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the Descendent​s at FYF fest on Saturday September 3rd, 2011

Why so much madness? Why this furious and out-of control crowd? Yes, I know it’s the music, but there were other punk bands playing and people did not become as insane as they did for the Descendents! I know, they were the big headliners of the fest (although technically it was Death From Above 1979, but it was very late at this point!), and they have just reunited a year ago, but still, it was a wild ride once again. I knew it would be hot when I saw an impressive number of security guards filling the pit just before their set, so I looked around to see if there would be a way to escape the chaos in case it would turn badly. I just saw a sea of people, packed to the point of not being able to move an arm, and I decided to wait and see.

But I was asking why so much madness, because the vocals were not that aggressive, as the Descendents include some melodies in their hardcore punk and, for me, it did not work the same way than previous groups I have seen before, which install fear and paranoia. The Descendents rather installed a humorous atmosphere, which was contrasting with the aggressive crowd, pushing, jumping and moshing (despite the lack of space), surfing over our heads and making the guards work very hard at catching them while avoiding people to get hurt. Funny how guys who arrived in the pit after a long crowd surfing, looked satisfied and all pumped-up as if they had accomplished the greatest thing in their life.

Singer Milo Aukerman made a joke about the fact that he couldn’t do some stage diving, since the pit was filled by camera people. However, some crazy guy made the faster stage dive I’ve ever seen (and the pit was wide!) and after having received a few kicks in the head, I decided I would give up my spot once I had taken enough pictures!
It was dark and I was front row, so I could not see the cloud of dust, but I believe it was real.
The guys on stage looked old school punk but the enthusiasm and the vibe was palatable, during their long set of old classics seeing the reception from the crowd. I could read part of the setlist, and saw some titles, ‘Hope’, ‘Rotting out’, ‘Silly girl’, ‘I wanna be a bear’, ‘Talking’, ‘Coffee Mug’, ‘Van’, ‘Pervert’, ‘I’m the One’, ’Myage’, ‘All-O-Gistics’, ‘Suburban Home’, ‘Everything sucks’, ‘Coolidge’, ‘Get the Time’, ‘I’m not a Loser’, but there were definitively more songs! It’s true that most of them are under 2 minutes or even one, as good punk tunes.

Certainly the highlight of the set were the kids, since some friends, fans and family were watching the show along the stage, and at one point, the Descendents invited the kids to participate by reading their own version of the ten commandments as they appear in ‘All-O-Gistics’, and the sentences ‘thou shalt not commit adulthood’, or ‘thou shalt not commit hygiene’, and especially ‘thou shalt not take the van's name in vain’ in the mouth of adorable red haired kids had never sounded funnier,… they melt the crowd who forgot the moshing-pushing for a few minutes.

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