Pointfest 26 | 06.06.10

You’re officially on notice: Hail the Villian are gonna be huge.

Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, St. Louis, Mo.

KPNT-FM, known as The Point to most, held its annual orgy of punk, metal and alt-rock on June 6 under crystal-clear skies and surprisingly moderate temperatures. I spent the entire day traversing the sprawling Riverport or UMB or Verizon whatever-it’s-called-these-days venue trying to catch as many of the 29 bands as possible. My brief thoughts on each:

Opposites Attack

Local punkers with a Flogging Molly-meets-Social Distortion vibe. Great, energetic set especially considering it was 10 am when they took the stage.

Autovein

Talented, moody rock striving for epicness (it’s a word, shaddup) beyond their grasp. Shades of Angels & Airwaves and Deftones. Dressed completely in black, except the drummer who wisely chose not to suffer heat stroke.

Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights

Unfortunately a no-show due to airline issues. Bummer—I was looking forward to hearing them based on what I’ve seen online.

Hail the Villain

You’re officially on notice: These guys are gonna be huge. Been digging their headbanging take on modern rock since hearing their Record Store Day preview disc and they are simply electric live. Debut album on Roadrunner drops June 8. Just get it.

Greek Fire

News to me: Story of the Year guitarist Philip Taylor has a side project called Greek Fire. Not a huge stylistic departure from SOTY but he did surf the crowd while singing in an all-white outfit after introducing himself as Elvis Presley. Chutzpah points awarded.

Motion City Soundtrack

I don’t get it. But apparently a shit-ton of teenage girls do.

Flobots

Boring as hell. No one would pay any attention to this band if it wasn’t for that hot viola player. Yup.

Shaman’s Harvest

Future one-hit wonder once the Nickelback-esque single “Dragonfly” dies off.

Crash Kings

Guitar-less L.A. trio that deftly combines keys, drums and bass into a soulful hard rock stew with a major nod the 1970s. Think Grand Funk Railroad mated with Earl Greyhound. Faithful, stomping cover of “War Pigs” to close the set.

Brookroyal

The current hot shit St. Louis band following in the footsteps of SOTY but with less metal and more punk.

Janus

Chicago-based Chevelle sound-alikes, but not in a bad way. Vocalist David Scotney seemed to be experiencing technical difficulties (and sunburn) but powered through like a pro. The crowd seemed to finally wake up during this set and never let up. The security crew had their hands full of surfers from here on out.

Story of the Year

Story of the DAY for me, anyway. I’d never checked them out and was simply floored by their performance. Their metalcore/screamo sound approaches the formulaic but I was too busy witnessing their stage gymnastics to care. Backflips off the amps, kung-fu guitar spins, crowd surfing and cameos by several other musicians made it the most entertaining set of the day.

Hollywood Undead

Several masked devotees of this band had been camped out at the barricade since the venue opened and dozens more were spotted throughout the day, but I have no idea why. This “band” consists of a drummer, guitarist and five dudes in customized Phantom of the Opera masks rapping about juvenile, puerile, offensive stuff. Pure shock schlock. Not a fan.

Saliva

Call me a dick, but the first thing I noticed was how much weight singer Josey Scott has piled on. Success has clearly kept his fridge full. The next thing I noticed was his voice—it’s for real and he’s a powerhouse. Not their biggest fan, especially after their blue-mohawked attention-whore douchebag rhythm guitarist spat beer all over me, but I have to give them props for their commitment.

Coheed & Cambria

When the hell did Claudio Sanchez become such a badass? Probably around the time that Chris Pennie joined the band after leaving Dillinger Escape Plan. Pennie seems to have brought a massive dose of metal cred with him, as the band was out for blood and in full-on shred mode. I was very, very impressed and will be checking out their recently released album ASAP. | Corey Woodruff

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