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Strhessfest 2004 - live in Cleveland (Cover Artwork)

Strhessfest 2004

Strhessfest 2004: live in Clevelandlive in Cleveland (2004)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: KirbyPuckettKirbyPuckett
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Artist Derek Hess has been quite the busy man of late while promoting his Sthress design company. On top of his clothing being advertised at all popular events this summer, developing artwork for bands, he also put on put on a nationwide tour that coupled with the annual Strhessfest that landed in .


Artist Derek Hess has been quite the busy man of late while promoting his Sthress design company. On top of his clothing being advertised at all popular events this summer, developing artwork for bands, he also put on put on a nationwide tour that coupled with the annual Strhessfest that landed in Cleveland this year.

A two hour unproblematic trip from Pittsburgh turned into a nearly four hour wandering thanks to a slew of detours and other miscellaneous traveling detours. Basically I thank MapQuest for the delay, a few locals confirmed an exit doesn't exist while the popular traveling website insist you take it. Arriving just shy of two o'clock caused me to overlook Criteria and Counterfit, a couple of acts I was looking forward to checking out.

After checking out some of Derek's artwork and various merch booths I became engulfed with music for the next nine or so hours. Victory Records pop-punk gems Spitalfield revved things up on main stage left. The main stage at the Scene Pavilion was setup similar to how Warped Tour is in a few cities, with the stage split in half allowing bands to play their thirty minute sets back to back with no lag in-between (although, there were quite a few moments where bands got a late start, namely the ever timely Midtown). Kicking out the hits from 2003's successful Remembering Right Now like "Kill The Drama," "Those Days You Felt Alive," and "The Way She Said L.A." amongst others. Two new songs also made their way into the rotation and if they're recorded in any manner they were performed live their next release will be quite a pleasure. Check below for videos for two songs from their set.

My attention drew to the right stage for the suprise of my afternoon, Christiansen. While their edgy post-rock sound may often become tedious the onstage act that supplements is one to hold an attention. Vocalist Brandon showed up dressed in an 80's fashion sporting only cutoff denim shorts and didn't hold back from the era as some of his moves can be credited to the popular acts of the day. The precise swirl of the guitar around his back was one of the many marks that enlightened the eyes with an entertaining show from everyone in the band as well that capped with a thrashing of the drum kit before they exited.

Aside from the headlining acts, Murder By Death's set drew the largest audience of the long day. You can't squeeze them into any single genre and how they grasp the concentration of hundreds of people at a time is not easily classifiable either. I've heard and read numerous things about how the soft vocals with a tendency for raw emotional wails blends well with a keyboard and cello live, but I'll admit I was skeptical. I walked away stunned at just how captivating the five members were and how their unique balance of music appealed to nearly everyone. Geoff of Thursday accompanied the band for "Killbot 2000" for one of the highlights of a set dedicated mostly to whisky.

Midtown played a rather forgettable set composed almost entirely with material from their recently released Forget What You Know. A few songs from Living Well Is The Best Revenge seeped their way in, while nothing from Save The World?Lose The Girl, easily the fan favorite, was used. I captured video for the song "So Long As We Keep Our Bodies Numb We're Safe" and their entire time upon the stage was basically the same with different melodies and separate lyrics.

The musicians I anticipated the most were Planes Mistaken For Stars. I was very unfamiliar with them, yet after hearing the raving evaluations boasting their latest effort Up In Them Guts [review] I had to hear for myself. These guys rocked and rocked and rocked and rocked for an entire half hour. Easily the sweatiest, most aggressive, and entertaining set of the day. I was fortunate enough to see these guys this past Wednesday (August 18th) as well and the intimate setting of a tight knit floor show at Roboto in Pittsburgh was ten fold better than a festival performance and I thought they topped Sthressfest.

The metalcore trend is still an infant and I'm already becoming sick of it and the army of faux-hardcore kids running around. As I Lay Dying, With Honor, Shadows Fall, Himsa, and the plethora of others in attendance all meshed together to me. Black Dahlia Murder however put a little twist on things, instead of dawning the usual tight black t-shirt, girl's jeans, a white belt, and jet black hair. As the band took the stage a shout of "Hadouken" filled the loud speakers and sure enough the two guitarists where dressed as Ken and Ryu from Street Fighter. Shedding the cliché look even more lead vocalist wore an orange wig, while the drummer took to beating the skins with a Jason mask. While their sound is still too similar to their peers the little spice they threw into the pot helps them stand out just enough.

I'm not a fan of Converge, their sound doesn't do it for me at all, but I was a shocked that they were playing the small Alternative Press stage instead of the main stage. I'm sure local hardcore veterans, Ringworm, also deserved a spot over bands like Recover and Codeseven whose pop-rock sound garnered little attention from the crowded venue.

The two headliners for the evening Finch and Thursday had the pleasure of controlling the entire mainstage area. From the moment the Drive-Thru Records poster boys Finch took the stage it was apparent they weren't primed for the headliner of a festival atmosphere (or perhaps some nu-metal band was lingering backstage). Their poise possesses a lot of nervousness, matching a banter that lacked any real appeal. Terrible stage presence collapsed more with an even worse choice of musical support. "Untitled" & "What It Is To Burn" were a few of the tracks from their debut full length that sparked interest. However, the set was dominated by a blitz of new material that got worse with each song. The popular emo formula countered with screams was applied and abused to the fullest extent, combined with jazzy jam sessions that don't belong in the arsenal of a band of such caliber. It was disappointment after disappointment as Finch stole the trophy for worst act of the day.

The treat of the evening came three songs into an already intensive performance by Thursday. Vocalist, Geoff Rickly ascertained all the Internet and scene gossip that has been tailing the band as of late. The highly anticipated announcement informed everyone that the current show was Thursday's last in the States as they prepared to enter a hiatus after a few dates in Europe. A hibernation of only one to five years was mentioned, but there are signs that point to a permanent disintegration. While the news may have brought a few souls down, the energy that stimulated from experiences a possible final presentation propelled the band to a peak level. While they may be exhausted from the current state of the music industry no deliberation of that remorse leaked for the remainder of the emotional evening. The stable of songs was packed with mainstays like "Cross Out The Eyes," "Jet Black New Year," "Understanding In A Car Crash," "Signals Over The Airwaves," and "Autobiography of a Nation" amongst other classics. While a very rare performance of "I Am The Killer" was captured by the audience and my camera [video below]. An extended performance closed with "Division St" before an encore of "War All the Time" ignited loud poignant cheers as the fans let Thursday know of their admiration towards them.

SETLISTS
Thursday
Finch
Planes Mistaken For Stars
Stretch Arm Strong
Midtown
Murder By Death

KIRBY'S VIDEOS
? Spitalfield - Those Days You Felt Alive
? Spitalfield ?? I Love The Way She Said "L.A."
? Midtown - Long As We Keep Our Bodies Numb We're Safe
? Thursday ?? I Am The Killer

KIRBY'S PICTURES
? As I Lay Dying
? Black Dahlia Murder
? Christiansen
? Midtown
? Murder By Death
? Planes Mistaken For Stars
? Spitalfield
? Miscellaneous

SCOTT'S VIDEOS
Criteria - New Song
Spitalfield - Stolen From Some Great Writer
Stretch Arm Strong - For The Record

SCOTT'S PHOTOS
Criteria
Spitalfield
Christiansen
Murder By Death
Midtown
Stretch Arm Strong
Planes Mistaken For Stars
Converge
Beloved
Finch
Thursday

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 27, 2004)

ugh, E. Honda and Zangeif are absolutely the biggest pain in the ass when played by someone who knows what they're doing. still, i destroy anyone with Ken.

Anonymous (August 26, 2004)

Converge, With Honor, Ringworm, and Beloved owned.

PMFS is so fucking over-rated! Oh my god!!! Oh my fucking god, get off the god-damned band wagon. Goddamn, they're so lame! Fuck.

FortyMinutesWest (August 26, 2004)

"music for pussies fest

that's more like it."

Yeah, damn that Converge and their soft rock.

Anonymous (August 26, 2004)

yeah dude, it was a total fucking "punk rock whos-who". dipshit

Anonymous (August 26, 2004)

music for pussies fest

that's more like it.

Anonymous (August 26, 2004)

"They were all street fighters. The Drummer was Vega and the Bassist was Guile. Am I right here, folks? Am I right?"

I call E. Honda, the 100 hand slap will defeat any attack, and that includes M. Bison's judo throw, thwarting off ken and ryu's hadokens, and sagat's tiger uppercut

Anonymous (August 26, 2004)

i agree. with brah below mah. tha planes friggin rock kill animals, drive-thru bands are the worst in the friggin universe. i would rather go to a toby keith concert and get beat up by dale earnhardt jr. than listen to any baNd on drive-thru records. did i mention how much drive-thru records huffs dong? because it is true, and i hate them. the next time i see someone wearing a "early november" shirt or like a "new found glory" shirt, i swear to god i will masturbate on their body, and spray them with ketchup! don't make me do that now! whooo!!! finch sounds like fucking creed.

Anonymous (August 25, 2004)

10 for planes

no other band there can compete with the amount of violent sex rock they bring

Anonymous (August 25, 2004)

the score is for this review.

i wanna know how its possible that you can throw With Honor's name into the "metalcore" trend. you should probably listen to the CD before you throw them in with bands such as As I Lay Dying and Shadows Fall. you couldn't be more off.

maverick (August 24, 2004)

"you also should keep in mind that most of the good bands there were watching the converge set (ie - thursday)."

Totally true statement. It was like a punk rock who's-who around that tiny backstage area.

-Scott

Anonymous (August 24, 2004)

i had fun. i'm looking forward to next year

Anonymous (August 24, 2004)

codeseven was brilliant - uncle scratch's gossple revival saved my soul :)

Anonymous (August 23, 2004)

Damn that MBD girl is fucking ugly!

littleblackridinghood (August 23, 2004)

honestly, i thought this fest was really boring, though with honor and converge were significant exceptions. by which i mean, i pretty much paid my entire $30 to see the fucking ridiculous converge set. you also should keep in mind that most of the good bands there were watching the converge set (ie - thursday).

crash-and-burn (August 23, 2004)

props to with honor, too bad the emo kids are so damn close minded.
the art gallery was pretty cool, not much was said on here about that, i especially like the asterik posters.
finch are pussy boys, i heard they went rock star and trashed the dressing room after the show...punks.
senses fail are pussy boys too.....they just didn't feel like making the trip and cancelled a few days out.
murder by death were pretty amazing as was thursday.
converged asked to be switched from the main stage to the small stage.
-
this fest was awesome, and drew carry would have been proud!

Blarg (August 22, 2004)

planes mistaken for stars was really good when they played with against me! back in the spring...probably the best band at this disaster...i will also fully admit to liking converge, yet despising most metalcore...

the thing about with honor, at least this is the way it seems to me, is that a lot of the same kids who were ultra into metalcore are now starting to swing towards more straight up hardcore, and with honor is one of those bands doing the swinging...which, to be honest, i don't understand, as i saw them two months ago play with can i say, and was very underhwhelmed...somebody should get these kids a bad business, career suicide, or no time left record...

Anonymous (August 22, 2004)

converge demanded to play the small stage

Anonymous (August 22, 2004)

They were all street fighters. The Drummer was Vega and the Bassist was Guile. Am I right here, folks? Am I right?

Anonymous (August 21, 2004)

score is for BSD because hes so fucking annoying.

Anonymous (August 21, 2004)

So what Madball is saying is that if you don't like their music, you should go and fight them. Seriously, idiotic. Also, JD, FortyMinutes gave them a pretty funny bad review.

-BSD

kirbypuckett (August 21, 2004)

Yipes!

- Kirby

johnnydanger (August 21, 2004)

i truly hate when anyone except fortyminuteswest talks aboit hardcore on this site. with honor sounds like as i lay dying? sorry, dude, not even close. let me leave you with a madball line, because i know how much punknews.org hates real hardcore

how can talk with that closed mind?
you pass judgement, you cross the line
you'll never confront me

Anonymous (August 21, 2004)

i agree, sarah from mbd gets a 10.

Anonymous (August 21, 2004)

i meant counterfeit

Anonymous (August 21, 2004)

the fact that criteria didn't play makes me happy i didn't go.

pmfs is the "it" band this year. everyone is creaming themselves over up in them guts. given, they fucking rock... but i don't remember everyone (including AP) hanging off their nut sack. i THINK they had a fan base before this year but i'm not real sure.

Anonymous (August 21, 2004)

the lead singer doesn't just have an orange wig on.
he's dressed up as BLANKA.

duhhh.. don't you know anything about street fighter?

Anonymous (August 21, 2004)

this score is for sarah from MBD...

good god

Anonymous (August 21, 2004)

i remember when bands like clutch and fu manchu played the hess fest. those days are obviously long gone.

notaclevername (August 20, 2004)

also, i agree with GBYE's post two down

notaclevername (August 20, 2004)

i think the question on everyone's mind is (or should be): why there aren't any gratuitous pmfs ass-crack pictures in either Kirby's assortment or Scott's?

GYBE (August 20, 2004)

Score is referring to With Honor as both "metalcore" and "faux-hardcore." As someone else inquired, have you even heard them?

Anonymous (August 20, 2004)

This score is for the Black Dahlia Murder's guitarists, and their threads (Props to the greatest 2D fighting game of all time). If its any consolation Mr. Puckett, you made my day.

-ObeyYourParents

Anonymous (August 20, 2004)

"Those are mostly straight metal bands... And I didn't know you were above being trendy. From your reviews, I gather you're just another dumb critic who doesn't know anything about music, just likes predicting the new craze.

-BSD"

and from your comments you sound like another loud mouthed elitist asshole who needs to talk as much shit as possible to make sure that everyone knows he's too good for the lastest trends.

Anonymous (August 20, 2004)

"The metalcore trend is still an infant and I??m already becoming sick of it and the army of faux-hardcore kids running around. As I Lay Dying, With Honor, Shadows Fall, Himsa, and the plethora of others in attendance all meshed together to me. Black Dahlia Murder however put a little twist on things, instead of dawning the usual tight black t-shirt, girl??s jeans, a white belt, and jet black hair."

Those are mostly straight metal bands... And I didn't know you were above being trendy. From your reviews, I gather you're just another dumb critic who doesn't know anything about music, just likes predicting the new craze.

-BSD

Anonymous (August 20, 2004)

In the headlines: Faux-punk vocalist bends over awaiting imminent insertion.

-BSD

Anonymous (August 20, 2004)

"The metalcore trend is still an infant and I??m already becoming sick of it and the army of faux-hardcore kids running around. As I Lay Dying, With Honor, Shadows Fall, Himsa, and the plethora of others in attendance all meshed together to me. Black Dahlia Murder however put a little twist on things, instead of dawning the usual tight black t-shirt, girl??s jeans, a white belt, and jet black hair"

have you heard with honor? otherwise you would know they arent anything close to metalcore. same goes for the black dahlia murder. theres no breakdowns or anything that sounds anything like hardcore in the bdms music. they play death metal, plain and simple.

Anonymous (August 20, 2004)

BULGE:

http://www2.musatcha.com/scott/pictures/converge/81504 cleveland/converge20.JPG

p.s. the links to kirby's pictures don't work.

mykindofmurder (August 20, 2004)

this kid crying about rickley's voice obviously hasnt listened to Where You Want To Be.

Anonymous (August 20, 2004)

Thursday is the worst band evar and i wish them the worst. Terrible, mediocre, indierock wanna be post-hardcore crap. Seriously Geoff Rickley may be the single worst singer in the history of man.

Anonymous (August 20, 2004)

i love how it says "scene" in huge letters on some sing in picture #13 on scott's converge pictures.

mykindofmurder (August 20, 2004)

score is for cleveland.

you can keep drew carey.

maverick (August 20, 2004)

Just a note: Counterfit didn't play, due to Justin having heart surgery a few days prior. First Aid Kit filled in for them.

Also, Senses Fail cancelled for an unknown reason. Thank god.

-Scott

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