Hell is Ohio. Anyone who was in Ohio this past week with its humid soupy, swampy and oppressive heat will surely agree that this is a true statement.
Luckily the weather cooled down enough over the weekend just in time for the first annual Hell is Ohio fest put on by Punkerton Records. The show takes its name from the infamous “Hell is Real” sign that can be seen on Interstate 71. Almost 20 punk, rock and thrash bands from all across the Buckeye state came out to the Swine City Brewing Company for 2 days of fun filled mirth and mayhem.
I was able to catch the second day of the fest and immediately fell in love with the venue. Swine City Brewing was the perfect place for the festival with its punk rock inspired decor and fabulous and tasty brews. (Be sure to try “Mr. East Coast,” a killer hazy IPA) They also had a lot of awesome original T-shirt designs that already put a strain on my wallet before I made it into the show.
For a first time festival, this one was well organized and ran unbelievably smoothly. It was hard to believe that this was the first time the owner from Punkerton Records put on a fest! Set changes were quick and kept the party raging with fist pumping, dancing and friendly moshing. Not only were the patrons having a good time but so were the bands, it felt like a summer party with friends you didn’t know you had.
Arriving at the show a little late in the afternoon I missed a few of the opening bands.I was bummed to not catch the #Lameassdads but one of the band members handed my wife and I koozies with their logo printed on it.
Looks like I have my Father’s shopping finished.
Prime Directive, Tiger Sex, Thrash Knight, Bundy and the Spins and the rest had some killer perfomances with each band trying their best to top the band before them. Guitarists climbed the barricades, vocalists walked into the crowd and encouraged the crowd to sing and scream along. While everyone put on a great show, Tiger Sex may have won the evening for being the most extreme. Lead singer Kelly Tiger Sex brought out a TV to smash with a baseball bat for some good ol’ fashioned tried and true punk vandalism. She was even kind enough to let the kids in the audience take a few whacks at the set. Thankfully everyone played safely and no one was seriously hurt.
My only regret other than not arriving earlier is not bringing my 5 year old son to this shindig! He would have had a blast. The venue had plenty of room and the show was very kid friendly.
I’m already looking forward to next year.