Hits And Pits Festival Adelaide, 16th May ’14 – Across The Ocean

Hits And Pits Festival Adelaide, 16th May ’14

Not since the Warped Tour came to town in the late 90’s and early 00’s has there been a festival with such a punk focus. Soundwave has been an awesome addition to the festival schedule, but Hits And Pits is where it is at for a punk rock tragic like myself! As I raced off from work I felt like punk superman as I peeled off my corporate digs to reveal my Pennywise shirt and ripped jeans to assume the role of my punk alter-ego.


hits and pits festival 2014

“Punk is Not Dead”, but we are older and most have day jobs… The early kick-off had opening acts The Implants and Heartsounds playing to small crowds, but as the clock ticked past 5 the crowd started to grow and real fun began.

By the time Masked Intruder took the stage the crowd had picked up a bit and the d-floor was starting to fill up. Donned in their trademark coloured balaclavas, chucks and instruments (think punk-wiggles), and with their angry cop looking on, the Wisconsin 4-some really impressed. Opening the set with the likes of Stick ‘Em Up and I Fought the Law (but the Law Beat the Shit Out of Me) which had their cop spring to life, the boys were full of energy and had the crowd taking notice. The cop continued to menace for the remainder of the set which included Heart Shaped Guitar and Crazy.

Next up were Big D And The Kids Table. As the brass entered the stage it meant just one thing, it was skanking time, and the crowd obliged. The bands energy was infectious, lead by front man McWane, as they ripped through a sharp set including Shit Tattoos, My Girlfriend Is On Drugs and their ‘fuck you’ to the LA rich scene LAX.

As Death By Stereo took the stage all the hardcore kids made their way to the front and neck and face tattoos took over the floor, shit was about to go down! And it did, DBS were electric and had the crowd moving from go to woe. Massive energy on stage, lead by front man Efrem Schulz, who eventually ended up in the crowd as well as delivering beer bongs to the front row. Highlights included The Plague, I Sing For You, This Curse Of Days, a killer cover of Reign in Blood and the set was finished with Wasted Words.

Then it was time for the first of the 90’s punk bands to take the stage Ten Foot Pole. By this stage the crowd had grown to capacity and the floor area was packed and ready to roll. From the opening chord and the familiar voice of Danny Jager the nostalgic crowd where into it and pit was going off. Big sing alongs to A.D.D and The Getaway were the highlights, but like all good things it was over too soon. A self-admitted shameless plug for merch and they were off.

The most infamous band on the bill were up next, The Casualties. Looking the part with their big coloured mohawks and Rick wearing a ‘I’m a Cunt’ t-shirt, they entered the stage to The Imperial March which really set the scene for the classic NY punk band. Whilst there is no doubt these guys deserve their place amongst the punk legends, I think a lot of fans like the image of The Casualties rather than the music and it showed with a big portion of the crowd hitting the bar rather than tuning in. Rick ripped into the crowd telling them to go crazy, which incited a few stage rushes, but in all, the crowd response was a little disappointing. Despite this the boys put on a blistering show paying homage to The Ramones along the way before finishing with We Are All We Have.

The second 90’s punks to take the stage were Face to Face, who had the crowd back and going crazy again. More nostalgia flowed as the boys took us through a classic set including Walk the Walk, You’ve Done Nothing, I Want and Shoot The Moon. The energy on-stage was matched two-fold in the pit and punters regularly spilled onto the stage before diving back into the pit. The set was finished with Disconnected which enticed about 30 punters to rush the stage and sing along with the band. It really was a ripping set that got the crowd charged for the coming headline acts.

Then it was time for the headliners and much my surprise Strung Out hit the stage one slot earlier than their billing. Hitting the stage with some serious energy they ripped straight in and it was obvious who most of the crowd was here to see as the room erupted. Cruz was killing it, I’ve seen it plenty of times before and know he’s an intense frontman, but tonight was something else! They blitzed through a brilliant set including Everyday, Catatonia, their brilliant cover of NUFAN’s Soulmate as a tribute to the late Tony Sly and Bring Out Your Dead. The set was finished with Matchbook and just like that it was over. Seemed super fast, but I guess time flies when you are having fun. My only criticism was their sound wasn’t fantastic, but that could be more of a PA issue.

As the clock ticked midnight and after a lengthy nervous wait Unwritted Law hit the stage. Now in my opinion UL can be a little hit and miss, but even with Scott… lets go with tired… they were on tonight. From the opening of Teenage Suicide the crowd was up and about. Scott was in good spirits as they ripped through a hit filled set including Lonesome, Cailin, Shoulda Known Better and Seein Red. However as the set went on it was clear that they shouldn’t have headlined as streams of punters headed for the exit. Those who did stay saw a great show that was finished with Up All Night and a cover of Grinspoons More Than You Are, which probably got the biggest response of the night.

And as we entered the early hours Hits And Pits Adelaide came to an end. Another brilliant punk line up, well supported by the Adelaide punters.

Hopefully Hits And Pits continues to be a regular on the Adelaide tour schedule.

Tim Nicholas

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tim Nicholas has been writing for various publications for the past 10 years as a means to get to every punk and metal show that comes to town.

His musical taste is wide-spanning; from the glam and thrash of the 80's to the Fat and Epitaph punk of the 90's and continuing through to the various 'metalcores' that currently blast our eardrums. However, his taste is quite narrow, if it isn't Fast, Heavy or Loud he ain't interested.

Decked in skinny jeans and metal t-shirt, he definitely does his best work in the mosh pit!
Tim Nicholas

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