By Chris Tihor
Who would have ever thought such a wide variety of punk genres could come together so well at the same show? Sno Jam 7 had something for everyone, and whether it was ska, pop-punk, or hardcore, the music was awesome throughout Monday’s sold-out show.
Japan’s Nicotine started things off quickly with their speedy pop-punk. Incredibly fun to watch, their between-song banter was hilarious. Anyone who came late really missed out.
Next up was Zero Down, fronted by former Strung Out bassist Jim Cherry. The band was surprisingly talented for a new band, and Cherry’s songwriting ability showed.
The only downside of the set was the crowd was unfamiliar with most of Zero Down’s songs.
Death by Stereo was more than ready to follow Zero Down, and came pounding into their set with tracks off their newest album, Day of the Death followed by a mix of new and old songs. These guys must be into crowd interaction as their singer spent a good part of the set in the crowd and running all around the room.
After a wait that seemed to last forever, the Planet Smashers finally came on stage much to the delight of the crowd. The Montreal-based ska band probably had the largest crowd response of the night, as everyone from the front to the back of the hall danced. The highlight of the set was definitely "Super Orgy Porno Party" from Life of the Party which turned the crowd right on.
If there was one word to describe Sick of it All’s performance it would without a doubt be intense. These guys rocked–perhaps a little too hard for some people’s taste–but there was no denying that Sick of it All put on a great show. These hardcore veterans know how to play to a crowd, giving an inspired stage performance. Playing mostly songs off their three most recent albums–Yours Truly, Call to Arms and Sick of it All–they also threw some old songs in to complete their awesome set.
If the crowd had used up all their energy on the first five bands, it didn’t show when AFI played. With everyone screaming their name, AFI charged onto the stage with unbelievable power. Playing songs from every album, including classics like "I Want A Mohawk" and newer songs such as "Lost Souls," AFI pumped out an extremely unique performance that never once let the energy level drop. On top of that, they somehow took the show to an even higher level with their encore "God Called In Sick Today," capping off the night at the highest possible level.
Easily one of the better punk shows in the last year, Sno Jam 7 by far exceeded expectations. If only every punk show had this much intensity.