The 529 // Atlanta, GA // Oct. 26, 2009
Once again, the 529 Bar in the East Atlanta Village hosted a magnificent Monday night concert that showcased some of the city’s finest local talent. The small club has quickly gained a paramount reputation for cheap drinks, great bands and one of the best sound systems in the entire city. Usually Monday night shows are free, but a touring band from the U.K. called Future of the Left caused the door price to rise to $7. Still, by the time Predator took to the stage at a little after 10 p.m., the venue was at capacity.
In the vein of classic punk rock bands from a time forgotten, Predator is easily one of the city’s most entertaining punk acts. The three-piece blistered through their borderline early '80s hardcore songs that also entwine bits and pieces of more modern elements. The guitars were raunchy and distorted, the drums were fast and often in double-time, and the when the vocals synced up it was damn near perfect. Their vintage-punk sound is slightly nostalgic, but also at the same time incredibly progressive. Tearing through some of their songs like “Creep” and “You,” it was plain to see that these men are students of their genre and are well on their way to becoming masters.
For anyone in Atlanta that hasn’t seen the spectacle that’s a Hawks show, my god was this a great night to start. Hawks is the sort of band that will unapologetically scare the shit out of your parents, grandparents and other assorted family members. Their songs are noisy, dissonant, aggressive and sexually charged. Their set opened up with their traditional mix of samples and crowd banter, but quickly exploded into their noise-core set. Andrew Wiggins’ guitar riffs scream and yell with the utmost ferocity and gruff. The rhythm pockets created by the drummer and bass player drive the songs while chaos is created around their anchor.
When singer/screamer/yeller Mike Keenan starts doing his thing, well…that’s when the real show begins. One of the best front-men in the city, Keenan charges the crowd, grabs random bystanders and screams into the microphone and their ears, climbs structures and lets girls stick their fingers down his throat. Needless to say, if you have any qualms about being in a situation that could potentially erupt into an awkward situation, or if you can’t hold your own in the pit, then stand back. Otherwise, the show culminates in Keenan stripping down to a banana hammock while the rest of the band builds to a dissonant and dischorded crescendo. Hawks is always an awesome experience and on this night they were in rare form.