All words and photos by Nathaniel C. Shannon
I made my way to Philadelphia for the weekend to take part in a group music photography show called “Still Screaming”, meant to coincide with the “This is hardcore festival”. We debuted the show at the fantastic Arch Enemy Arts. Myself alongside Mark Beemer, Michael Dubin, Justin Borucki, Brian Maryansky, Justin Moulder and Carrie Whitney-Hall had a great turnout which included many members of bands playing that weekend especially Refused, who came out to support us. Saturday I got confirmation to photograph Refused and the Deftones currently on tour together at Philadelphia’s Penns Landing, an outside venue on the Delaware River. I hit a couple bars to get into game mode, because we were struggling from the night before which did not include cheesesteaks, but did include some of the saddest strippers I’ve ever seen. Guess what? Strippers have no interest in hearing about the reptilian agenda. Who knew? We made our way over to the show, and I got a text from the dudes in Tiger Flowers that they were also in town playing a show with Zao later that night.
It was looking like it was going to turn into a wild night. Refused took the stage and blasted through the first single “Elektra” off their reunion record from last year entitled “Freedom”. They tore through “The Shape of Punk to come” which had the kids up front losing their minds. Singer Dennis Lyxzen, who had on the most amazing red denim suit, took a moment to address the crowd about the importance of Americas reality shit show of a presidential race, reminding the crowd that what happens in America “effects the rest of the world. Don’t worry about politics in Sweden, because that doesn’t effect anyone but the Swedes, but American politics effect the rest of the world, this is a song about what could possibly be a dark time in US history”. The crowd seemed to mostly be on board, outside of one upset Deftones fan who kept screaming “you’re not Chino!”, which was hilarious when people started throwing stuff at her. There were also a couple less than thrilled pro Trump grumblings from people in the crowed, I assume so jacked on Monster and corn dogs they didn’t really know what was going on other than this was some serious not “salt life” type shit they were watching. Refused launched into the classic “Rather be dead”, which took Lyxzen off the big stage and into a crowd for a pit sing along. Refused ripped through a couple more new songs, some classics, and ended with their hit “New Noise”.
I ran to the beautifully decorated porta potty to relieve myself of photofuel and grab some more drinks before the Deftones came out to destroy the testosterone-laden pen of excited fans. Opening with the sonic “Kimdracula”, Chino and the boys impressed me with the wall of sound they produced for an outside venue…on a river, not the best place for heavy jams. The Deftones ripped through Swerve City, and Acid Hologram and kicked up the bar high for the rest of the set.
As the Deftones set came to an end, we hopped in a cab to Kung Fu Necktie just as the old homies in Tiger Flowers took the stage. Lead by wildman Jesse James Madre typical Rambo jokes were told, however unfortunately as he promised he did not bring any pocket hotdogs to share with the crowd. The venue was getting packed, and the kids really went wild. Zao took the stage a few minutes later and ripped through a diverse set of old and new jams. I hadn’t seen them in over 15 years, so that was rad. While I was watching Zao, I caught wind of Refused playing a “This is hardcore” after party.
Doing parting shots with friends, and hopping in another cab, we made our way over to Underground Arts, where a huge line was down the block. Some women leaving the venue commented “I don’t know why y’all waiting in line, no one is taking tickets”, so we politely passed everyone in line and walked right in the venue because the venue staff in fact were not paying attention and after getting awesome all day what difference did it make? Sorry Rich Hall. We walked in as Strife was still breaking down their set. (that was a hardcore joke, get it?). We grabbed some more drinks and I found my spot in front of the stage and got ready for another secret, not so secret Refused show. As soon as the band hit the stage sometime well after midnight, kids were already piling on top of each other doing their best hardcore dances plummeting back into the crowd. I could pay off my student loans with the amount of change that was being picked up. Refused opened again with “Elektra” then tore through the total request live section of the set, playing “Everlasting” and “Pump the brakes”. Rounding out the set was “The deadly rhythm”, “Coup D’etat”, “Rather be dead” and of course “New Noise”. With one final “Whooooooooo” the band thanked the crowd for coming out, supporting them, and supporting hardcore. People yelled about family, and unity, and I wasn’t sure if I was at the Gathering of Juggalos or a hardcore show, but I’m just stoked to see one of my favorite bands play another intimate set. I didn’t throw up, and I made it back to my hotel room, so that ruled. I’m also not a real writer, so bring on the stupid comments. Stay pissed.