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Riot Fest II - European underground hardcore heaven!
This was the second time the city of Venlo was the place to be if you like your hardcore DIY crusty, fast, dirty and in your face. The festival was held in the cozy Perron 55, which proved to be an excellent choice with its two stages. Again the line-up of Riot Fest proved to have the best underground hardcore bands out of Europe and this time even a big treat for all the old-timers with a single reunion show of the legendary UK hardcore outfit The Stupids (in them days on Earache Records). 
Terrorize Kids
The band to get this fest started was the German band Terrorize Kids, who were going to play their last show as well since they called it quits. I think they had a hard time playing a good show in the end, performing with low enthusiasm and some noticeable flaws. They got some response when they started handing out free CD’s to the audience though. Overall a nice warming up, but I don’t think they’ll be sorely missed in the scene. (DemonDust)
Bite Down
Hailing from Belgium (the country of chocolate and paedophiles as the vocalist stated), Bite Down came to really wake everybody up. Their fierce hardcore contained some grind elements as well, something that pleased me a great deal. They played with great intensity and high speed, smacking the audience in the face with their heavy sound, including blastbeats! One of the nicer bands for me this day for sure! (DemonDust)
Local Spastics
The second band on the main stage was Local Spastics, a band from our capitol of Amsterdam. The trio had the typical Amsterdam attitude of ‘I don’t give a fuck what you think’, especially the singer, who had some health issues in the shape of a broken foot. This forced him to sit on a crutch while playing his guitar and singing, but in no way did this hold him back of acting crazy. The band played a form of rock ‘n’ roll punk/hardcore, but I have to say that I wasn’t really impressed with their material. No matter, there was still so much more to come! (DemonDust)

I thought Vogue was a real odd name for a hardcore band, since it kept reminding me of Madonna. Nevertheless this Belgium band was one of the most interesting bands of the entire fest, packing a hardcore sound that I honestly have never ever heard before. It’s really slow, yet with a lot of punch in it. A weird dancing singer who shuts up for long periods of time in some songs made it even more interesting, and I must say that the longer they played, the more I got dragged into their strange sound. I will need to check these guys out on record soon! (DemonDust)
Sick Mormons
This Amsterdam based snotty hardcore/punk band, contains some members of the punk/hardcore band Gewapend Beton. Where Gewapend Beton is a fast paced oldschool hardcore machine, Sick Mormons are a bit more into the snotty UK punk sound. It was an o.k. show, but nothing more. I understand that they are trying to create the sloppy, snotty punk sound, but to my opinion it was a little bit to sloppy. (RoyBalowski)
Brat Pack
From one snotty hardcore/punk band, to another one, but Brat Pack know its shit and rocked the house. This Dutch hardcore/punk band plays fast, sloppy hardcore in the vein of RKL, the Adolescents, (old) Bad Religion. Off course this was sort of a hometown gig for them and the place went nuts, when they kicked out their anthems ‘Brat Pack’ and ‘Sick Burn’. Off course this has a lot to do, with their very energetic show and their hyper-active “Bob Ross look-a-like” frontman Kenny. Great energetic show! (RoyBalowski)

Fy Fan
After Brat Pack we had to go to the small and cozy upstairs stage for this Danish crust/hardcore band. And fucking hell, this was by far the band of the festival! It’s been a long time, since a hardcore band give me such a big kick in the nuts…an absolute powerhouse band! Their music is highly influenced by the old Scandinavian hardcore from the early 80’s like Mob 47, Treveet Kadet, but also the newer bands like Victims come to mind. This was executed with so much energy and loud volume, that my heartbeat instantly raised a couple of hundred beats a minute. Shit this is what hardcore is suppose to be! Fast, loud, dirty hardcore, with a crazy frontman that is thrashing the audience by himself on top of that. They even kicked out a Mob 47 cover. A short energetic 15 minutes, but 15 very fulfilling minutes. Kick ass hardcore band! (RoyBalowski)
The Belgian hardcore outfit Sunpower arrived just in time for the gig, so they had to unload and get on stage immediately. The fact that they had a left-handed drummer caused even more delays, but eventually they were ready and started kicking out some old school punk/hardcore music. This stuff takes you right back to the old days when this music was started. Luckily for me my working shift was over (I was working the stage monitors), so I felt like taking a small break outside the venue, and missed the rest of the performance unfortunately. (DemonDust)
After being knocked over by Fy Fan, I was curious as hell about this Swedish hardcore band. Well, it turned out to be a hell of a surprise as well. Nitad is in the same vein as Fy Fan, but probably has a bit more influences of old US hardcore bands like Youth Brigade, Black Flag. Scandinavian hardcore ruled this festival for sure, because Nitad destroyed the upstairs stage as well. Just a tad less loud and energetic as Fy Fan, but just as effective! The crowd went bezerk and at one point of the show their frontman tries to crowdsurf on top of people, but lands very harsh back on the ground. So hard in fact, that his shoulder is dislocated! For a brief second the singer of Fy Fan took over to sing a song, but then the frontman of Nitad decided that he wants to finish the show. “This band is my life!” he shouts, true dedication isn’t it! Again an awesome show from a Scandinavian band. (RoyBalowski)
Citizen Patrol
What can I say about this Dutch old-school hardcore band? This is by far the best old-school hardcore band out of our country. Today they proved that once again! Highly energetic old-school hardcore in the vein of old 80’s hardcore like Void, Negative Approach. Off course this was a hometown gig (the bass-player organizes this fest.), but when you play so tight and energetic and know how to fuck up an entire venue, then you are heroes in my book! And as the cherry on top of the cake, they did their splendid cover-version of a Void song. Dutch hardcore on the rise! (RoyBalowski)
Dean Dirg
Then it was finally time for the ultimate hardcore/rock ‘n roll band out of Germany, namely Dean Dirg. After seeing them for the first time 4 years ago, I’ve been a huge fan of this band. Their music is the perfect mix between old 80’s hardcore/punk like Minor Threat/Black Flag and (old) New Bomb Turks, MC5 and the Stooges. Every time when I’ve seen this band they play with so much energy, fun and enthusiasm, that they turn every crowd in one big party. Off course their frontman, with his 70’s porno-movie mustache and glitter shirt is an eye catcher and one hell of an entertainer. Again a great show of this amazing band! (RoyBalowski)
Geriatic Unit
Great to see this oldschool band being booked as well. This UK band has some old-school people in their line-up, which have been around in the hardcore/punk scene for a very long time, for instance Hard To Swallow. With this band they even speed things up a bit more and kick out some serious fast paced hardcore. Great to see that age doesn’t matter if you want to play fast music. (RoyBalowski)

The Stupids
This show was a one-time single reunion show for the main land only. A lot of people came down to Venlo to witness this show. This UK band has been around from the mid 80’s and has released a couple of albums on Earache Records, in the period where they only put out classic hardcore/grind records of band like The Accused, Unseen Terror and off course Napalm Death. I’m always a little skeptic about old bands coming back together and perform again (last year I’ve seen Mob 47 and it was beyond terrible), but The Stupids absolutely blew everyone away! I didn’t expect it to be so good, but these old-timers still know how to thrash things up and play some catchy tunes at the same time. The set list was a mix of golden oldies and songs from their new record The Kids Don’t Like It… Really impressive and the best headliner Riot Fest. could have wished for! (RoyBalowski)
Details Written on Friday Nov 6th, 2009
Writer @RoyBalowski

Tags: #Riot Fest II