Tag Archives: show review

LIVE SHOTS: Famous Last Words, Manafest Hit Trenton, NJ

Famous Last Words and Manafest hit the Championship Bar & Grill in Trenton, NJ May 9th; a venue splattered top to bottom with graffiti, plastered with band stickers and decorated with eclectic memorabilia (rusted bike handlebars, flowers, Sherlock Holmes tales, etc.). Check out some photos from their passionate performances right here!

READ MORE: TOP TEN ‘TWILIGHT ZONE’ EPISODES WITH FAMOUS LAST WORDS

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LIVE SHOTS: Bayside, The Menzingers, Sorority Noise

On August 19th, the same day that Bayside released their seventh studio album, Vacancy, the band stopped by the PlayStation Theater in New York City with support from The Menzingers and Sorority Noise

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Beartooth, Sylar at NYC ‘Aggressive’ Album Release Show

Queens, New York band Sylar opened the show at Webster Hall for Beartooth‘s album release show and definitely got the crowd amped with their rap-infused vocals and heavy instrumentals.  Being locals to the New York scene, Sylar were definitely an amazing choice to open the night. Their I-don’t-give-a-fuck (clearly from New York) attitude was a huge hit with the audience.

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LIVE SHOTS: BTBAM, August Burns Red & Good Tiger

WEBSTER HALL, NYC – On the last day of their tour together (April 17th), I went to see August Burns Red, Between the Buried and Me and Good Tiger. I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t do my homework. I had no clue what Good Tiger was, who was in it, or what they sound like. The groovy, almost funky, sometimes metalcore, always catchy sounds came fast and unexpectedly. Elliot Coleman’s high pitched singing mostly stayed constant even when the instrumentals started picking up the pace. This was the perfect melodic opener to Between the Buried and Me’s rhythmic brand of progressive metal.

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LIVE SHOTS: Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Cryptopsy, Abysmal Dawn

­Cannibal Corpse, one of if not the the most popular death metal bands of all time, sold out New York City’s Irving Plaza on February 16th with guests Obituary, Cryptopsy, and Abysmal Dawn. If you’ve never been to a metal show before, one of the biggest stereotypes about the metal scene is 100% true: There is a LOT of hair.

Continue reading LIVE SHOTS: Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Cryptopsy, Abysmal Dawn

Live Review: The Amity Affliction at Irving Plaza 10.23.15

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Photo by Justin LaMot

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!

Photo via Justin LaMot
Justin LaMot with The Plot In You

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

Live Shots: Defeater, Four Year Strong at Gramercy Theatre

Defeater

An acoustic guitar set, a 90s inspired grunge band, a hardcore band, and a pop punk act all played the same show Oct. 6th in New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. It felt like four different shows in one, or a really diverse variety show. Needless to say, I got nothing I was expecting.

Elder Brother–or apparently only the singer, Dan Rose, without the band–opened the Tuesday night show with acoustic guitar songs and some jokes while he tuned his guitar. Odd, because I was there for Defeater and I was expecting nothing but Massachusetts hardcore. As he began playing I braced myself for the worst, but Rose was definitely not bad. Elder Brother is worth checking out if you need some slower, softer music.

Superheaven, which can easily be called a Nirvana copycat, came on next with some catchy, grungy tunes. Nothing you haven’t heard before and I was getting restless for some heavy shit, not to mention the air conditioning was on full blast on a chilly October evening. I wanted to see movement.

Then Defeater came on fast and hard. Most bands don’t sound like their recordings during live performances. Defeater is no exception. Drums generally overpower vocals at live events and sometimes the vocals suffer without the magic of post-production. Defeater is an exception in this case. This was one of the best performances I have seen. Derek Archambault’s impassioned screaming was loud and clear. His voice took over the Gramercy and commanded the crowd’s attention and movement. The drums, which sometimes seem like a distant background on their digital tracks, crashed and battered through the rhythmic guitars louder than expected. Drummer Joe Longobardi was mesmerizing by himself, enjoying the moment and lost in his own little world of a drum kit.

Aside from being harder and stronger live than through my headphones, the visuals greatly added to Defeater’s performance. Archambault was like an angry Energizer bunny two-stepping, hopping around non-stop, and crushing the airwaves with a powerful, bewitching voice in front of a mock stained glass church window. The lights transitioned red, yellow and white adding a churchlike perspective to their set, about half of which was composed of songs from their latest album, Abandoned.

Following the awe-inspiring Defeater came Boston pop punk headliners, Four Year Strong. The crowd had grown during the break between bands and was itching to leave its feet. In my experience, the unlikeliest bands cause the most ruckus. Song after song the crowd surged and jumped and thrashed as intensely if not more so than at a heavier band’s show. They, like Defeater, are much better live. You could feel the connection between band and audience and it was contagious. I couldn’t help but like what I was seeing, even though I don’t like pop punk.

This is a tour you don’t want to miss if you want a show experience unlike what you’re accustomed to. At the very least, come for Defeater and witness one of the best hardcore bands currently out there.

Review by David Marulanda. Photos by Alexander Chan. 

The Ongoing Concept Play The Place 06.22.15

Photo by Alexander Chan.
Show booked by Hollow Grounds Booking. Photo by Alexander Chan.

“Hey, where you going?”

“The Place.”

If you had that conversation with someone, they would probably think you were being intentionally vague or even rude. But no, The Place is actually the name of a one of a kind venue in Brooklyn, NY. It’s the kind of place that, as Jack Sparrow would say, “can only be found by those who already know where it is”; or, by the signpost of kids in black band t-shirts standing outside.

To the unknowing eye, The Place is nothing more than a pizza joint/bar. If you’re a hardcore kid looking for a show, however, the employees will nod you through a door toward the hidden venue in the back, where DIY locals frequently go. The deep human-sized dents in the wall and the amount of bro hugs people give each other will tell you that this room has seen a lot of bands and a lot of familiar faces mosh through it. The wood floor and wood left wall will tell fans of The Ongoing Concept that it’s the perfect place for them to play some new tracks off their latest record, Handmade.

Photo by Alexander Chan.
Photo by Alexander Chan.

The album that takes DIY to a whole new level, Handmade is a title that describes the process of how TOC made their new work. In our interview with vocalist/guitarist Dawson Scholz, he tells the tale of how the band literally chopped down a tree to make all of the instruments by hand for their most recent tracks. It was in this room half made of wood with instruments entirely made of wood that The Ongoing Concept banged out new songs like “Unwanted” and “Soul” to something like 20 or 30 kids. The low body count was no matter, however, as the intimate number made for an up close and personal floor show. And for those of you who have never seen TOC live before (like I hadn’t), you don’t know up close and personal until Kyle Scholz is screaming wild-eyed two centimeters in front of your face with his shirt off and leaving a puddle of sweat at your feet. “I’m sorry if I sweat or spit on you,” he says calmly after a song. “I’m just trying to have fun.”

The band finished with crowd favorite “Cover Girl,” and the word “insane” does not adequately say all that needs to be said about these last few minutes with them. The whole room went berserk with kids unafraid of marching up to the mic and getting just as much in Kyle’s face as he was in theirs. The room reverberated with cries of “Stop being the print of someone else’s painting,” and the echoes of the end rang out.

As for the opening bands, Heroes and Outlands were two whose live performance stood out, showcasing great energy and crowd involvement. Heroes’ set brought the sense of community you crave when you think of local hardcore, while Outlands members bounced from wall to wall like an epic and chaotic game of pong. Despite having recently released a rather successful album, the energy dipped low and got pretty depressing during Dayseeker’s set. Lastly, on the whole, the attendance of bands whose sets had finished was rather spotty. There’s such a thing as show etiquette, folks. You stay for all the bands, not just one or two, and not just your own.

Overall, HXC Magazine‘s night at The Place was a fun reminder of why we became so dedicated to the hardcore scene in the first place. You don’t need a room with hundreds of people to make something special happen. You just need good people who aren’t afraid to get a little weird.

Motionless In White Play NYC’s Irving Plaza

Photo by Natasha Van Duser
Photo by Natasha Van Duser

There’s something almost off-putting about watching Motionless In White frontman, Chris Motionless, be happy.  The gothcore vocalist has been publicized time and time again for his dark, brooding and angry rants either in his music or on his blogs. So when it came time to watch Motionless’ set at the New York date of the Beyond the Barricade Tour, seeing a smiling Chris Motionless graciously thanking the crowd for selling out the venue back to back and laughing pleasantly in awe of his fans was a true spectacle to see.

But Motionless and the rest of his band have a reason to be so full of life on stage after the great critical reception of Reincarnate, their third full-length and redemption to their prior release, Infamous.  The fact of the matter is that in times when Motionless In White may have fallen short in part to strange recording choices or imitations of industrial bands and Marilyn Manson, their live show will always blow you away.  Now with a record even I feel I can stand behind out on shelves and iTunes, the Motionless crew should be enjoying every last second of their stage time.  And hot damn, did they blow me away.

Whether they were playing throwback classics like “Abigail” or newer tracks like “Reincarnate,” every track felt like a theatrical performance on steroids. The show even featured cameos from the lovely Ash Costello of New Years Day and Spencer Charnas of Ice Nine Kills. Halfway through the set their logo backdrop even fell to the ground revealing a second and highly haunting image of bassist Ghost screen shot from the “Break The Cycle” music video.

It’s clear that when Motionless In White write their music they also prepare each track to work into their live show. That’s why so many have great call and response moments.  From screaming “D-E-A-D” for “Dead As Fuck” to fan favorite “America” (A-M-E-R-I-C-A!!!) the band held the audience captivated by their performance even when the breakdowns weren’t as hard- hitting.

Though Chris Motionless got a little chatty throughout his set, it was acceptable since he was in no way preaching to the crowd.  He spent every second behind the mic filled with genuine gratitude, constantly thanking his fans for getting his band to play an amazing sold out show. When they came out to play their encore, “Devil’s Night,” you can only imagine how hard the crowd went to show their gratitude for one hell of performance.