Photos by David Rubene
My Monday definitely didn’t feel like a Monday. Sure, I knew that going to a 9PM show on a weekday probably wasn’t the best choice but, as soon as the music started, I completely forgot that it was a Monday. The show was a bit magical in the way that it wasn’t until I started heading to my car that I realized it was far past my bedtime and my inevitable 5:30AM alarm for work on Tuesday was going to happen sooner rather than later.
The show started with a quick set from local group Wanderer. They blasted onto the stage with a chaotic sound and stage show. Unfortunately I was unable to hear any vocals during their set but, in all honesty, I didn’t have to. I could feel the intensity behind the vocals just by watching singer Brandon Carrigan as he stormed around the stage. As I mentioned, their set was quick, almost too quick. Lasting only about twenty five minutes, Wanderer’s set left me wanting a bit more because I loved the intensity of it but, at the same time, it was nice to know that the show was moving along and maybe it wouldn’t be as late of a night as I had thought.
Their music is fast and dirty while still possessing a sense of beauty behind it. It took me awhile to figure out where the energy radiating off the stage was coming from. Usually you can pinpoint a member who just can’t stand still and seems to be egging on the crowd in a way but I didn’t see that with these guys. It quickly became clear that the energy the crowd was feeding off of, the energy that got the pit swirling in the middle of the venue, was purely from the music. Don’t take that to mean that these guys were boring to watch in any way, shape, or form, because they weren’t. They didn’t need to be running around to entertain the crowd. They are true masters of their craft and being able to see how quickly they can play yet still keeping the sound clean was truly enough to keep me entertained.
I expect to see a lot more from these guys in the future. When I stumbled into their show a couple months ago, I could tell people were into the music but hadn’t been able to study it yet so were unable to sing along or predict what would come next. It was made clear last night that these guys are truly taking the scene by storm. The nearly sold out crowd was eating up every single lyric and every single riff like they couldn’t get enough. I mean, let’s be honest, I couldn’t get enough. Make sure you keep your eye on these guys and see them in a small intimate venue while you still can!
Iron Reagan’s music was a bit more thrash than the bands that had graced the stage before them but, like the other bands, these guys have their own blend of a little bit of everything. There are elements of thrash, punk, hardcore, metal… You name it, it’s in there. That’s the reason I fell in love with these guys in the first place. They were able to take all of my favorite elements of so many genres and make it into something truly beautifully unique. With members of Darkest Hour, Municipal Waste, Cannabis Corpse and too many other influential bands to list, these guys are a bit of a super group but they don’t act like it and that’s part of their charm. They seemed humbled by the crowd participation but I don’t quite understand why. Every time I’ve seen them, the crowd support has been amazing and last night was no different.
There seemed to be a stream of people hopping up onto the stage and then jumping out into the crowd. There were people doing flips, people just barreling into the first couple rows of people, there were bodies seriously everywhere. At one point, singer Tony Foresta decided to turn the monitors at the front of the stage on their side, making a bit of a platform. I thought this was so Tony could see the crowd better (he’s a pretty tiny guy but don’t let that fool you… he has more energy that most frontmen of the most intense metal bands I’ve seen) and that could have been the reasoning behind the re-positioning but the monitors quickly turned into a diving board of sorts for the fans. There was pushing, shoving, bodies falling from the sky, people falling down… to an outsider, I’m sure it looked like a violent blood bath or something but to the people involved, it was beautiful.
Tony stopped in-between the last couple of songs to mention the beauty that he saw. Here we were at an infamous punk rock club listening to thrashy punk rock. It didn’t take a magnifying glass to see the melting pot that was this crowd. There were punk kids, hardcore kids, metal kids… much like the music, there was a little bit of everything. Tony pointed out the fact that even though there were so many different facets in the music scene being represented at the show last night, everyone was together as a family. Everyone was being nice and courteous. Even when the pushing and shoving seemed extreme you could hear “sorry!” being shouted throughout the crowd when a beer was spilled or a toe was stepped on. Sure, Iron Reagan’s set was amazing but the real beauty was found in the crowd.
Power Trip’s music was fast and brutal yet it stood out from the rest of the music partly due to the intricate riffs and beats. The talent of the members was not lost in the speed or volume that the music was presented in and that made for a truly enjoyable musical experience. The nearly sold out crowd seemed to mirror the aggression of the band on stage and the room never stopped moving. With low lights, and nothing fancy other than the fog machine, there was nothing to distract the crowd from the pure musicianship that was being displayed in front of them. It was refreshing and added to the no-holds-barred approach that Power Trip seemed to have when it came to their music. Power Trip was a great ending to an already amazing night of music and energy.