This Is Hardcore Fest – Saturday’s Warrior

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Saturday was back to your regularly scheduled programming (more hardcore, less Satan), with locals Ten Ton Hammer leading off. The forecast called for rain, which held off, as did the firestorm to purify (although the heat was a pretty good proxy). What’s great about the music starting at noon is that the teenagers have a good chance of convincing mom and dad to drop them off for a few sets before getting picked up to go home and eat dinner. It is very important to start listening to hardcore at a young age (and in my case, not to stop listening to it). I had a guest in town (who has been wanting to see Gorilla Biscuits since he was 13), so we didn’t make it down until later in the evening. It was great to run around the city and see so many hardcore kids, however. The tattoo parlors must have been slammed.

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When we finally got to the Electric Factory, it had cooled off. You could see fatigue setting in on some festgoers, while others, in the immortal words of the headliner, were ready to “Finish What You Started.” Well, not me specifically. Saturday was easily the most well-attended day, with scenesters new and old. I saw a contingent of various crews from various cities walking around and being civil, and I even ran into some old heads from Salt Lake. Multiple continents were represented, too. Bolivians from South America, Japanese dudes, and Germans flew in to jump in the pit, buy merch, and get the rare opportunity to see bands like Killing Time and Gorilla Biscuits.

Speaking of which, both of them went off. Frontman Anthony from Killing Time brought a bit of humor to the set, making light of his stature every chance he got, and also being humbled at having his family in attendance. My dad used to do cool shit when I was a kid, but definitely not as cool as fronting a hardcore band. Starting off with Telltale and finishing with Backtrack, Killing Time’s set was part comedy show and part hardcore show.

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Then, the main event. Trumpets. Oh shit, they brought trumpets? Of course they brought trumpets! I loved everything about this, as did the crowd, until Civ got political, commenting on the Black Lives Matter movement while introducing Degradation. I’m really not sure why people were bummed. Then again, I agree with his statement. There’s a lot of irony in hardcore because the music resonates with pieces of shit who spend way too much time being hateful, but it also resonates with those willing to swim upstream for the greater good, to attempt to change things that are broken instead of just tolerating them. He continued to be a mouthpiece for the greater good when he introduced Start Today with a shout out to girl power. I suppose you can take hardcore out of politics, but you can’t take politics out of hardcore. At face value, holy shit was this a great set, and I was honored to bear witness to it.

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Fidel Gastro

Fidel Gastro is an old man who refuses to be an old man. His writings are typically dedicated to overhyped and underdelicious fast food. He spends most of his time engaging in the celebrated internet pastime of self deprecation and also questions his life choices up to this point. He also runs a small beef jerky company when he's not at his day job.
Fidel Gastro
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