Photos: Em Demarco
Day 4 – SUNDAY
My lack of proper rest and over-ingestion of alcohol should make for a much more painful morning than I have. Sunday afternoon’s most proud moment is an open air punk market set in the middle of the woods at an abandoned recreation facility. I skate the diy mini ramp and partake in not nearly enough of ONION MAIDEN‘s delicious food. Like a population waking up from some great catastrophic event, the collective human mass come to terms with the lives they’ve made for themselves. And though some say their goodbyes, those who consider themselves the more hardcore of the crew leave the tranquility of the wilderness and go back to the Rock Room for Sunday’s must anticipated punk event. I wish I would have bought stock in the Rock Room before Skull Fest.
Local hardcore punk quartet AMMUNITION start off the show and lay before their enamored audience a wake-up call felt hard and heavy that most perfectly ended in a PARTISANS cover. What may be Pittsburgh’s fastest and most ferocious hardcore band BLOOD PRESSURE play second and the crowd packs in to try to understand the melee they’ve stumbled into. Richmond, VA’s FIRING SQUAD display their inequitable prowess in short violent burst as the mass of people heat up and take notice of the feat they currently lay their eyes upon. The show slowly grows in intensity as RAZORHEADS absolutely pound the brains of the now nearly helpless crowd in a show of grandiose power – almost inhuman, but somehow still venial. Lastly are Toronto, Canada’s S.H.I.T., who are perhaps the most anticipated band of the day. They waste no time instigating one of the best sets of the entire summer. The room became one large sweaty mess of beings, using S.H.I.T. as their proverbial altar on which to pray. A punk attack as unbridled and curious as I’ve laid my eyes upon in some time. The show ended and I slowly disconnected all the electronics and unstacked all the stacks and slowly contemplated my life and my place on this flotation device we so casually call Terra. I make most neat my materials and head to the final show of the fest.
FUK BOIZ start the show off with a resounding performance that captivated the strong but waning crowd at the venue known as Spirit. FUK BOIZ and the hominids contained within create one of Pittsburgh’s most prized possessions. ZEX put on one of the most entertaining shows of all Skull Fest. They combine all of the best elements of punk from ’77 to present and offer them in a way that is straightforward and somehow not boring. The night and fest end with fellow Canadians SPECTRES making their second appearance of the weekend. They played a riveting set among the melancholy members of the Skull population strong enough to survive the onslaught they prevailed through the past four days. Both physically and emotionally drained, I became elated that I forced myself to see one more show and SPECTRES made my general discomfort more than worth it. I meandered home to the solace of my partners, dog and cat, feeling relieved but befuddled. Though true perspective has still not taken hold, I have come to terms with my Skull experience. I not only look back upon the time fondly, but anticipate doing it again.