This past weekend, South Florida played host to one of the most historically significant events the hardcore-punk community has witnessed in recent memory. Bands that have spent years dormant, bands that ended with a firm "never again," and bands that have influenced the hardcore scene on an international level convened in Miami for a weekend of flying pigs and reunions.
- Blast From the Past: Powerhouse Reunion at Reel and Restless Fest
One look at the action -- from the parking lot reunions, to the mic-dives, and flailing goings on within Churchill's innards -- was enough to show that everyone in the vicinity had been transported to another time. The rigors and stress of life left for a while, and, for three days, the "CBGB of the South" served to unite a scene around its history and its future.
Both days of the event were jam-packed full of current bands, as well as those risen from the ashes for the weekend. As such, our coverage focuses on highlights of both days.
On Saturday, the currently super-hyped band, Foundation, from Atlanta, GA, played to an audience that was seemingly on the verge of losing control. The band had what might have been the strongest crowd response of any currently active group playing the fest, though there was quite a buzz about Jacksonville's Captive Bolt and their Bikini Kill cover.
Following Foundation, local Miami band Aversion performed on Chuchill's back patio. The group was forced to play their set in the dark as the patio's electrical wiring faltered from the burden of amps, a PA, and jerry-rigged lighting. Oddly enough, the patio's lighting returned during a cover of a song by Christian hardcore band, Strongarm, spurring forth jokes about the presence of God somewhere amongst the barbed wire and grime of the patio.
The next notable group to hit the patio was Dance Floor Justice. They formed around 2002 in Miami, and featured an ex-members of list longer than Crowbar's food rider. As fans sung along with frontman Richard "Chip" Walbert's inimitable upper-register scream, it was hard not to visualize the karate kicking of the average mid-'00s mosh-pit.