Note: The flyer pictured isn't the official one, it's one made by Tx Punk with authorization from The Meridian. Let's just say the official one didn't meet the proper censorship regulations in order to be circulated.
Dickey Hands went on first. They opened for Agent Orange last time they played Houston. Perhaps it was the bigger room but they sounded even better than last year. They received a better crowd response too, despite their 15 minute time slot.
The American Heist ran through a set that was so powerful that you can forget they were only on for 20 minutes. They delivered a sing along style punk that was greeted very well by the audience.
Molotov Compromise sounded great through the Meridian's main room sound system. They got the first pit of the day and they played a great show. Their singer even jumped the barrier in order to get closer to the crowd and let them sing along. Their ska-flavored rendition of Minor Threat's "I Don't Want To Hear It" was a hit with the crowd along with "Skate!" which even made me want grab by board and skate through the pit.
Roots Of Exile had a strong sound. They were really fun to watch. They played with a passion that was refreshing and visibly contagious to the audience. Their sound ranged for somewhere between Hard Rock, Punk, Oi, and a few other things but whatever you want to call it, it was good. Roots Of Exile wasn't afraid to show their local Houston pride either, they played "Houston Dynamo"(a song dedicated to the soccer team) with every ounce of power they could possibly cram in to a song.
Room 101 was the "band"(Note the quote marks) that stood out the most. I was eager to see them after looking at their MySpace, but I learned it's not "them" rather "him". Room 101 consisted of a single man on guitar and vocals backed by a pre-recorded bass and drum track. A projector played in the background showing mostly black and white movies(in a Butthole Surfers-esque manner) depicting: people being beat by police, bombs going off, injured soldiers, and other(sometimes less serious)things. He was very energetic twisting, twitching, and shouting all the way through his set as people watched with amazement.
The Blackmarket Syndicate got the audience riled up and put the show in to overdrive. They kept the show moving constantly, even when they were in between songs they would throw free shirts to the audience only to be swallowed as soon as they were within reach. They were joined by a few members of The American Heist on-stage to sing to a few songs.
Poor Dumb Bastards came on wearing their southern punk style out in the open: one of them wearing a cowboy hat, their singer wearing a belt that read "Redneck". However the first your likely to see is their singer's fake blue mohawk that looks like the bristles of a broom glued to a tan piece of rubber. The Poor Dumb Bastards didn't get a pit but they got people singing every word as if they were on-stage themselves. Their singer eventually hopped over the barrier allowing anyone who wanted sing a chance to do so.
Bloodhook Unfortunately got stuck with being the ones to announce that Fear would not be playing, which visibly effected the crowd's impression of them. However this wore off as their set went on and by the time they left the stage The crowd wasn't so disappointed that Fear cancelled.
Total Chaos tore through a set of blistering fast songs like "Fuck The System" and "Riot City". Their show was so fast it was almost like a blur, a blur filled with spiky hair, people shouting and raising their fists to choruses, and break-neck fast songs. By the time they were told to their time was up the audience still wanted more and started crying "Play Some More!" which the band encouraged by hitting a note on their instruments in unison with them. Of course they got their way and Total Chaos played a few more songs.
D.I. Played a great set. A pit immediately erupted as soon as the drums of "Tocotta in D minor"(that old classical song with an organ you hear at Halloween) kicked in. They ripped through a bunch of classics without even breaking a sweat(or rather they wouldn't have if it wasn't the middle of summer) including: "Stick To Your Guns", "Imminent War", "Hang Ten In East Berlin", "Johnny's Got A Problem", "Amoeba"(played like the original 7" version), and the mandatory performance of "Richard Hung Himself". Their set included a few new songs too: "Prison Riot"(to which Casey dramatically paced across the stage with his hands behind his back as if in handcuffs) and the crowd-requested "OC's Burning". Frontman, Casey Royer, Ran from one side of the stage to the other shouting, jumping, and raising his fist all the way. Eddie, Clinton, and Joey played without a missing a single note and the crowd loved every minute of it. D.I. is a band best seen live in-person as no amount of words can describe their entire show.
Agent Orange played as great as ever and showed that Houston was last on the So-cal Invasion tour but definitely not least. The set included: "Tearing Me Apart", "Everything Turns Grey", "Cry For Help In A World Gone Mad", "Breakdown", "El Dorado", "Say It Isn't True", "Too Young To Die"(which they dedicated to the late Les Paul), "Bloodstains", and more. It would have included "Living In Darkness" but it was suddenly ended by a fight in the audience. After commenting about their disappointment in seeing the brawl they proceded played the Dead Kennedys "Police Truck". By the time "Bloodstains" started people were crowd surfing over the barrier(only to be escorted out to the floor by security) and a few of them managed to get on-stage and bumped in to Mike it was ironically when they make the song sound like it was falling apart. Mike literally decided to roll with it, rolling on to the stage floor adding some authenticity to the sound before getting back up and ripping through the solo without missing a single beat.
Well, they say a pictures worth a thousand words, so you would've only had to look at 3 pictures instead of reading all this. Pictures!!!