It was an extremely emotional night, a night where people come together to unite to let the powers that be that there’s a lot more of us than of them.  A night where music had messages of rights for refugees, antiwar sentiments, pro feminism, and environmental and social justice.  Legendary punk rockers Refused with special guests Youth Code and Racetraitor took the stage in an extremely packed house at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Leap Year.  Interview with Denis of Refused is coming soon!  Racetraitor was the first band to take the stage.

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Racetraitor opened up the night.  Out of Chicago, the band displays a level of intensity that I haven’t seen in quite sometime.  Lyrics that cut through you like a knife coupled with passionate screams, a rhythm section that beats on your chest like a thousand protest drums, and guitars that shred through you to pieces.  The songs were meaningful and the story of the vocalist growing up in Iran and seeing the Iranian Revolution unfold before his eyes was eye opening, plus the band dedicating their set to any women that has survived sexual assault or domestic violence really set the tone for the night.  I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from Racetraitor.  Youth Code was the next band to take the stage.

Out of Los Angeles, Youth Code is an electronic hardcore duo composed of Sara Taylor on vocals and Ryan George on programming/synths.  I wasn’t sure what to make of this duo at first.  But then, there was something about their sound that drove me crazy in a good way.  The beats were very danceable, yet Sara coupled that with her demonic vocals.  Yet, Sara had a way of making it relatable to the audience member with her boundless energy.  The music grew on me as the set went on, then I didn’t want it to end.  Picture the Plasmatics and Skinny Puppy together, and you get Youth Code.  They left me and the audience wanting more.  I see an even brighter future for Youth Code before long.  The legendary Refused was the final band to take the stage.

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After an intro that provided an ominous yet anticipatory setting, Refused graced the stage.  The fans at the Fine Line Music Cafe knew that they were in for a very memorable night.  Refused kicked it off with “Blood Red”.  Their intensity is unbridled on the live stage.  From an arrangement and musicianship standpoint, I immediately gathered that they’re one of the tightest bands that I have ever witnessed live!  Denis provided absolutely intense vocals and the guitars certainly packed a punch along with the rhythm section.  The moshpits and crowdsurfing was getting a bit much for me especially when they performed “Elektra”.  While the songs from their latest album “War Music” were amazing, the fans were clamoring and salivating over them playing songs from “The Shape of Punk to Come” album!  It was plain to see why Refused is one of the most influential bands in the history of modern heavy music.  A buddy of mine explained to me that they basically revolutionized the post-hardcore genre.  The encore was ballistic and out of control as they played “It’s Not OK”, “Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine” and “Rev001”.  As the crowd left, I’ve never seen people sweat so much from a show in my entire life!  Interview with Denis of Refused coming over the weekend!  Here is the set list:

  1.  Blood Red
  2.  Worms of the Senses/Faculties of the Skull
  3.  Elektra
  4.  Death in Vannas
  5.  Violent Reaction
  6.  Rather Be Dead
  7.  Coup de’etat
  8.  Malfire
  9.  The Shape of Punk to Come
  10.  The Deadly Rhythm
  11.  Damaged III
  12.  Economy of Death
  13.  New Noise
  14.  It’s Not OK
  15.  Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine
  16.  Rev001

Providing the ending of COVID-19 pandemic, Refused have some European gigs coming up.  Check out the gig dates below:

Wed. 5/20- Poppodium 013 in Tilburg, Netherlands

Thu. 5/21- Doornroosje in Nijmegen, Netherlands

Fri. 5/22- Trabendo in Paris, France

Sat. 5/23- Slam Dunk Festival North in Leeds, United Kingdom

Sun. 5/24- Slam Dunk Festival South in Hatfield, United Kingdom

Mon. 5/25- Skaters Palace in Munchen, Germany

Tue. 5/26- Atlas in Arhus C, Denmark

Fri. 6/5- Rock Im Park 5/7- in Nurnberg, Germany

Sat. 6/6- Scheune in Dresden, Germany

Mon. 6/8- Kulturfabrik Kofmehl in Solothurn, Switzerland

Tue. 6/9- Theatres Romains de Fourviere in Lyon, France

Sat. 6/13- Sunstroke Festival in Naas, Ireland

Thu. 7/9- Mad Cool Festival in Madrid, Spain

Sun. 7/12- Park Live Festival in Moscow, Russia

Fri. 7/31- Tsunami Xixon in Gijon, Spain

Sat. 8/1- Xtreme Fest in Le Garric, France

Sun. 8/2- Sylak Open Air Festival in Saint-maurice-de-gourdans, France

Sat. 8/8- Picture On Festival in Weiz, Austria

Mon. 8/10- Punk Rock Holiday in Tolmin, Slovenia

Sun. 9/13- Die Kantine in Cologne, Germany

Mon. 9/14- Batchkapp in Frankfurt, Germany

Tue. 9/15- Taubchenthal in Leipzig, Germany

Wed. 9/16- Capitol in Hannover, Germany

Thu. 9/17- Poppodium Bolwerk in Sneek, Netherlands

Fri. 9/18- Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany

Sun. 9/20- Wizemann Halle in Stuttgart, Germany

Mon. 9/21- Backstage Werk in Munchen, Germany

Tue. 9/22- Lucerna Music Bar in Prague, Czech Republic

Wed. 9/23- Proxima in Warsaw, Poland

Thu. 9/24- Festival Kreuzberg in Berlin, Germany

Sat. 10/3- Kulturvaven in Umea, Sweden

For tickets and further information on any of their U.K/European gigs listed above, click here

Fans can find Refused at the following locations:

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