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Terror Reigns Over Hardcore

terror_1terror_2terror_strengthforareasonterror_wisdominchainsterror_wisdominchains2Friday, November 3, 2006
Terror / Wisdom in Chains / Strength for a Reason / Hostages
The Championship, Lemoyne, PA

At long last: a hardcore show.  I’m still not quite sure exactly why I get so excited about these things.  Maybe it’s the perpetual possibility of being carted off in an ambulance to get facial reconstructive surgery after being pulverized by an errant foot to the face.  Or perhaps it’s the seemingly innumerable hardcore jerks that come out of the woodwork to yell things about brotherhood and getting drunk together: “YEAAAAAHHHHHH BROTHERS!’#!’# YEEEAAAHHHHH WE’RE WASTED!’#!.”  Whatever the reason, they’re way more fun to photograph than any other type of music out there, guaranteed.

I’ll admit it, most hardcore sounds more or less the same.  I mean, you have tough guy hardcore, or hardcore with more chugga chugga breakdowns, or super fast or super slow hardcore, but essentially, it’s the same.  The first band to play, Hostages, did absolutely nothing for me at all.  It wasn’t that they were lacking musically, they were just, well, incredibly boring and disconnected.  They put on a lackluster performance with little to no audience participation or involvement at all.  In fact, I don’t even think there was much band member participation either.  After said boring performance, anything would have looked better to me; however, the next band exceeded my expectations.

Now, I always like to support the local music scene by adding bands from my area on myspace that friend request me, but I’ve never actually seen or listened to the majority of them, sadly.  Strength for a Reason was one of these bands, so I was anxious to actually experience them, and I must say that I’m glad that I finally did.  They far outshone the band preceding them – by a long shot.  Without boxing them into a single category, they played a version of tough guy hardcore, showing off their musical prowess and energetic performance, with much more crowd participation than I had imagined for a relatively local band.  They were also added to this show at the last minute (due partially to the fact that Set Your Goals backed out for some reason), so kudos to them for dropping everything to come play.

My roommate loves the next band to play; Wisdom in Chains.  In fact, they were the only reason that she attended this show, so it’s safe to say that I was excited to see them.  It’s also safe to say that I was not disappointed, and the only real blemish in her musical taste is liking New Found Glory.  But I forgive her.  Wisdom in Chains, despite missing one of their guitarists, managed to put on an exceptional performance.  Like Terror, they too thrive on sing-a-longs gigantic group pile-ons fighting over the mic.  Unlike most hardcore bands, they incorporated several intricate guitar solos into their music, and I was informed that it sounds much better with both guitarists present. Hey, I was pretty impressed with just one.

The final band, Terror, is probably one of the most noted and hyped bands on hardcore today.  Their reputation precedes them and they lived up to it, in my opinion.  I think I nearly died about 17 times, and if it wasn’t for my boyfriend (who also doubles as bodyguard at time, due to his linebacker like stature) I would have probably had a mic stand through my forehead and a couple broken arms.  That’s right, a couple.  The vocalist was very enthusiastic, to say the least, even breaking into a two step several times while onstage.  His enthusiasm was catchy, as the show attendees became progressively more violent as their set went on.  Musically, Terror is nothing special in the realm of hardcore, but because of the weight that they carry in the music industry (at least in the circles that I travel in) the sheer excitement and audience participation that they bring to their performances is enough to go see them.  So if you enjoy things like semi-friendly violence, sing-a-longs, and slightly drunken debauchery, Terror will not disappoint.

-Allison Frank