In Your Face is organized already 19th time in a row and that is pretty fascinating number.. I wasn't there never before because it's not so close to the place I live and there weren't played some bands which interested me a lot to be honest, I remember few years ago Nonsense played there and that's pretty much it.. the point is I would not go this year neither but few days ago I exchange few e-mails with Axe (Hellback's vocal/guitar) when he said that this will probably be the last Hellback gig.. that was some sad news 'cause it's about definitely the best domestic band active at the moment to me, especially their live shows.. even I was pretty sure I won't go on this 'cause we were in Požega also on Hellback like a month ago , but then on the day of a gig I talked a little with Štakor and the deal has been made, we can't miss possibly the last Hellback's show..
it was one more road trip with just two of us (me and Š) like numerous times before when we sit in a car and drive on some 300 or more km distant places like Ljubljana, Požega or something like that and every time there is some special mood and atmosphere, heheh even we make financial suicide with gas money and sometimes with intoxication but in the end every time it was worth it..
again we didn't go by highway but we hit the "old" road, even if it takes a bit longer and it's something more complicate to get there but we love adventures...and resting stops in small local stores heheh..
this time we finally found the right way through Papuk mountain which is actually nature park and it has absolutely the best road I was ever driving.. numerous road bends, fresh asphalt and uphill of some 18% in front of us while 5 Minutes to Steve (from legendary Tribute to our Parents comp.) was playing from the car stereo, just perfect.. if some car companies would know for it I bet they'll be recording commercials there.. hope that it won't come to that because nature is simply great.. it would be interesting to go on some bike ride there, that's for sure.. after we cross the Papuk again some smaller troubles with finding right way to N. Gradiška and we arrive there somewhere at 9:00 PM.. we found the place where gig was holding by the help of some youngsters we meet in local park..
first we notice how the place itself is really cool, it's big space situated between two large walls but with no roof and it's actually like a big yard on open.. the walls are apparently by some old prison and that's also interesting and give some special atmosphere at the place..
2nd thing was that there are mostly very young people, some new kids and Š said that we will be the oldest ones there, but hey that's cool, it's nice to see some young forces coming..
sometimes before we were already well known by asking locals where is the bar first but in recent time we always ask were do we can eat something, that was case now also so we go to the nearby fast food stand and eat probably the worst sandwiches ever..
shortly after we returned to the place, gig started and the 1st band was Ništa od Toga.. well we didn't watch them really but we drink some beers and exchange few words with folks from Požega, but they were playing like for ages and they slowly becoming a little annoying, so they took our attention.. in the announcement of the gig were stated that they play stoner/groove hc, but this was some rock pretty badly played.. not offense guys, but you must practice a lot more.. or it was maybe because I don't like this music style, I don't know.. I mean, the top of their show was when they were playing cover of Rage Against the Machine and that probably speaks enough itself..
after them the band because which we came there - Hellback.. before the gig we talked a little about like,for who will they played because honestly there wasn't some standard crew which usually go on Hellback's gigs, I'm wondering if someone of people there knew what crust is, heheh, and then just when I thought that they might play without will and indifferent, they started furiously and make one more great show.. even Axe has, in kinda ironically tone, repeating "thank you" between songs on week applause from the crowd, in their playing there wasn't any traces of indifference or something like that..
the opening was with already traditional intro and Prevara, Laž, later there was song about dead Milost for Vž. Toplice crew and after that Nikad se ne predajem (something like I never surender O.E.) cover of K. Apartman for Županja crew and that was maybe some hidden message, heheh, we allways get the songs about death.. of course they played Violation by State of Fear and Before Everything by Apatridi as well, same as all their own best songs.. I like the experiment with Nani's vocals on song Dvije Lubanje and one more, can't remember which at the moment when she sound kinda like those echoed vocals from mostly american d-beat, raw punk or noise bands.. and when they want to play the last song, it should be Nausea's cover I guess 'cause Axe announces it something like: " cover of one old band for which noone of you isn't heard of, so it isn't even matter", but on the insisting of the crowd they played Požegi.. I hoped that the last gig of Hellback won't end with this, let's say least dear song by them to me personally and luckily nevertheless they played Sacrafice by Nausea and that was just perfect way for their show closing.. I said already 1000 times but I will say once more - what a great band, such energy, everything, just great.. I'm happy as a little kid after every show by them..
after their show we talked a little bit more with Axe, get our Fight Back/Agathocles LP's and couldn't decide what we will do now.. we go to left the vinyls in the car shortly after Gužva u 16-tercu started playing and when we came to the car we decided that we are going home because we were already tired and it was pretty cold that night and we were in shorts.. and Gužva and Fakofbolan aren't bands for which I would wait on the cold although it wasn't bad if we stayed and see Fakofbolan to remember all the old hits..
towards the home we go through highway where there was really heavy traffic, some crazy new cars driving like 200 km/h, etc. so it wasn't enjoyable like driving there but we menaged to arrive home for some 2 and half hours, with two resting/coffee stops.. 1st one still on the Slavonian area where hundreds of people were sleeping in sleeping bags or blankets outside by the all those expensive, new cars.. it wasn't really clear to us who are they, are they immigrants or just tourists from some east countries who were going on the cost.. however everything looked like in some post apocalyptic movie, or at least like on some crust festival, hehe..
and the 2nd one was also interesting, the one closer to Zagreb (Ježevo if I'm not wrong) where is accommodation center for immigrants situated and also looks pretty scary in the night like some concentration camp with 10 meters high walls, barbed wire cameras and everything..
for the end.. it looks from this boring review that it wasn't some good fun, I don't know, maybe not the best atmosphere but honestly I don't remember when I was at some gig where everything was great, everything is strange and somehow fcked up lately, but if you ask me if it was worthy all the drive and everything else - yes it fckin was because every time when I see such a good band as Hellback is, it is worth of it.. that are things (among some others of course) for which I was living all those passed years and I do believe that also in the future such things will make me happy..
pictures are bluntly stolen from this page
and are made by Nikola Knežević..
P.S. - after I finished this review and read it one more time it looks like the header of this post had to be "Hellback live at N. Gradiška" or something similar, which bring us to the fact that I only write here about Hellback and few other bands from Pž.. yes it's true and I don't run from that fact, I know that some people are bothered with that but hey, tell me which bands from domestic "scene" are there, are active and have anything with crust.. I can't think of any except Disbaja and they are half from Pž.. simply as that.. over and out..