I have a literal boot print on the side of my body. Not on the side of my t-shirt that I was wearing last night– literally a bruise in the shape of a boot on the side of my body. Who needs Botox when you can take a foot to the jaw and get those plump lips you’ve always wanted? Now, these are not complaints. Sure, I felt like I got hit by a bus when I woke up this morning and attempted to get out of bed but I wouldn’t trade this feeling for anything else in the world. Last night was easily one of the best shows I’ve seen yet this year and brought me back to a scene that I credit with saving my life.
Local five piece Pyralis had the true honor of opening up Friday night’s show. Like usual, this show started too early for me to make it on time but I was able to catch a couple of songs and, although they came off as a super young group, there was something there that intrigued me. Their sound was clean and polished majority of the time and you could hear some truly unique personality blaring through the speakers which has catapulted Pyralis onto my list of local bands to keep my eye on.
Year of the Knife was up next and, although the crowd was starting to move during Pyralis’ set, it seemed like they really kicked it up a notch for Year of the Knife. This group has a very clean sound that juxtaposed the aggressive vocals coming through the speakers. I loved their unique blend of metalcore and hardcore while showing respect for both of the genres. Although they are a fairly new act to hit the road, the crowd clearly knew who Year of the Knife was and they were giving the opening act everything they had. I couldn’t see much of the crowd from where my brother and I were standing in the back but I could see the people being spit out of the pit all sweaty and gasping for air. It was then that I realized that this show wasn’t going to be a write off. I had to get up in there and see everything for myself so, after grabbing another round of drinks, my brother and I headed up after Year of the Knife’s set.
Next was a band I had never heard prior to last night but had heard their name too many times to count. Jesus Piece is a hardcore band from Philadelphia that is truly making waves. I was anxious to see what the hype was about and, by the time their short set was over and done, it all made sense and I had a new favorite band. Although it seemed like their first song started off a bit rocky (or the sound was still being adjusted, I don’t know– something was off), Jesus Piece blasted through their set with a sense of fury, emotion, and an “I don’t give a fuck– just move” mentality. Within the first couple of songs, a stream of people could be spotted jumping on the stage just to jump off within seconds. Honestly it was hard to spot out the band members at times throughout their set just due to how many audience members were on stage. Jesus Piece induced a sense of chaos throughout the crowd and, whether you went to the show to see them or even having heard of them or not, when their set was done you were left sweating and wanting more. I know it’s only March but these guys will definitely be in the running for best opening band of the year.
Following Jesus Piece was the main attraction for me brother and myself. Terror is a beatdown/hardcore band that has been around since the early 2000’s. These guys are definitely one of the main reasons I got into the hardcore scene. Singer Scott Vogel is one of those people that, although he’s a larger than life when you realize he’s in one of the biggest hardcore bands out there, comes off as just a normal guy that is out there trying to have a good time and is trying to promote everything that hardcore stands for. It’s that feeling of family, the feeling of being able to be whatever you want, move however you want, do whatever you want. Terror and the other hardcore bands like them promote individuality and being true to yourself. Although Scott gave a little spiel about this, these thoughts are things that really don’t need to be said, you can see it in the front couple of rows at a show like last night. He urged the crowd to get up on stage and join them. “This microphone is yours. This stage is yours. Come get it!”
It didn’t matter what your gender, size, color, sexual orientation, or anything was, if you were in the front couple of rows during Terror’s set last night you all had the same mission and mentality. I thought the stream of stage divers during Jesus Piece’s set was insane but it was nothing compared to Terror’s. I honestly wasn’t able to watch the band as much as I had wanted to– I was busy catching bodies, holding people’s hands as they fell to the ground with a heavy thump just hoping that maybe I lessened the blow a little bit. It was non-stop. Bodies, feet, arms all coming hurling towards your head but you can’t duck– then they hit the ground. Everyone around me was busy trying to catch bodies and lead them back into the growing mosh pit that had opened up. As soon as someone fell, we helped them up, gave them a pat on the back, received a nod in return which acts as a “yeah, I’m okay”, and then promptly shoved them back into the pit. To an outsider, this must have looked terrifying and scary and I’m sure my parents are cringing with every word they read but the feeling I got during Terror’s set is something that I frequently dream of. Being a part of a family like that is something you just can’t put into words. Watching as people get on their hands and knees to act as jumping off points for people to get to the stage while other audience members guard them from the hardcore dances that are moving their arms like windmills and doing high kicks– I mean, come on. The intensity and chaos of Terror’s set last night is exactly what I live for. I wish I could see a show like that every night and get that feeling every night but, at the same time, I don’t think my body would be able to handle that.
Following Terror was Knocked Loose. Knocked Loose is a band that seems to be this new brand of hardcore music that, although it has a modern twist, still stays true to the hardcore style. Knocked Loose kept the energy at an all time high for their set and, although I had moved to the back of the venue in order to save myself from a couple more injuries and bruises, it seemed as if the pit had grown with me. A ginormous hole filled majority of the venue and I watched in amazement as kids flew from side to side of the venue during Knocked Loose’s set. Call me old, but I was exhausted and ready for bed. I couldn’t imagine still having enough energy to do what these young kids were doing but power to them. Knocked Loose’s music was loud and fast much like the rest of the night but, like the other bands, they had a unique sound and style that made them stand out from the rest.
Last night was a good old-fashioned hardcore show. Sure, I look like I got in a bit of a spat the bar and I feel like I got run over by a bus but I wouldn’t trade this feeling for anything in the world. Last night was absolutely amazing and attempting to put it into words just doesn’t do it justice.