Remember when your grandpa would tell you it only cost a quarter to see a “moving picture” when he was a teen? Or how he used to walk five miles a day just to get to school? Well, if we make it to that ripe old age, we’ll probably be saying kooky stuff, too. Here are some phrases you may find yourself groaning out in the nursing home, if you make it that far.
“The goal was exposing fans to a variety of bands and we did just that.”
What happens when a show gets cancelled? You turn it into an all day music festival instead. At least, that’s what Dean Santa, 23, of Staten Island did, and that decision has started to put some life into the local scene. Even if it was all by accident.
In the cozy, dim, musty room known as The Studio at Webster Hall, a frenzied soldout crowd gathered on December 12th to let loose and blow off steam to the varying hardcore sounds of Kublai Khan, Fit For An Autopsy, Counterparts and The Acacia Strain on their Tune Low Die Slow Tour. Leaving out the inefficiency of the venue’s staff, which kept concert goers waiting to enter for over forty five minutes, The Studio is the perfect host for shows like this. There was no shortage of stage climbers, crowd surfers and mic grabbers. The low, crowded stage and the lack of barricades help make shows here intimate, family affairs.
My night began with Kublai Khan, although local New York band Newcomer was supposed to have played ahead of them. I will never know. The opinionated Texan band named after a merciless Mongol emperor blasted their hopeful message of change and togetherness without over-the-top showmanship. As much as I love watching manic stage antics, Matt Honeycutt’s (vocals) onstage presence is enough to hold anyone’s attention without it. This band is about what needs to be said, and Honeycutt says it well. Bodies went flying and when Kublai Khan performed “Color Code” there could not have been more energy flowing through The Studio.
Fit For An Autopsy came on next and the room could not have felt smaller. The eclectic combination of deathcore blast beats and melodic death metal grooves saw the pit expand and consume the vast majority of the space. You could feel the anger radiating from it and the stage. There was no room in The Studio for anything other than the palpable disgust in humanity that is a mainstay in FFAA’s music.
Fit For An Autopsy’s endurance is remarkable. Joe Badolato (vocals) steadily released thunderous low growls as his bandmates furiously played their speeding instrumentals through the set with minimal pauses, one of which was to call a fight that had broken out as “pussy shit” that no one wanted to see, and another to announce “Out to Sea” to a cheering crowd.
The cheers continued as the lively, bouncy Counterparts excited The Studio with their relentless energy and upbeat sounds. I didn’t know what to expect from the Canadians, but I wasn’t disappointed. Their metalcore sounds were in cheery (well, cheerier) opposition to the lower, heavier bands before them. The most impressive aspect of their set was the crowd’s insanity. I can’t remember the last time I saw a band that wasn’t headlining make the entire venue move.
The crowd turned it up almost to the ceiling when Massachusetts deathcore veterans The Acacia Strain unleashed their hopeless, godless and ruthless auditory punishment. Vincent Bennett (vocals) lugged around the stage with an empty, crazed stare spitting up and down, throwing water on the crowd. When he spoke between songs he sounded honest and caring. During songs, he was the embodiment of hate. When he bellowed, “I am the end of the world,” he was surrounded by fans on stage shouting it as rabidly as he was. Other songs played were recent and old favorites including “JFC” and “4×4” as well as songs from Coma Witch. When you’re only playing hits the crowd, will always lose their shit.
Bennett walked off stage leaving the rest of the band to cool down the crowd with instrumentals. As I walked out I passed a guy with a blood-covered fist showing a friend, claiming none of the blood was his. That’s what an evening in a cramped room with hardcore bands will do to you. The tour is now over, but three out of the four bands are on the rise. Keep an eye out for Kublai Khan, Fit For An Autopsy, and Counterparts while you continue enjoying The Acacia Strain.
by David Marulanda
On a day dubbed “the worst fuckin’ day of the year” by Senses Fail vocalist Buddy Nielsen (a day otherwise known to NYC residents as Santacon), Silverstain, Senses Fail, Hundredth and Capsize played the main room at Webster Hall. Fans stood wall to wall as anthems new and old blasted through the speakers, such as Hundredth‘s “Break Free,” Senses Fail’s “Bite To Break Skin,” and Silverstein’s “My Heroine.” Check out some of the photos from the event below and tag us in some of yours on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/whatever else if you were there that night!
Photos by Alex Chan
A show like this can only be described in one word, and that is “phenomenal.” The lineup was diverse, yet also appealing as all the bands fit perfectly together despite their differences in sound and genre. These bands included The Plot In You, Cruel Hand, Secrets, Chelsea Grin and, of course, The Amity Affliction. Ranging from hardcore to metalcore and even deathcore, this show was entertaining throughout every set played.
Unfortunately I missed the opening band, The Plot In You, but talking with some fans and other concert goers I gathered their performance was nothing less than amazing. Although many said that TPIY’s set was way too short and wish they were able to play more, I spoke with Landon Tewers (vocalist) and discussed news of a headlining tour that will be announced soon! So don’t worry, their longer sets will come. Following them was Cruel Hand. I felt as if I was thrown back into 2007 listening to hardcore music while being angsty in high school. I mean that in every positive way. Cruel Hand had an old school hardcore vibe yet one that still fits in today’s scene. Definitely a blast from the past, yet a pleasant one!
Next up was Secrets, who follow a similar pattern and style to other bands in the metalcore genre, but they nailed their performance. The crowd went wild and it was definitely one to remember. With a new album coming out in December (Everything That Got Us Here), they definitely gained many fans and followers with their set. Whether it was the powerful screams or pleasant cleans, the balance seemed just right. But when it comes to deathcore, Alex Koehler of Chelsea Grin knows just the perfect balance between lows and highs. CG destroyed with their set and the pit went berserk. The idly standing viewers in Irving Plaza quickly transformed into an ocean of destruction. It was an incredible sight to not only witness, but to also be part of. They definitely paved the way for The Amity Affliction by getting us all pumped with classic and new Grin songs, even covering Korn’s “Right Now,” which got plenty of love from the fans.
It was the set everyone had been waiting for as the whole venue filled to the brim–in terms of capacity and excitement–as The Amity Affliction took the stage. The crowd constantly sung along while the vocals switched between Joel Birch’s piercing screams and Ahren Stringer’s cleans. It was a perfect set covering old and new songs, yet no matter what was played the crowd remained in harmony with each other and the band throughout. The Amity Affliction showed us why they deserved their position as the headlining band. Overall, the concert was an incredible experience and one to look back on in hopes that the next show attended will be just as amazing, yet will probably be hard to top. But for now, we will dwell on our smartphone videos and pictures reminiscing on how great The Amity Affliction was until they return back to the U.S.
By Justin LaMot
While sitting at the bottom of the stairs in Webster Hall on the October 30th date of the Hate Me Tour, we got to ask vocalists John Ritter and Michael Swank of Myka Relocate some questions about Halloween, some of their craziest life experiences, and their new record The Young Souls. The record had officially been released via Razor & Tie the day of this interview, as was headliners Escape The Fate‘s new record, Hate Me, via Eleven Seven Music. Watch the video below to see what these dudes are like pre-show and learn about Swank’s alter ego, “Crop Top Mike”. Oh, and a dude in a red leather jester outfit walks through the video at some point, too. Unfortunately his jester hat is out of frame, but he was totally the star of this one.
Saturday the 24th, on a most pleasant October evening at the Gramercy Theatre, Stray From The Path unleashed their frenzied, opinionated brand of hardcore. Opening acts Deez Nuts, Major League, Being As An Ocean, and Comeback Kid had the crowd riled up and on their feet first.
As soon as “Outbreak,” Stray From The Path’s set opener, came on, fists and kicks started flying. The energy in the pit was nothing other than rabid and the atmosphere was violently endearing. There was a cozy, familiar vibe. The audience was having fun, and so was SFTP.
A little less than half of SFTP’s stage time was devoted to tracks from Subliminal Criminals, while the remainder was reserved for old hits. “Badge and A Bullet” and its sequel made the cut. So did “Bring it Back to the Streets,” as performed by Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld and Stray From the Path’s Drew York. “Outbreak” and “Damien” were also in the mix. York was passionately moving and jumping around the stage, but his voice wasn’t projecting much. Every now and then he’d burst out of an almost mumble with furious and loud lyrics that reminded me of why I like the band in the first place. It was disappointing to not have him be as clear and enunciate as well as he does on record, but you don’t necessarily go to a hardcore show for the singing. The music is important and so is feeling comfortable letting out pent up anger. Stray From The Path deliver accordingly.
“First World Problem Child” was a crowd pleaser, eliciting shouts of “shut the fuck up” to assist York with the chorus. At every opportunity to get in on the action, the crowd was jumping over itself to reach an outstretched hand to the mic and add their voices to York’s. The evening ended with one more song, but it was Stray From the Path who offered to perform an extra one instead of the crowd demanding it. All in all, the performance suggests this is a band you want to see if you’re a fan of punishing pits along with loud and fast hardcore beats. It’s not a band you want to see if you are expecting them to sound like their recorded works, lyrically or even musically. The sound is much, much rawer live.
by David Marulanda
Kayo Dot self-describes as “avant goth”, “progressive experimental doom”, and “abstract modern composition”. A bit outside the realm of mainstream metal, but they’ve got a following of their own. So much so that member Toby Driver had his own six night residency at The Stone in New York City this past August, featuring Kayo Dot and some of his other musical projects.
Guest writer Brad Cryan attended the event and reviewed his experiences there in this six part piece. You’ll find the first installment featuring maudlin of the Well below, and the rest will follow throughout the week over on our Tumblr page.
TOBY DRIVER AT THE STONE
by Brad Cryan
Dozens of young White men line an unassuming East Village block. Some passersby do double takes at all the lanky, septum-pierced, black-clad misfits. What the hell is going on here? One man, curious but not shocked, engages me in conversation.
“This used to be a bar called The World. I used to come here all the time. Lot of good Black music, Latino music – everything. It really was the world.”
“Someone got shot. They shut it down. Heh. The shot that shut The World down. Haven’t been in there since.”
8/25/15: maudlin of the Well
This dingy little room on the corner of 2nd Street and Avenue C was repurposed some years ago to the chagrin of the surrounding Black and Latino community, but it’s not finished making history. This week, it plays host to a six-night residency and career retrospective of metalhead, singer-songwriter and all around avant-garde weirdo, Toby Driver. His first band, maudlin of the Well (the M is lowercase), plays its first show in 14 years tonight.
Towards the beginning of the set, the band plays “Girl With A Watering Can,” a longish song that starts off quietly but builds into massive metal riffage. The sound is shit, and the band turns knobs in a continuous war against feedback, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that every cell in every body is vibrating. maudlin’s sound features fleeting moments of delicacy that cut through their aggressive metal aesthetic – a delicacy that Driver would devote his entire post-maudlin career to exploring. But maudlin sounds best at their most elemental.
Toby rarely does encores, but this is a special night. The last song that maudlin of the Well ever plays, ever, is “Birth Pains Of Astral Projections,” a prog odyssey from their early days. This time, it isn’t just a song. It’s a reconciliation between brothers.
Before Northlane took the stage at Gramercy Theatre on August 20th, we caught up with bassist Alex Milovic to ask him questions about new album Node, Egyptian mythology, and his favorite places to tour in the US. (As there is no video allowed in the venue, we had to do this one in yet another doorway.) Check out the video interview below and be sure to give Node a listen if you haven’t already!
Atmospheric metalcore had a night at Gramercy Theatre in NYC last Thursday, August 20th when Northlane headlined a show with supporting acts Like Moths To Flames, In Hearts Wake and Oceans Ate Alaska. When he wasn’t busy shaking things up in the pit, photographer Alex Chan was on the scene snapping photos of the Aussies in Northlane and the Ohio gents in LMTF. Check out the gallery below!
All photos by Alex Chan.