4TH Annual Punk Fest For Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation 9/10/11 Detroit,
Michigan Review By Michael Rys
Pictures By Michael Rys and Jim Pagonas
The Punk Rock gods were looking out for the show as usual, sunny, about 75 degrees. The Detroit Tigers playing winning baseball a few blocks east of the venue the Old Miami , and the long running art and music fest a few blocks north called the dally in The Alley also going on. Great day to be in Detroit and a great day to be proud of the city. I hope, every volunteer,band,performer,and audience member is proud of Punk Fest for Children's Hospital because I know I am. At press time I still do not have a total for the amount raised but I can say I was informed the benefit raised more than expected and did better that we thought it would. So once again the punk rock community in Detroit and parts surrounding should hold their heads high for coming to together to not only enjoy a killer line up of bands but the cause is unbeatable, helping kids and their families.By the way I should mention our donors who come from all over the world ..... Jim Pagonas, Greg Hust, Tesco Vee, Bloody Mess, Wayne Kramer, SBS Records, Ash Nouveau, Detroit Blueblood and all the bands you will see talked about donated not only performances but merch and music too.
One of the things that makes this show so special every year is that it manages what so many other shows lack. Its not focused on one sub genre of punk,its not limited to one clique or even picked by how popular a bands is. Punk Fest pulls bands in from all the cross sections and puts em all together in one show, and more often than not all these groups and fans if only for a night perform together,hang out, and have great time. Bands are picked because they want to play and want to help the cause,its ego's checked at the door with strict instructions to have fun. It really show in the performances too. Ive seen everyone at their best and it was no different this year.
Toledo Ohio's Yeti Machete started the afternoon off playing to small crowd beginning to trickle in but they played like it was packed. This three piece is taken for granted in Toledo, like many of the local acts but those who watched them play in Detroit ( which was first in their 11 year run) appreciated the double barre ll punk with a spastic sense of humor. Picture and hear Minor Threat fastest shit played with clown shoes. Lots of fun torturing plastic zombie Claus's too.

Next up was Sniff Test hailing form the surrounding burbs of Detroit. These guys , a three piece outfit were going to be a wild card for me. Never heard their material before and although I love the name you always hope the next band does not suck. Well they didn't,I happy to say. They were defiantly unexpected with their sound. I would not say they were punk, they have the eff you element to them sure but the music was laden with time changes,melodies and grooves too varied to put in anyone category.This kind of band always gets my attention. The song Psychology Major had me laughing my ass off. Quirky rock band with lots of potential to impress more folks if they get out and play often.Think No Means No,Grommet ( but not as heavy) with a dash of Primus.
Next up was the notorious Detroit punksters Glitter Trash. Led by Jenna Talia and guitarist Homeless ( his last official show with the band) these guys n dolls proceeded to light a ire under every ones asses.When you attend a Glitter Trash show you wont be a bystander, the band does not let you. Your a participant,victim,or witness.They rip it very well live because like them or not they mean what the y play and they mean to play it. Gems like 18 Wheel Murder Machine,Wreckage and I Need Sex were not lost on a crowd when demanded one more song for Homeless last hurrah and was treated to a Dead Boys cover of All This and More.
Next up was Detroit's Circus Boy performing for the second year but this time with out Circus Boy himself who has once again busted up his body onstage and by doctors orders was not going to perform. Not to worry the band was perfectly capable of stepping up and filling is. The boys did a fine job too playing their asses off with the groups guitarist taking lead vocals for the evening. We were all treated to the Motor City Rah Rahs ( Detroit's Punk Rock Cheerleaders) not only getting down and shaking it up during the show but also providing back up vocals for a time too. Lots of fun and Circus Boy really helped bring on the party atmosphere.
Storming the stage next was D.A.. I when I say storming I mean storming, this four piece unit did not waste time getting going or working up to a frenzy they were in it form the first note.I'm not familiar enough with D.A. to tell you song names or Cd's ( if they have any out yet ) but i can say they melted my face off with an impressive mix of solid punk with hardcore elements and metal musicianship. By the way musically I really get into a band that much more when a bass player beats the crap outta the instrument and plays it like a lead guitarist, this guy did just that all while handling lead vox too. cant wait to see more of them in the future.
SNAFU took the stage next and warning don't be fooled by the long hair, no hippie rock. SNAFU continued the pace set by D.A and proceeded to rake the audience over the coal's with an all out effort from this twin axe punk act.Once again this band is new to me also , I heard I was to expect a great set and they did not disappoint. I would not want to follow this act if I was performing. they kinds threw down the gauntlet. Energetic as hell onstage too.I love band that's just as into playing it as I am into hearing it.Expect great things to happen with SNAFU.

Final Assault Detroit hardcore vets and their second time performing for Punk Fest was indeed not outdone by the two previous acts. While I had to put out a figurative fire during part of their set and could not catch it all what I did hear and see was brutal! One of the things I really like about Final Assault is the guitar sound,its heavy as hell but somewhat fuzzed out almost like a lot of early Discharge. Wow, just gets me to the core. Gotta make note to ask what his rig set up is to get that sound.
A small break in the night programming and switch in gears ... and a fine switch too. Abida Blaze took the stage solo next. not singing but dancing. A traditional belly dance,first set to classic middle eastern feel music then she performed to a Misfits tune. Never in a million years would I think that combination would work but it sure did. Abida was not only entrancing, sexy (not in a creepy way) but very graceful and lots of fun to watch. Defiantly an art form worth appreciating in person.

The stage was all set for Detroit's sexy n sweet punks The Ruiners. Now I have featured this band several times in live show write ups and their CD. I'm beginning to run out of adjectives to describe them and the awesome show they put on.I don't think they are capable of having a bad night or a night when they don't just have the time of their lives performing. This vibe, this energy is just infectious. The Ruiners did what they do best play loud,hooky,bombastic rock n roll. Women shake their ass, guys have their hands in the air, and every one who is not singing right along has a big ole smile on their face. What more can you ask of a band? Oh yeah how about 4 or 5 encores?? They didn't but it wold have gone over great if they did. Everyone ate them up. The Ruiners are one of Detroit's most talented acts for sure.
When the giveaways for the nights big four prizes were complete most folks files outside in the yard to watch a performance put on by member of the Detroit Fire Guild. Two lovely ladies proceed to amaze those who watched with fascination the trick acrobatics all performed while handling various items that for well lac a of better phrase were on fire.I not talking sparklers either I'm talking fire so hot as a audience member you can feel the heat coming off these devices, hoops, rings etc... Mesmerizing, and inspiring on a moonlit perfect night of great music and personalities.
Ann Arbor;'s own legends the State (who are the only band who had played the show every year an have the open invite every year) took the stage next and like they always do played a set of blazing hardcore. Mixing a few new tunes with classic material and not showing any signs of slowing down. Ive said it before and I'll say it as long as they continue to play live. You can feel the intensity this band plays with from vocalist Preston's stalking of the stage and audience to Art's Hendrix like approach to the axe.When a band in the Midwest get together and decided they want want to play "hardcore" they should immediately be given the States library of songs and be locked up for a week or until they get it. We always feel like we have to end the show with the State because it just does not get any more intense and who the hell are you gonna follow them up with ??? OK if Lemmy walked in he could play.

Once again a pleasure to watch,listen and participate in Punk Fest for Children's Hospital 2011 ,cant wait to see whats on the bill next years. One clue I have for you is onward and upward.