So this past saturday was the big St Edwards Reunion show at Richmond City Music Hall.
How did it go? Amazingly.
The show sold out!
Uphill Down made the trip up from Florida for the show. And for bands like Phelics, 500$Fine, and BCS, this was the first time in 20+ years they had played together.
For Fun Size and Knuckle Hed, they had played a few shows since, with Fun Size actually re-uniting a few years back to become active again.
So what was it like? Well, amazing. The big thing we were looking forward to was the crowd, as this one would be filled with familiar faces.
See, back in the 1990s, St Edwards School, a church /school, hosted local ‘Battle of The Bands’ shows, and then regular punk / hardcore shows.
A very dedicated group of bands and fans, playing and enjoying punk and hardcore punk music. For some folks, due to being young, this was the only venue they could go see bands. So it served as an introduction to both local music, and independant punk music.
And some of the fans went on to start bands, and repeat the cycle.
So for many folks, this reunion show was more than just the bands, it was about reconnecting with discovering music, and doing it in the company of the people they discovered these things with.
Opening the show was Phelics, and wow, what a way to open. Their singer Chris Cave started off the show by playing an acoustic, almost honky-tonk song, then proceeding to smash the guitar. Amazing. Sadly we do have video available of this, yet, but we do have it on video…
…next up was 500$Fine, a band close to the heart of the OVOLR! record label, as the release of the band’s 1997 ‘Forward’ CD was the founding release of OVOLR! as a label. The band also had a special introduction, this time from frontman Gary Llama‘s daughter, Madison…
And then Knuckle Hed played played an amazing set of their catchy poppy punk. Knuckle Hed was the first band of frontman Brooks Cullum, who went on to play in a TON of other bands, as well as his own solo stuff (you can check that out here)…
Then Uphill Down, who had ONE practice, just hours before the show, after a few of the members had driven the 12 hours from Florida to Richmond!!… played an amazingly energetic set that seemed as if they had never left off from before.
Seeing this was quite a thing, as the sound is so unique to them, and they carried it through much the same way. (Singer Bo, has been playing with Flag on Fire, who is also pretty awesome…)
then Broken Chains of Segregation took the stage, to play their brand of conscious hardcore punk. BCS was one of the older bands of the group. They transitioned out when most of these bands were transitioning in. (Also of Note, Bo from Uphill Down played in one of these older generation bands, called Sewn Up Eyes, who were AWESOME too).
But BCS set a tone for many in the St Edwards scene. They were the band that highlighted politcal hardcore, and that music could be as much about the message, as the sound. And their work went on to directly inspire bands such as 500$Fine, and Indypendant. And speaking of Indypendant…
…Indypendant joined BCS at the end of the set to play their song ‘Fist to The Face’, which was a treat to see in the 90s, and was a special treat to see today. Indy’s members couldnt get the band to do a proper reunion, so singer Muser, bassist Ryan, and drummer Chris, joined with BCS to do the song…
…and then finally, southside pop punkers Fun Size played a great set. Fun Size started with the earier generation of St Eds Bands, and just kept doing it, all the way through. So in the St Eds Band hierarchy, much like Uphill Down, they were always kind of the parents to other bands, helping out younger bands with shows, advice, and even equipment. And it’s a thing they still do to this day.
And then it was over.
But before everyone left, a bunch of us took to the stage to take a picture commemorating the event.
Overall, this was an amazing show.
The music was awesome, and it was great to see all of these bands playing with so much heart. Reunions can be dicey. The last thing you want to see is a band try to rehash something but without the heart. But every single one of these bands just killed it. Perhaps its because of why they did it in the first place, and that reason still being alive inside them.
But the most touching part, was the people. The reunion of all these folks that grew up in this music, and then the little ‘mini-reunions’ that happended across the venue floor all night, as folks recognized close friends, and maybe even old enemies, and came together to share what life has brought them, and what memories they cherish.
Overall, it was an amazing, AMAZING night.
Thank you so much for everyone who came out to take part in this show, either to watch and reconnect, or to reunite, rehearse, and play. A lot of work went into the show and a lot of folks took a chance in it. And it went off without a hitch!
Still, I know some folks were not able to make it out. And for you , we have video of each of the bands sets, that will be released to each band shortly.
Again, amazing night. Much love to everyone.