Monday, June 23, 2008

Dudefest concluded

Yeah, it was that kinda weekend. That's a chick's hair, by the way.

Sunday rolled around, and it despite the intense music on tap there was a more laid-back vibe to the day. The crowd was small, but there was still a lot of spirit. I overslept and arrived just in time to catch the first band I wanted to see, Demiricous. I've been a fan of theirs since first hearing them a few years back. Their new material has taken their Slayer worship sound, mixed in a healthy dose of Motorhead, Celtic Frost and mid-era Entombed, and cranked it to 11. I'm always excited to see these guys.

A perfect follow-up to Demiricous was Ohio blackened thrashers Skeletonwitch. I first saw these guys in '06 as a 4-piece, but they have evolved into a whole new metal beast. Their new(ish) singer totally completes their live show, and it is metal defined. Their sound has definitely moved further towards the "thrash" part of black/thrash, and it's a vast improvement. Tunes about evil, witchcraft and, to quote tonight's set, "Betraaaayyerrrr!!!". They had the best set of the night, hands down. They're touring nonstop these days, so catch them when you can.

Graf Orlock were next on the agenda. This was the mosh/stage-dive high point for Sunday. By this point the dudecore/moshdown/funny-grind thing was getting a bit tired, but these guys were refreshing. The samples alone sold me; Terminator, Congo, some other random shit I couldn't place but enjoyed nonetheless.

Backstabbers Inc. had an interesting set. I had neither heard nor heard of the band, and at this point in the weekend I was ready to ignore any band I didn't know. But these guys kept me watching. They played an interesting mish-mash of Isis, Mouth Of The Architect and random mid-tempo thrash bits. The last song dragged way too long, but overall I dug it.

Washington metal grinders Iron Lung were another great highlight of the day. This two-piece play a perfect blend of thrashing intensity and crushing slow grooves. The set was on the shorter side, but for a band like this small doses works best. This band deserves much more recognition than they get, that's for sure.

Kungfu Rick was pretty decent Chicago hardcore, they got the crowd moving again. Again, at this point I was running on empty and I had already seen plenty of bands like this over the last 72 hours for it to make much of an impact on me.

So it was onto Kylesa's second set of the weekend, and the last set of the festival. I have to say it was stronger than the one they did on Friday night, whether it was the songs or the fact it was a culmination of 3 days of awesome, I couldn't say. They encored with a brand new song, and if it's any indication of what to expect with their next release than it's a very good sign.

And so here I sit, in my boxers, in a seedy Knights Inn motel room, drinking the rest of my Bailey's and watching that shitty Miami Vice movie, reflecting on Dudefest '08. I met some great people, saw some awesome bands, a had a raging good time. Hopefully I'll be able to do it all over again next year.

Who's coming with me!?

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