It’s both early and empty when MIZERY  take to the stage, but those who miss the Californian four-piece should investigate their unique alt-rock/beatdown/thrash mash-up. Although musically great, they could do with improving the live show before they’re a real force.
BURN  might be legends in the NYHC scene, but they look a little rusty around the edges tonight. Every band on the bill should be worried by the presence of DOWN TO NOTHING , whose breakneck-paced, melodic hardcore is fantastically meaty, passionate and catchy. The band to beat, no doubt. It proves too much for WALLS OF JERICHO , who have energy and brutality to spare, but lack the same amount of memorable songs. Candace Kucsulain is still a hell of a focal point, though.
The circlepits that envelop the floor of the Forum can mean only one thing: MUNICIPAL WASTE  are here to fuck us up. The crossover kings are as fun as they are fast, and when you’ve got wildly thrashing anthems like Beer Pressure and Sadistic Magician you end up with a lot of fun and a shitload of speed. They also update I Want To Kill The President to include a cheeky namecheck for Donald Trump. When a footballer gets to his veteran years they can be criticised for losing a yard of pace, but AGNOSTIC FRONT  have lost about a metre. The NYHC originators look like they’re wading through treacle these days, but there’s no arguing with the strength of that setlist: Victim In Pain, Blind Justice, a fantastic Gotta Go with Burn frontman Chaka Malik diving into the crowd for a mass chant-along. Add a closing cover of Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop and it’s hardcore nirvana. Ever wondered whether SUICIDAL TENDENCIES  would suffer from age dulling their fury? If so, tonight you’d have a hell of a rude awakening. Mike Muir is still the whirling dervish that he’s been for more than 30 years, bounding around the stage and never stopping for a second, and Dave Lombardo, obviously, pounds his kit into dust. A greatest hits set kicks off with a ball- busting You Can’t Bring Me Down, and from here on in it’s carnage that ends up with the audience spilling onto the stage, giving everyone the ending tonight deserves.
The power of positivity: Why Mike Muir will always fight for freedom