I’m not used to write such things. I pretty much hate reading live reports on French webzines especially when they deal with hardcore/punk bands or shows because columnists always write bullshit like those you can read on “real” rock & roll magazines, and I’ve never red live reports written in English. The most important thing I want you to know even if I guess you’ve already red the new on Facebook: after the Barcelona gig, PROTESTER and RED DEATH’s tour bus has been robbed. This really sucks, passports and personal effets had been stolen and the bands had to stay one more night in Barcelona to fix things as much as they can. Thanks to MINDSET’s post on Facebook and people’s from all around the world donations they could replace almost everything that has been stolen and keep touring Europe.
On June 5th, PROTESTER and RED DEATH from Washington D.C. played their final French show on their current Euro Tour in Saint-Étienne. They already played Brest, Nantes and Bordeaux. The Brest show was booked at the last moment so it was pretty hard for me to reach the city in time but I managed to be at the Nantes show a few days ago, wake up early the next day to come back to Bordeaux where I live to attend to their third French show on this tour.
The French hardcore punk scene isn’t that big, that’s why my friends from SHOCK, who surely is my favourite band coming from Bordeaux, twice opened for the American bands on this tour. I guess they are probably the perfect local band to match with the musical spirit of both PROTESTER and RED DEATH: talented musicians, great individualities, everyone was a bit shy, the barrier of the language and the strain from the road-trip weren’t helpful to create such an efficient emulation betweenthe two nations but my friends really liked PROTESTER and RED DEATH and were really happy to share the stage with them.
I arrived in Nantes in the middle of the afternoon not without difficulty: one of the car-sharers didn’t show any sign of life which made us leaving Bordeaux with half an hour late, the driver made a mistake while driving on the highway PLUS, I realised I definitely broke my cane after walking like a few hundreds meters after I got out of the car… Can you believe it?
Luckily, my friends Julien and Stéphanie (who booked the show with their friend Guillaume and let me sleep on their couch for the night) drove me to a drugstore to buy a new cane before reaching the venue and wait for the three bands.
When the bands arrived I finally met Connor, PROTESTER’s singer and RED DEATH’s drummer I once made an interview with for DROIDxRAGE some time ago and with whom I communicate with from time to time thanks to the Internet. His cheerfulness matches with the really good mood between all members of the crew: as far as possible we chated about different things while eating together some great vegetarian and vegan meals Stéphanie and Julien cooked during the afternoon. It was really fun to see them placing bets on some French cities pronounciation or asking for the Wi-Fi code once they just dropped their gear at the venue; Connor recently posted some pic on Instagram he took in a venue in Croatia where you can see some graffiti dealing with this kind of situation!
RED DEATH, Nantes.
The Nantes shows were just awesome. I’ve never been into any of SHOCK performance outside of Bordeaux whose public is pretty flabby and I was pretty disappointed the Nantes audience restrained his energy and reserved it for PROTESTER and RED DEATH performances although this band plays some REALLY, really cool tribute to 80s Boston hardcore and definitly shows some great energy on stage. Even the CAMERA SILENS cover didn’t fan the flames whereas it was the first time I was listening to it and realized this song definitly matches with their current set. Anyway, a few people end up purchasing the “Jours De Haine” VA 7″ featuring one of SHOCK’s songs which is pretty cool.
RED DEATH was the first of the American bands to play tonight. I must admit that when “Permanent Exile” (RED DEATH first LP on Grave Mistake Records) came out, I realized I was expecting some less metal sounding crossover thrash. I’m definitly more into the THE ACCUSED/DISCHARGE aspects of the 2014 demo. Apart from these details, the show was just AWE-SOME. When the band played the intro of the set, singer Chad wasn’t on stage. They played a couple of riffs before he got on stage from the stairs hidden by the stage, acting like a maniac with a mad look like a caveman chasing a mammoth. Guitarist Ace was giving his best to make his riffs sound like hell which was really funny when you think he has the friendliest face on Earth! People in the audience started moshing, fed with RED DEATH’s anger and I noticed a few people who seemed uncomfortable with that. Although my condition isn’t that good to stay in the front row of a hardcore show, when I move to another town to attend to a cool show there is no reason to be fussy!
Everyone from SHOCK really appreciated PROTESTER, so do I. What was really outstanding was seeing Connor as RED DEATH’s drummer and now as PROTESTER’s singer. The young lad is pretty impressive and I take my hats off for being able to do such thing during several weeks of tour. PROTESTER’s first 7″ on Trash King Productions was my favourite 2014 EP, since then I was wondering when will I be able to see the band live. The band released “No Identity” EP on Triple-B Records last year which is a record which have confirmed my will to see almost one of their shows. The band played several new songs and is just an amazing live band. Their performance was really intense not to mention the three KILLING TIME, MINOR THREAT and YOUTH OF TODAY covers at the end of the set.
Both bands were amazing and their two performances will definitly remain a great 2016 memorable.
I didn’t really sleep after the show because I had to catch the carpool really early in the morning. During the drive, I was thinking that the upcoming shows could possibly be less entertaining in Bordeaux.
Let me explain myself: Bordeaux is a pretty cool/hip town. I guess that in 2016 the city looks like a very little version of Paris plus, we’ll soon have a high-speed train connecting Bordeaux and Paris in two hours, I guess you already have an idea of what it may suggest… I recently red some interesting quotes from the 16th century about some French cities in VICE website: “Live Paris, Lyon to possess, be cultivated in Toulouse, spend money in Bordeaux”. I agree with the writer, this is pretty accurate. Bordeaux’s the perfect French town for the wealthy people. The very few punx living here and acting for their scene are, as to me, really, really strange people. It seems they all hate the city and the people living here if they ain’t broke, depressed or a part of some elitist group of people spewing their hate on society. I have no feelings for such negativity. And when it comes to punks and punk and hardcore shows, well, sometimes it can definitly be really tense. While being pretty open-minded speaking of various forms of expression, punks unusually can be really, really aggressive and intolerant towards moshing, slam-dancing, violent sing-alongs… OK, sometimes when someone “dances” hard in front of you it can be really boring, and I must admit before I found myself disabled and physically incapacitated I was judging this machoman attitude – I don’t know any female moshers here, just some pot-bellied dickheads – but since I can’t get down on it anymore, I hope every person in the audience takes the opportunity to feel the energy of a hardcore show.
In Nantes, everything was great even though some people did mosh. In Bordeaux, when PROTESTER started to break down the rules and invited the audience to let its energy be, I’ve seen the tension growing. Some people really hated the few side to side and 2step during PROTESTER’s set and made the moshers aware of it, being much more violent than them. It was umbearable though I’m used to it. What was funny is that one of PROTESTER/RED DEATH’s friends, young Nick from BURST OF RAGE, joined ’em on tour in Bordeaux and was the only person in the audience who stagedived and It surprised everyone! It was like “WAKE UP EVERYOOOOOONE!”
PROTESTER didn’t play any covers, but the set was awesome. They’re definitly one of my favourite hardcore bands. I’d like to thank Connor for the nice things he said about me on stage, you’re definitly a great guy!
All credits by Jesse, from Bordeaux.
RED DEATH were really intense too! Unfortunately, as you already know, Brandon Ferell from DIRECT CONTROL, GOVERNMENT WARNING…tragically passed a few weeks ago and both band had to face the fatality of losing a friend and mentor while they were touring Europe. Of course, I didn’t know Brandon personally. But I love his bands, and it’s always sad to learn this kind of things. Chad and Connor both told us great things about him when they were on stage. It’s good to be a part of an underground community when you can share things like that, even if it’s a sad story. It’s even a very beautiful thing when you think of it. I want both bands to be sure they have my entire support.
It was a really awesome couple of days, hope it wasn’t too boring to read and sorry for the Nantes pics!