It’s been a while since I have been excited about a Metalcore show. Now don’t get me wrong; I enjoy a wide variety of metal to hardcore. It’s my head banging, air guitar squealing, driving-while-double-kicking, throat callusing, wish-I-was-a-rock star music. But I’m not going to lie when I say that lately I have enjoyed getting back to my metal roots by listening to everything from Iron Maiden to Guns & Roses.
I have also been listening to some new indie projects that are combining much of melody I love with the technicality I crave. All that to say it had been far too long since I had the chance to shake my hips in the pit. Upon hearing about the SolidState/Ferret Music Silver Bullet Tour at the Key Club on Sunset in Hollywood , I was nothing short of excited.
Just when you thought there couldn’t be another great metalcore band on the scene, along came Destroy The Runner. Hailing from San Diego , California , this five piece power house was recently signed to Solid-State records. They meld technical guitars with powerful breakdowns, burly growls with high screams, and melodic vocals over a tight rhythm section. Make sure to arrive in time to see these guys. Their stage presence accompanied by their palpable love for what they do will make you and your friends kick of the show on the right foot. Keep an eye out for these guys as their first album drops on September 12th.
Next up was Ferret’s Legeia out of Massachusetts . To be fair, let me preface this by saying that its been a while since I have really liked a new hardcore band. So my first reaction was that of disappointment in their sound as they seemed like organized noise in strange time signatures, which is not usually my preferred cup of tea. Nevertheless as their set continued I was able to break down the barriers I put up (especially the reinforced concrete barricade that was constructed upon first glance of the lead singer’s backwards Boston Red Sox hat and inked biceps that would crush my head) and was able to enjoy their stop and start song layouts with their naughty breakdowns. Add a little stage presence and I didn’t doubt that their hometown shows throw down. Ultimately I was able to be challenged by the bands ambiance and reminded why hardcore exists. Legeia is a solid east coast hardcore band pretending to be nothing else, and that, above all, deserves your respect.
The venue had filled to near capacity and it was now a struggle to maintain your square foot of standing space as August Burns Red took the stage. Talk about an unassuming group of guys, dressed in shorts, loose jeans, and flip flops they definitely let their music speak for itself. From extremely technical guitars and bass following suit to the powerful break downs and blood curdling screams, I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys recorded their CD in one take. Their overall showmanship coupled with the smiles and genuine good time feel was definitely positively experienced by the crowd. If you like your metal tough and your breakdowns rough, ABR got more than enough.
It was a nice change of pace when Scary Kids Scaring Kids out of Phoenix, AZ took the stage. They are a high energy band with a live show to reckon with. Picture this: a keyboardist running around stage pounding his chest to the beat of their anthemic post-hardcore songs while the drummer kicks out his left foot when keeping the high hat open as both guitarists shred while exchanging back-up vocal parts and the lead singer shakes from side to side with his eyes close. Probably not doing their live show justice but may be worth picturing while listening on their Purevolume page. With harmonious vocals you can understand and the cherry on top of a powerful scream, this was a band that has mastered a very full sound while not sounding too crowded. Their set went a little long but by and large won me over.
By now it was late and I was tired of fighting the crowd. As the lights went black I knew the time had come for the main event. Not a soul had left the room. With a mellow blacked out intro, the tours headliner Haste The Day took the stage. The long time favorites in the Hardcore/Metal community know how to get the job done. Due to the dancey breakdowns and catchy lead and backup vocals, these guys exuded a confidence a passion for what they do. With the high energy stage presence and some amazing, dare I say perfect, musical performance they stole the hearts of every Metal lover in the crowd.
They even played my favorite song, “Blue” off their first disc released on Solid-State titled “Burning Bridges.” Most notably was the bands ability to sound near album quality. Haste the Day has been doing it strong for Solid-State and, by the looks of it, will continue to do so for a long time. This was the best show I have seen in ages. If you like metal check out The Silver Bullet Tour on www.solidstaterecords.com and check these bands out.
Words and photos by Shayne Garcia