Beer. Butts. Blood.
Crusty jeans, crusty shirts, and body odor.
Dudefest 2009 punched me in the face!
Dudefest continues to be the most metal event to occur in the history of Indiana, beside Ozzfest – but I’m not sure if that counts anymore. Despite the insane martial law style police presence, the fest still kicked copious amounts of ass. Following is my band by band breakdown, I won’t list bands that we didn’t see – much like last year we managed to spend more time drinking High Life at J-Clyde’s next door.
The Viking Beard was lucky to snap some shitty photos of a few of the bands sets when he wasn’t busy getting the shit beat out of him in the pit.
Here we go with the three-day recap!
Shitstorm – Pretty good grind from Miami, includes one member of Torche. We only caught a few songs after our beer break, but they put on a good show.
Young Widows – Had never heard Young Windows, they’re kind of stoner-y, dissonant rock. Kind of sounds like These Arms Are Snakes. They were good, no crazy antics or anything, crowd wasn’t terribly into it.
Lair of the Minotaur / 7000 Dying Rats – I’ll be honest – I don’t like Lair of the Minotaur’s albums at all. They’re a little dull to me and the riffs don’t punch me in the face or anything. That’s me though. That said, they absolutely destroyed. They were monolithic, a crushing metal-stoner-doom-viking-battle hurricane of intense riffage on the stage. For some reason, their songs sounded 10 times better in a live setting. The crowd was digging it – stage dives and some great pitting action abound. Halfway through their set they stopped for a minute, pulled on ski masks, brought out a different singer, and like a death metal transformer turned into their grind act, 7000 dying rats. They were fun as hell – playing a good handful of 1-5 second songs, a handful of longer songs, and then launching into a crowd singalong cover of Living After Midnight. I think they could’ve just played 10 Judas Priest covers and the crowd would be happier than pigs in shit.
Harvey Milk – They played a good set, but with their bleak music I think the crowd was focused on trying not to commit suicide rather than moshing at a snail’s pace. The singer is very sweaty.
Torche – Torche headlined on Friday last year as well, and absolutely dominated – by far the best set of the weekend. After setting such a high standard, I think they had a lot to live up to this year. Since last year, they had lost one of their guitar players, Juan Montoya - I was interested to see how things would turn out live, as they’re now a 3 piece. They played mostly fast songs – all of the good stuff including Healer, Rule The Beast, In Return, Pirahna, etc. It was a hell of a set, and the crowd loved it of course. I don’t think it was as good as their set last year, but it was still damn good. It felt like the set ended abruptly. In comparison, last year they closed with the crushing doomfest song Meanderthal, in it’s entirety – it doesn’t sound like the perfect send off, but it was like some kind of 2000: A Space Oddyssey-esque monolith chant and the crowd was in an absolute frenzy.
Mehkago NT – Had never heard of them before, we caught the tail end of their set and I wished we had seen the whole thing, they sounded fairly brutal, had some really catchy riffage.
John Hoffman: fucking shit up
Weekend Nachos - After putting a few High Lifes to rest at J-Clyde’s, we were all pretty excited to see Weekend Nachos. They’ve put on a damn good show every time we’ve seen them previously. They played a great set of course and the crowd was really into for the first time that we had seen during the day so far. Lots of stage dives and some intense pit action. I picked up a shirt with Freddy Kreuger on it. ACCEPTABLE VIOLENCE!!!!!!!
Tombs – Can’t remember much about Tombs. Someone proclaimed them to be a doom band. They were not a doom band.
Yes, this is what an onstage pit with Gaza looks like.
Gaza – Grind from Utah. We missed them last year, which was stupid. Fortunately we caught them this year, because they played an awesome set. Crowd was a big damn party. Halfway through their set, they brought about 30 people onto the tiny stage and played like that the rest of the time. There was a mini-moshpit on the stage, and people were stage diving from above the stage into the people on the stage. Insanity. They had a shirt with Ted Haggard’s face branded with a big, bold “SODOMITE” title. Back of the shirt said “Meth and a Gay Prostitute!”. Awesome. “Why are there so many Utah Jazz fans here?”
Basketball hoop? Nudity? Grind? No problem!
HeWhoCorrupts – Awesome Chicago grind, we had seen them several times previously and they are awesome every time. I think they get more over the top every time we see them. They had a Chicago Bulls style introduction, complete with basketball hoop. People were pulling off slam dunk stage dives, which is a new to me. I don’t think I’ve ever caught more stage dives to my domepiece during a show. They played all the good songs including, Kill ‘Em All, Master of Profits, etc. They ended up mostly naked of course. Tommy Camaro managed to put his beanbag in the guitar player’s mouth. Yep.
Magrudergrind – They played a good set, but HeWhoCorrupts is a tough act to follow. Magrudergrind didn’t get naked or anything though, so the crowd wasn’t in a frenzy or anything. It also didn’t help the fact that the Emerson’s sound fucking sucks so much of their set was white noise to me.
Russian Circles – Really good metal tinged post-rock from Chicago. They’re definitely an outlier for the fest, but they’ve played with grind bands in Chicago before, i.e. Plague Bringer. They were a nice change of pace in comparison to the previous three grind bands. It was a good set. Crowd was mostly just nodding their heads.
Portraits of Past – Old school emo/hardcore/screamo shit. Not really my thing, we left after their first song.
Axis and Allies – Hardcore from Indy. Not super impressive.
American Cheeseburger – Great name. Punk from Georgia. Also not super impressive.
Punch – They had a female singer. Pretty good.
Terrie then brought up a good point – “Why the fuck are we here?”. We pretty much only wanted to see Mammoth Grinder, Iron Lung, Lords, and Phoenix Bodies for the rest of the day. All of those bands were playing after 5:30. We had yet to make the journey back to Chicago (which took 4 hours somehow). Battered and bruised, we proceeded to leave Dudefest.