd goes full energy mode in less than ten seconds, beer glasses spraying through the air.
Lead vocalist Tony Foresta, sporting a Burn tshirt, says to us “I woke up with a fever today, but you’re making me feel soooooo good right now, London!”
The band goes on being heavy, adrenaline fuelled, and they are brilliant and hilarious. Before introducing the song “ I Want To Kill The President”, they tell us how weird it will be to go back home to a different country [The US President inauguration happened while they were on tour]. The 30 minutes set has been fun, and left me wanting more of them.
Now it is time for the one and only Agnostic Front. They began playing hardcore punk in New York in 1980. The current line up includes Roger Miret on vocals, Vinnie Stigma and Craig Silverman on guitars, Mike Gallo on bass, and Pokey Mo on drums.
The setlist starts with “The Eliminator”, followed by “My Life My Way”. The audience is showing no signs of giving up, starting another vigorous circle pit.
Rumour has it that frontman Roger Miret is ill, but he still manages to perform good enough despite of losing his voice here and there. For the song “Police State”, he gets a fan onstage to sing with him.
The rest of the band is in top shape, Vinnie Stigma is energetic and it’s very obvious he is having a blast.
It is always great to hear the audience start the lyrics of “Gotta Go”, which sees a collaboration between Miret and Chaka Malik from Burn. Fans stole the show on this song, the energy is way stronger with them than the two singers! Agnostic Front finishes their 45 minutes set with a Ramones cover of Blitzkrieg Bop. All in all, a great set from the legends.
1. The Eliminator
2.My Life My Way
3. Police Violence
4. Police State (with a member of the audience on vocals)
5. For My Family
6. Friend or Foe
7. Victim in Pain
8. Old New York
9. All Is Not Forgotten
11. Crucified (Iron Cross cover)
12. Gotta Go (with Chaka Malik of BURN)
13. Riot, Riot, Upstart
14. Police State
15. A mi manera
17. Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones cover)
Also founded in 1980, the California band Suicidal Tendencies is headlining tonight. Frontman Mike Muir with his trademark bandana is the only remaining member from the original lineup, Dean Pleasants and Jeff Pogan are on guitar duties, Ra Diaz on bass and none other than Dave Lombardo is behind the drums.
Waiting and staring at their side stage sound engineer, they kick off with “You Can’t Bring Me Down”, followed by “War Inside My Head”. They are loud, they are heavy, and Mike Muir is still showing he’s got it. Dave Lombardo is introduced, and the response from the forum is amazing.
“This s*** moves me,” says Muir, ”Find your own f***** path”, before embarking on “Trip At The Brain”.
He thanks everybody that joined ST on this tour, and we are pleased to see all the bands’ members coming on stage. What a sight! But this is nothing compared to what is coming later.
As soon as the audience hears “Who wants to come onstage?”, many are rushing to the side of the stage to join Suicidal Tendencies, and needless to say Security is quickly overwhelmed, having troubles containing fans. The song “Possessed to Skate” kicks in and the stage is trembling! The party is definitely up there!
When their 45 minutes set comes to an end, it is an absolute mayhem of sweat, glasses, and tired fans… all smiling after an amazing night.
1. You Can’t Bring Me Down
2. Two Sided Politics
3. War Inside My Head
6. Trip at the Brain
7. Possessed to Skate
8. Living For Life
10. I Saw Your Mommy
11. Cyco Vision