Tour: Stick Tight 2011
Bands: Terror, Stick to Your Guns, Trapped Under Ice, Close Your Eyes, Your Demise, Take Offense
Venue: The Bottom Lounge
So... this was my first real hardcore show. I didn't really know what to expect, but I sure as hell didn't expect the insanity that I got. If you pass up an opportunity to see Terror, you are truly missing out on an incredible show!
Here's my story:
I got to the Bottom Lounge around 5:45, 15 minutes after the doors opened and 15 minutes before the first band came on. My first impression was that there was maybe 20-30 people in the whole venue at the time. Secondly, that everyone knew everyone else. Hardcore is really like this whole family, very different from any other show I've seen. A new person would walk in, and everybody would be give them a high five and a hug, and they would join the group talking. I felt very aloof from the group, but it was interesting to just observe the interactions of the fans. Thirdly, I noticed that there weren't really "scene kids" or "metalheads"- just a bunch of, I guess you would call them "hardcore" guys. You guys know what I'm talking about. Most everyone had the straight edge x's on their hands, and the "under 21" band, even though they were obviously of age. And lastly... nobody was standing by the stage; rather, they were all huddled near the back and sides.
The first band, Take Offense
, were pretty great, traditional hardcore. I was standing by the back and to the side, and the floor was just a mass of everyone hardcore dancing. Now in my past experience, I had only experienced "hardcore dancing" at metalcore and deathcore shows, with stupid kids doing it. This hardcore dancing was totally different; much more violent and expressive, with these older guys doing it, guys who have been involved in the Chicago scene for years and years by my estimation. And yet, oddly, it totally fit the groove of the music. It was really cool just to kind of stand back and watch these guys go at it- the "hardcore dance" was theirs
, they were the generation and group that invented it. Kids nowadays just take it and bastardize it to shitty music. The whole "Keepers of the Faith" motto seemed to make more and more sense to me as I watched everyone; these
were the true fans of hardcore, keeping it alive while all these new scenes popping up nowadays are bastardizing it.
was pretty solid also; they kept trying to get people to come up to the front of the stage but it was still pretty much just a bunch of dancing and some people standing in the back. I need to check out more of their stuff too.
Finally, some more people started to come in for Close Your Eyes
, and I decided it was safe enough to stand on the rail since a couple other people were doing it too. They got a pretty solid reaction from the crowd, and the singer was pretty intense and good. The guitarist looked like he was 16, and couldn't grow facial hair yet.
They were pretty good, but nothing super special. I'll check them out more to make a judgement.
The next band, Trapped Under Ice
, was the real start of the show in my opinion. All I knew about them in the past was their lead singer beating some kid within an inch of his goddamn life
, so I was a little hesitant and scared of them to be honest.
It only took a couple seconds into their first song for me to be converted, though. They were really, really
good hardcore. I loved every second of their performance. The crowd went pretty crazy too, with the first real stagedivers taking people out, and a lot more dancers. It kind of sucked for us up front, since there were only a couple rows of people standing, so they kept taking out people when they jumped. That singer is one jacked motherfucker, too! Unfortunately, they had their set cut short, and he got pissed and stormed off the stage without shaking anyone's hand or anything. Great set, though!
Trapped Under Ice Set (with some good footage of the craziness, not me taking it though):
Half a Person
Gemini (set got cut off after this song)
Next up was one of the main reasons I wanted to come to this show: Stick to Your Guns
. They were every bit as tight as I pictured them to be live! Unfortunately, they didn't quite get the same crazy reaction as Trapped Under Ice, which kind of sucked, but the people up front like me loved them a lot. Jesse addressed the crowd at one point, saying, "I know we aren't the most popular band on this tour. We don't come from the streets like some of these other guys. I'm not gonna lie, we all come from nice suburban neigborhoods. But you know what? I still love
this music. I love it." Really smart, nice guy. Amber was great live; Jesse put the mic in my face for the beginning!
And of course, everyone did go insane for This is More. Right as the whole "Rest Assured..." breakdown began, I was the first one to jump on stage, and Jesse handed me the mic first!
It was really, really fun. The only problem was everyone was up on the stage that was in the front, so we didn't necessarily have anyone to stagedive onto to get off. Anyway, another super solid performance.
STYG Set (Something along these lines; I might have fudged it up a bit):
What Goes Around
Where the Sun Never Sleeps
Enough Is Enough
Part of Me
We're What Seperates the Heart From the Heartless
Some Kind of Hope
This is More
(with me grabbing the mic first!
And finally... TERROR
I didn't know what to expect. I really didn't. But when Terror took the stage, the crowd erupted in a manner I haven't quite seen before in a band, ever. I don't know how to quite describe it, but I took a bunch of good videos of the madness. Check them out! Stagediving beyond stagediving; and some of the craziest dancing I've ever seen. At one point, there must have been at least
100 people all over the floor throwing down like madmen (and women)! I'm not going to lie, I dabbled a bit in the foreign ways of this mysterious dance. I figured, "why the hell not? Everyone else is doing it; they aren't fag scene kids; and this is TERROR for chrissakes, one of the biggest bands in hardcore!"
I appreciate the hardcore dance more for what its made for: hardcore punk music. Nowhere there is the word "metal" involved. The mosh is the ways of death metal and thrash metal, while hardcore has this other unique element to it. And after seeing it live and experiencing it firsthand, I understand
it. Never in a million years would I think I could say that. So to any metalheads here who hate the dance: go to a real
hardcore show. Watch what happens, stand in the back even. Its really an amazing sight to behold!
Scott Vogel is also a hilarious and awesome frontman. More than once, he shouted out between songs, "LET ME SEE THOSE TITTIES, LADIES!"
Terror Set (with links to some pretty insane footage I took):
One With the Underdogs
Life and Death
Out of My Face
Your Enemies are Mine
Lowest of the Low
Hell And Back
Spit My Rage
Always the Hard Way
Keep Your Mouth Shut
Keepers of the Faith
Oh, and if you weigh more than 300 pounds, do us a fucking favor and don't stage dive
. I saw multiple people get flattened by a pancake when this one idiot kept diving. The crowd just can't take that.
I ended up picking up a "Keepers of the Faith" Terror shirt and a Stick to Your Guns CD (it was only $5, why the hell not). And I am proud to say that I am now a big fan of hardcore! Seeing this show... It was a really eye-opening experience. I passed up seeing Sepultura the same night as this, and I don't regret it for one second. If you can catch this tour at all still, or you can catch Terror at all in the future, I highly, HIGHLY recommend it!
Although I don't think anything could top Dillinger Escape Plan this year for me, this show came really, really close. Its going to be hard for me to put together a year-end list!
And as always, thanks for reading my review! I appreciate it a ton.