Togetherfest with Youth of Today, American Nightmare, Trash Talk, Vanishing Life and Wolf Down

Location: Zeche Carl, Essen
Date: 18.02.2017

The concert tour „Togetherfest” features a good deal of hardcore bands, new and old, classics and newcomers. The second edition of the tour consists of NYHC originals YOUTH OF TODAY, the first Euro-tour of AMERICAN NIGHTMARE in 15 years (if you don’t count 2015’s two gigs as a tour), TRASH TALK, newcomers VANISHING LIFE and German vegan straight edge moshers WOLF DOWN.

The show is Essen isn’t sold out. The first stop of the tour isn’t a good start for WOLF DOWN.
About 50 people only attend to their gig. Despite playing very early, I guess their time is over.
Since singer Sandra left the band, it seems like the band emerged to a standard beatdown-vegancommunism-hardcore-band. A high amount of breakdowns, some SEPULTURA-rip-off-riffs and monotonous vocals. This band clearly lost its edge. I saw them perform with their old singer in 2015 in Düsseldorf and the show was nuts! They tore the place apart, whilst today the audience doesn’t get into the band’s music. Only the last song, the old ‘Stray From The Path‘, seems to get some attention and even a sing-along.

VANISHING LIFE is up next. I don’t know how this band should fit within the line-up. Instead of hardcore, they play grunge/90’s alternative rock. It’s closer to SMASHING PUMPKINS, JANE’S ADDICTION, SOUNDGARDEN and MELVINS than hardcore music. Weird riffs, strange vocals and even stranger speeches during the songs about the state of the world. I guess many people don’t know what to think about this group. For half an hour they really try to convince the audience, but I guess it’s just the wrong audience for this type of music. But that’s the problem of the whole evening: The audience is too diverse, too many different types of fans.

Even TRASH TALK, who are infamous for their wild and unpredictable shows. Unfortunately their singer Lee wasn’t allowed to leave the United States, so their bass player takes over the vocal duties. The setlist is really good, but it definitely lacks Lee’s presence. It’s just not the usual unusual riot you get to see at a TRASH TALK show. Even bangers like ‘Sacramento Is Dead‘ or ‘Dig‘ can’t make up for that. And the band plays a very short set. After just a little over 20 minutes the trio leaves the stage. And they didn’t even mention why Lee was missing. Then it is time for Wes Eisold and his hardcore-outift AMERICAN NIGHTMARE. It’s obvious that there are way more women in the front rows than before. The dark hardcore with the melodramatic lyrics about depression, love lost and suicide seem to be more relevant than ever. Since the band’s reunion their popularity really increased. For about 35 minutes the four-piece really nails it on stage. There are some really good sing-alongs and a few people dancing in the pit. The band plays a good mix of both their records „Background Music” and ”We’re Down Till We’re Underground”. Let’s hope that they don’t wait another 15 years for another Euro-tour…

Then it’s time for YOUTH OF TODAY. I never really listened to these guys and still I don’t. It’s an okay show, but there isn’t too much action in the audience as well. I guess the bands are far too diverse, so the crowd is as well. But nevertheless it was a good concert evening, with AMERICAN NIGHTMARE being ist brightest highlight.

Sebastian Berning

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