By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: The Orpheum, Ybor City/Tampa, Florida–August 11th, 2019
Five bands, one pit, several jerks, and multiple bruises make for a good time – for some. I just have to address this: When did moshing become another word for assault and battery? I’ve seen some pretty rowdy mosh pits before, but this was my first time seeing a few people dominate the floor by windmilling, spin kicking, and in short looking like they were intent on really hurting people? For the first few bands, most people were ignoring admonitions from the bands to close up the big empty space and simply trying to stay away. IMO, not cool, not at all. But judge for yourself!
So, getting back to the bands, Delaware showed off its wares in the form of a hardcore quintet called Year Of The Knife. Recently signed to Pure Noise Records, they’re touring the USA and the world supporting their Ultimate Aggression release. They are going places!
Next up was Sanction, a metal/hardcore band with driving guitars, pounding drums, and screaming/growling vocals – in other words, exactly what the crowd expected and appreciated! Their latest release, on Pure Noise Records (Are you sensing a pattern here?) is Broken in Refraction, a compilation of New York metal madness and something guaranteed to annoy your neighbors if they are over 30 and not a writer for RockAtNight.com! After their set, the crowd was ready to be…Terrorized!
Okay, I just couldn’t resist! As you can see, Terror is a very energetic Los Angeles-based band signed by not only Pure Noise but by Nuclear Blast in Europe, definitely a band to watch – and hear! Their latest release is Total Retaliation, and they’ve been building a following on both sides of the pond since 2002. Made up of Scott Vogel – Vocals, Nick Jett – Drums, Jordan Posner – Guitar, Martin Stewart – Guitar, and David Wood – Bass, they take the term “hardcore” very seriously!
Next up, Counterparts, imported from Ontario, Canada (You know, that big cold suburb of Michigan) on the north side) (Just kidding, eh?). They have been grinding out the punkish sounds since 2007, with current members Brendan Murphy, Adrian Lee (Geddy’s younger brother?), Blake Hardman, Kyle Brownlee, and Tyler Williams. Their latest EP, Private Room, is out on – can you guess? – Pure Noise Records/New Damage Records! They put on a great show, and I’d like to note that it’s great how these bands support each other – the lead singer was wearing a Stick to You Guns shirt! Speaking of which, we were now transported to an anti-tRump rally (which gave me no end of joy) when Stick to Your Guns took the stage!
This band is unabashedly political and progressive. From Orange County, California, they made it very clear between songs that they are not happy about the direction Mango Mussolini is taking our country! Specific references to ICE, the environment, the “alternative facts” culture can be found at their concerts, as well as their social media links. For instance, they’re selling “SMASH I.C.E.” T-shirts, and all proceeds go to @BorderKindness – buy one here: The five members are currently: Jesse Barnett – Vocals, Chris Rawson – Guitar, Josh James – Guitar, Andrew Rose – Bass, and George “Schmitty” Schmitz – Drums, frontman Jesse has been burning up the hardcore scene since 2003, with several membership changes before 2012, from which the band has stabilized. True View is the latest album release, and if you like mixing politics and punk, this one’s for you! merchlimited.com/products/smash
When not in custody, I've been involved with music, photography, and writing my entire life. Ever since I was a young boy and played those silver tunes, I've had the beat, but being a drummer didn't suit me so I became a lead singer, which lasted a few years. Settling down, sort of, I translated my knowledge of audio and glib tongue into mobile emcee work, and my training as a photographer and videographer into a living in the wedding, party, bar/bat mitzvah, and entertainment industry. During this time I also managed to bamboozle my way into a master's degree in writing, worked for a couple of magazines (yes, I took photos for a nudist magazine!), have photographed hotels, done commercial work (shot the cover of Tablet and Capsule magazine), published a few articles, hosted some public access shows (a couple times in drag, but that's another story), and generally made a nuisance of myself until I landed here.