Deconstruction Tour 2005

author PP date 04/05/05

The annual Deconstruction Tour this year wasn?t as promising as the previous years had been in terms of lineup. Last year the headlining act was Pennywise, with other big names such as Lagwagon and Anti-Flag playing. The previous years have included bands like NOFX, Thrice, Sick Of It All, Beatsteaks and many other huge acts. This time around, the 2,000 chanting fans at the sold out, legendary Astoria (London, UK) faced a lineup consisting of Tribute To Nothing, Captain Everything, Only Crime, Smoke Or Fire, From Autumn To Ashes, Strike Anywhere, Capdown, Boysetsfire and the headlining act Mad Caddies. A strange, and dare I say kinda unknown lineup for a punk festival as prestigious as the Deconstruction Tour. Sadly, bands like Lagwagon and Strung Out, who are attending the rest of the European dates of the Deconstruction tour this year, couldn?t make it to the UK dates. A shame though, because they are the caliber bands you should expect at a festival this big.

So the doors opened at 14:00, and half an hour later Tribute To Nothing hit the stage. I must admit I was well surprised over their live act. It?s been long since I?ve seen as furiously intense stage show as Tribute To Nothing did tonight. They were jumping up and down, hitting the ground, the speakers, throwing their guitars around with such intensity that most bands would wet themselves if they were to play after them. We?re talking At The Drive-In level stage show right now. In fact, Tribute To Nothing slightly resembled At The Drive-In stylistically. They played art-rock/complex rock similar to At The Drive-In. The first couple of songs were great, but after a while they started to sound a little bit repetitive. Their stage-show increases their grade quite a bit though. If you have a chance, go see them live and remember At The Drive-In times. [6]

Next on line was Captain Everything. They were possibly the fastest band I?ve ever seen. They?re a little bit like Fall Out Boy speeded up about four times. So we?re talking fast, melodic pop punk that is hard to follow along. It was difficult to follow with the speed of their guitarist?s hand while he kept hitting the power chords in. Even the fastest Formula 1 cars would feel ashamed next to his speed. And when he wasn?t singing, he was headbanging like a maniac. And I don?t mean just shaking his head up and down, but effectively going around in a full circle at a speed of something closer to 100 miles per hour. Great stuff [9]

Third band tonight was Only Crime, a band consisting of ex members from Guttermouth and Good Riddance. Just to quote our other staff member Jon from the second floor of Astoria: ?Why do they split up in Good Riddance, make a new band, and then try to make Good Riddance songs again.? Now while Good Riddance is a great, acknowledged hardcore punk band, Only Crime sounds just average. Very average in fact, just like their stage show. Sure they knew how to go about head banging, jumping around and such but there was nothing innovative here. While Captain Everything didn?t move too much, they used their melodies to get the crowd moving. Something which Only Crime didn?t manage to do. The crowd was awfully still at the mosh pit and didn?t seem to be getting excited even towards the end of Only Crime?s thirty minute set tonight. [6]

Smoke Or Fire was the fourth act tonight. If you imagine Strike Anywhere meets Dillinger Four you?re getting quite close to what Smoke Or Fire sounds like. They?re your typical Fat Wreck Chords band, fast skatepunk/hardcore punk with raging vocals over it. They?re nothing special, but well above the average punk bands. Their set was definitely one step higher than Only Crime?s. It?s too bad I really can?t remember anything special from their set. So because I am lazy, and don?t want to call my friend who might know, I?m just going to write that they played their set well and went out of the stage. [7]

As Smoke Or Fire finished their set, From Autumn To Ashes kicked in with ?Milligram Smile? as their first song. It was surprising as it is one of the best songs they?ve made so far. Actually, the fact that From Autumn To Ashes was playing today in the first place was surprising already. Why is an emo/screamo band playing at the punk rock festival of the year, specially when the day after London hosts the emo-festival of the year with bands like Alexisonfire, Coheed & Cambria and others. From Autumn To Ashes was probably the most brutal one of all of the bands, and they did a hell of a good job getting the crowd going. They were the first band to create a humongous circle pit at the bottom floor of Astoria. Violent screamo lyrics were chanted back at the vocalist and fists were flying around in the pit. From Autumn To Ashes sounded twice as good live as on their records, and their live show was top notch. Although they weren?t as intense as Tribute To Nothing, they were at least as active and at least as mean on stage. The vocalist was literally all over the place, shouting out the screamo vocals as perfectly as on the album. As expected, their thirty minute set was finished off with their megahit ?The After Dinner Payback?. [9]

Strike Anywhere continued exactly from where FATA left off. The crowd went even more insane during the first song from this extremely political band. And when I say insane I mean it too. There were at least three circle pits in which people were nearly fighting in ecstasy while screaming out the hardcore vocals of Strike Anywhere?s most popular songs like ?Sunset? and others. The dreadlock haired vocalist stopped nearly in between of each song to preach about politics. To talk about politics can be done in two different ways: a) In a very bad way, which can make your band look hypocritical and idiotic, or b) like Strike Anywhere did today. Hardcore riffs going on the background as the vocalist half-spoke half-screamed out the political propaganda to the youth of England. Great stuff. [9]

After two great bands that really lit up the crowd, Capdown entered the stage. If, while reading this, you are thinking ?Who the hell are Capdown, and how can they be after Strike Anywhere on the bill tonight? then you?re not alone. Apparently it?s one of the biggest underground punk bands surfaced in the UK, and everyone seemed to love them. Personally I was quite bored during their set. They didn?t share the same intensity as Tribute To Nothing, the same brutality as From Autumn To ashes, nor the same talent as Strike Anywhere had tonight. They played their set, and that was it for me. I found myself half asleep when they announced for their last song, and that says something about them. It?s not that they had bad songs, or bad live show, they were just very average and didn?t differ from the majority of the bands very much. [6]

After Capdown?s boring set we were back into the business. Another heavily political band, Boysetsfire, jumped on the stage. The specialty of their set tonight was that they seemed to play all of their songs twice as fast live as they are on their studio albums. Songs like ?Eviction Article? and ?High Wire Escape Artist? blasted through with such speed that it was difficult to recognize them to be the same songs as on the records. In the first couple of songs, From Autumn To Ashes frontman jumped on the stage and screamed the parts together with the Boysetsfire vocalist. Their stage show was amazing. Especially the vocalist gave his everything tonight. We saw him fall down into his knees, then into his stomach, and rolling on the floor while screaming his pained, soared vocals with almost unmatchable ferocity and viciousness. Excellent show, although I really would have wanted to hear ?Handful Of Redemption? tonight. [8]

Mad Caddies were perhaps the most different band tonight. They were the only ska/ska-punk band on the list. They started off with proper slow ska-songs including the famous pirate anthem played ska-style. This was getting sort of boring in my opinion, but luckily they saved the show by starting to play their trademark ska-punk songs a la ?Road Rash? and others. The beginning kind of ruined the feeling of the else good show. Even though they were probably the biggest band on the bill tonight, they weren?t the best one for sure. [7]

Overall the festival was well worth seeing. The only problems tonight were food-supply over the 8 hours, and the heat. The only food you could buy was over-priced microwave mini-pizzas which, together with expensive beer, could keep you on the edge of being starving and just hungry. The heat was a bigger problem though. If you happened to sit upstairs on the tables, you would be guaranteed to have a skin as sticky as a floor 3 hours after Coca-Cola has been spilled on it. The temperature must have risen to somewhere near 30 degrees Celsius on the top floor, and I?m sure it was near the same level in the mosh pit as well. Hopefully next years the band material will be better. [7]

Date: 1. May 2005

Venue: Astoria, London

Bands: Tribute To Nothing, Captain Everything, Only Fire, Smoke Or Fire, From Autumn To Ashes, Strike Anywhere, Capdown, Boysetsfire, Mad Caddies

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