It Dies Today
20 October 2006
21 October 2006
Being in a band is hard work. No really, it is. You give interviews, you have your pictures taken, you don’t really sleep much, and you have to push your own gear. You know the feeling that you have after a really great show? The feeling of complete and utter exhaustion? Imagine having that six nights a week. That’s what being in a band is like.
I had the privilege of spending forty eight hours with the Never Shave Again Tour. I don’t think that have ever been in the company of nicer gentlemen than I have during those two days.
The Stick-Up, initially, were greeted with a lukewarm response. From the moment they stepped onstage, the crowd begged to be converted. The skeptics and nonbelievers were few and far between by the time they had finished, however. By the end of their set, most in the crowd were jumping and dancing along to the music. Those who were already fans jammed themselves along the barricade and made themselves known; singing and screaming along to every word. It seems as though some of the converted followed the band to the next stop of the tour, Cincinnati, as the crowd there were a bit more responsive than the crowd in Columbus. Those that did follow the band to the next stop were right where they were the first night: either dead center on the barricade or in the middle of the dance floor.
Kill Hannah were, perhaps, the odd man out on this bill. A late minute addition (their previous tour with HIM was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.), they were easily the most dramatic of the evening. Filling the venues both nights with smoke on order to set the mood, the crowd was treated to a show: green laser lights mounted on guitarists’ headstocks, white strobes mounted to guitar bodies, and a singer that took the elements of theatrics, mixed it with a little bit of 1980’s Depeche Mode and made it his very own. One could argue that the only thing that missing was a green laser light on the bottom of Devine’s microphone. Opening ones set with a two minute instrumental track, simply titled Intro, might seem like a bizarre choice to get the crowd moving, but for them, it only worked to set the mood of what was to come. Upon speaking to Devine after their set in Cincinnati, he said that their kids, a term that he uses with great admiration, came out in full force to support them even if their choice of bands they were playing with was a bit different than what they were used to. In truth, the choice might have seemed a bit strange, but once Divine and co. took the stage, they made sure that every person in the room was into them by the time they walked of stage.
Another particularly interesting choice for this tour is New York’s own It Dies Today. The mixing of pop punk, atmospheric eighties modified glam, and horror punk might have seemed like an odd fit, it didn’t seem to faze them one bit. The first night in Columbus was of particular interest to the band. As soon as the house lights were dimmed, the band ran out onstage and it was GO from the first note. They exploded through song after song, and equal mix of their latest release, Sirens and their previous release, The Catiff Choir. It was enough to satisfy old fans and enough to give new fans a taste of what real modern east coast hardcore is. The second night, however, was what hardcore should be. Cincinnati’s own Courage Crew came out to support the band. When the Crew comes out, you know that the set is going to be the best it’s ever been. As soon as the band stepped onstage in Cincinnati, as soon as the first words were sung, the floor opened up, and it didn’t stop until the set was finished. Both nights, in equal parts, were energetic and chaotic, just like the band like it.
There is something to be said about Aiden and the way that they deal with their fans. Being one of the most approachable bands on this tour, it’s no surprise that they were the best received on both nights, perhaps slightly better than headliners Silverstein. Both nights were equally energetic despite prevalent sound issues the second night. One of the main highlights during both sets was the infamous wall of death. The wall, performed during Burn your Friends, though well executed in Columbus, was trumped the second night. WiL walked to the front of the stage and asked that the crowd split down the middle. Everyone knew what was coming next. As soon as he mentioned “gap down the centre”, Courage Crew were already in place moving people back and explaining what was going to happen. WiL was visibly pleased. “I’m not going to have to tell you f—— what’s going to go down, am I?” At that, he had a thirty foot gap from the front of the house to the back of the house. On the count of three, all hell broke loose as the crowd ran towards itself and bodies began to fly. Clearly, one of the most anticipated moments in their set was the debut of a new song in their set. Sounding like an equal mix of the “classic Aiden sound” and a mix of old school punk, the new song gave the crowd a good preview of the record that the band is in the process of writing.
It was not long until headliners Silverstein took the stage. After a brief set change, the crowd was greeted with a mock up of an alley: there were “brick” walls, light boxes, and a backdrop with the city skyline on it. Both nights were greeted with equal admiration as drummer Paul Koehler walked up to his kit from pitch blackness. From the moment singer Shane Told stepped onstage to the moment that he walked off, he exploded across the stage. An equal mix of old and new, Silverstein’s set showed a band who has not only gotten more mature with each show they play, but also a band that has a greater command over their audience. The crowds were hanging on every word Told said, spitting back every syllable fed to them. The band remained consistent over both nights. Columbus was given a little bit of an extra surprise when Wil Francis was brought out to join Silverstein ner the end of their set.
It Dies Today