still nursing a swollen ankle and sunburned face from Warped Tour, I thought it
would be a good idea to head out to Dude Fest for some more brutality. As I
approached the E.S. Jungle Saturday night, I noticed a sizable gathering of
cut-off shorts, macho tattoos and sleeveless black tees outside, most of them
inhabited by people.
the crowd of close to 200 looked on as heavy-hitters from the national
grind/noise/hardcore scene went wild. Playing to the Dude Fest crowd,
Bloomington's Racebannon went easy on the dance-metal jams (like their most
recent single "Wrap the Body") and stuck to the hard and heavy sound that
earned them their reputation.
Bodies stole the show with their explosive set. Not only was their music
spot-on, but their stage antics were absolutely perfect. Their performance
began when co-vocalist Thomas spat strawberry milk at the crowd. They then
raged through all their best work, and by the end, both frontmen had lived up
to Dudefest's exhibitionistic reputation by giving the crowd full-frontal flashes.
on Radar, freshly united after an eight-year pause and sounding tight and
noisy, closed out the show and the second and final day of the fest. Frontman
Eric Paul gave a truly energetic performance and reminded the crowd why they
were the headlining act.
Fest was a blast, but with dwindling attendance and rising costs, it could be
in its last year. We'll be lucky to see even a reduced one-day Fest next year.