Back indoors, legendary California-based straight-edge band, A Chorus Of Disapproval -- also known as XChorusX -- set up their gear and were ready for their first set as a band in ages. The group came out to the Godfather theme and proceeded to prove beyond a doubt that dudes in their 40s do not have to grow complacent. The set was intense, the dance floor churned, and frontman Isaac Golub and co. appeared to call upon the same rage that fueled the band in their youth.
South Florida's own answer to the militant straight-edge movement, Culture, was next to perform on Churchill's indoor stage. This performance marked the members of Culture's first time on stage together since 1995. Culture's contribution to South Florida's scene was immense, and from the instant the band kicked off the title track off of Born of You, Churchill's was engulfed in bodies leaving mosh-retirement for the first time in years, or on the other end of the spectrum, getting lose to a band they might have never before been afforded the chance to see. While there was discussion of the band being reluctant to play based on changes in personal ethics and reverence for the militant message Culture was built upon, the members of Culture poured everything they had into a performance that properly ended a sentence in desperate need of a period.
Ending Saturday's fun was the kinda sorta re-activated Trial. As the band began their set, it appeared as though the time machine they arrived in had ripped a hole in the time/space continuum through which moshing bodies from the mid-'90s fell through. The place simply segued into immediate chaos, with men and women from all age groups diving for Bennick's microphone to take their piece of songs like "Unrestrained."
Throughout Trial's set, frontman and hardcore-punk elder statesmen Greg Bennick spoke on the importance of community, how it applies to hardcore, the ills of growing numb, and how nihilism can overcome and addict us. Bennick and Trial are from an era when hardcore wasn't entirely self-referential, or rooted in scene politics and mosh calls. The universally applicable sermons Bennick provided were invigorating where most soapbox speeches tend to be regaling and energy sapping in the context of hardcore.
Sunday was the final day of the fest and provided a day of reverence and history for some of South Florida's most influential hardcore bands. Reunion sets by Powerhouse, the Believers, Bird of Ill Omen, and Shai Hulud featuring defining vocalist Chad Gilbert (of New Found Glory fame) saw the madness continuing indoors.
Bird Of Ill Omen and Powerhouse's set were met by the same sort of energy that Saturday's bands enjoyed. On a comical note, Powerhouse frontman Ivan White donned a T-shirt that read "Old," playing off of an iconic shirt produced by the band Bold.
California's Mean Season had the most notable set of the early evening. The group brought a megaton of metallic-tinged hardcore to Churchill's stage, and while the music was heavy, mosh hectic, and head bobbing viscous, the highlight of Mean Season's set was absolutely the on-stage marriage proposal that occurred toward the end.