Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Never Forget


Ian Curtis
May 18, 1980

Converge

Well once again I made that push to be in the front row choir... You'd think that at nearly 30 years of age I would have grown tired of the sweat, loud music and pushing bodies scrambling to interact. I haven't. Victoria and I drove down to SLO on Sunday afternoon to see Converge on their current North American tour. Supporting them were Coalesce, Gaza, Touche Amore and Black Breath.
Late last year I had heard that Southern Lord had just signed a band by the name of Black Breath. They carried the infectious drive of D-Beat but also infused head banging American metal grooves. There EP was on constant rotation in my car for a few months so I was excited to see them be the openers that night. Little did I expect the raw power that was thrust upon me as I headed in the door of Downtown Brew. You were practically forced to head bang to their music as there hands produced these amazing songs.
I ran into an old friend that said please check out the next band, they are from LA and blow apart the stage whenever they are on it. Now as many of you know I don't have the highest things to say about LA or what comes out of there for the most part. I have to admit when I am wrong. Normally when you see a band that you have never listened to before there are lulls in the show. I have to say that these kids put on an emotionally charged dynamic performance that could not stop. Please check Touche Amore out.
Gaza and Coalesce played next, each of them brought there own things to the table. Gaza brought extreme atheist anger. Coalesce, complete loss of self into the moment of music.
Converge came out bare bones, no theatrics at all. They tuned up and they played. passing the mic, throwing their bodies quite literally in the music. Now, what is hardcore to me? I don't know if I have ever put that to words or if I ever could put that to words. It is a sense of place, community and that the same time catharsis. That night Jake passed me the mic and the words that he wrote were my own. I look back to my teenage years and holding the CD's at Tower on Blackstone as a defining moment in my life. Riding with friends to shows, from the East Bay to Sanger and Bakersfield. What Steve, Tyson, Corbin, Eric and Andrea shared with me 14 years ago will always be indelibly written upon my heart. I am a hardcore kid. I am a lifer. I know this now. It's not a mantle or point of pride. It's something that you are, that that you identify with. So as I held Jake's head and he grabbed mine, I knew this is my place and that the world we live in is going to be alright if we all understand that we need to take care of each other and where we live. So with my voice hoarse, my ears shot, eyes swollen from knees and mics being thrust into them in the front row everything faded away because this was, "for the hearts still beating."