The Philly Punx Picnic was a unique hardcore event featuring both local and visiting punk bands playing underneath I-95 with the amazing FDR skatepark as the backdrop. In addition to the music, concession stands served food, drinks, and t-shirts. In between bands, attendees watched skaters riding the grafiti-lined walls and milled about in the shade. All of the bands played fast and crazy sets, all on the concrete below the highway. It was a great experience, and I highly recommend checking it out next year if you are into punk music.
Set is a metal band with punk tendencies. They play a grungy and fast sounding guitar, with a voice that is authentic to metal music. The guitarists were very talented, and the driving force of the band. The vocalists were both also very good, with the deep voices and singing ability needed for metal music. Their performance was on point, they sounded very good, but did not draw a significant reaction from the crowd.
Urban Waste is a New York City hardcore band from the eighties, that of course plays fast and hard. The four piece band had a fill in on drums, Black John, who performed all the songs very well, keeping up with the other members of the band. The guitarist played some parts at breakneck speeds, shifting between screeching guitar and straightforward low parts. The singer for the band yelled every word in spectacular fashion, keeping the energy of the crowd at maximum level. Urban Waste drew the best reaction all day. The crowd was moshing and running around for the duration of the set, as well as creating a huge moving mound of people when everyone felt the need to sing along into the mic. It was awesome to see all the young punks of FDR going crazy over this eighties hardcore punk band.
Flag of Democracy is one of the fastest bands I have ever heard. They already play quick on record, but it sounds like they play double-time live. These guys were a hugely influential band in eighties hardcore punk, and it is great to see they still put on an amazing show at a place like Philly Punx Picnic. Every instrument was capable of playing at their signature swift speeds, even the singer possessed absolute accuracy. The crowd circle pitted and sang along, bobbing their heads in utter appreciation for these incredible musicians. Flag of Democracy definitely put on the best and tightest set of the day.
FDR Park is a unique venue for watching these hardcore bands. It is a breathtaking skatepark, due to the fact that it is so greatly intertwined in the DIY punk culture of Philadelphia. I snapped the photos below while watching skaters shred the park between sets.