Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Manbeast, Raindance, Bandit and Triumph in Wilmington

Mornings like this one tell me I have a problem. I've barely been awake fifteen minutes and I'm writing a review of a show that took place in some kids garage. Yet, it's kind of beautiful. Last night I saw four great bands (I hoped to see more, but got lost on the way their) and had the kind of night you don't forget. After all, how many shows do you go to that have a bonfire going on just outside? The sort of quintessentially American show that I still haven't gotten quite used to, this sort of performance demonstrates the pure liberation found in this type of music.

Manbeast were the first band to go up (That I saw at least) and they had the kind of wonderfully insane energy that makes hardcore so enjoyable. Unfortunately, I could barely hear the vocals, but that didn't disguise how goddamn angry these guys are. While they're not necessarily old school punk some of the songs certainly have that vibe and it helps to create a sort of otherworldly experience that is in fact accentuated by taking place in a tiny garage out in the suburbs. They are speaking to the spirit of the American youth and that in and of itself is beautiful.

Raindance are the first band I remember clearly. Standing in the front row as they were about to kick off, I lean over to my friend Jack and ask "Do the guys suck?" and was pleased to say they did not. In fact they tore the roof off the place with a rather poignant sonic attack. Their bodies moving in unison they guided the crowd into a a strange new world, one marked by a sense of freedom from the oppression of a culture we have grown to hate. It sometimes takes a while for me to really start getting off at a show, and there was a clear transition for me during Raindance's set, somewhere along the line, I started to get off and go nuts.

Bandit were the third band I saw, this now being the fourth or fifth time I've seen them. As always, they delivered a wonderfully tight and brutal set. With no clear setlist in mind, they blazed through what they had prepared, their energetic stage antics keeping the crowd fully engaged. By the end of the set, they had won over everyone in the room and it seemed like things were going to explode. Ridiculously loud, Bandit understand how to win through a combination of songwriting skill and ungodly volume. When Jack left his guitar on an amp to feed back to close out the set and simply frontmanned I got the impression that perhaps the band might be even better with him just singing and another configuration of musicians behind him,,, As is though, Bandit were fun to watch, it's exciting to see this youth crew rising up to conquer the world!

Finally it was time for local melodic hardcore heroes Triumph to close out the night. Unafraid to embrace more stereotypically metal elements like guitarmonies these guys have a decisive energy guiding them forward. They manage to capture a lot of emotion in their live performance too. The break that featured only screams and acoustic guitars was especially touching. With their penultimate song, one that had a crowd singalong I got a sense for how much they meant for this scene. Their attitude of perpetual gratefulness was a pleasure to watch too. At the end of the day, they gave us a perfect closer, something the crowd could bond over, leaving us together, all friends.

This is the kind of evening that speaks to the perpetual magic and heart rending glory of hardcore and its related genres. As I sit here in bed, now a trifle more awake jamming Pentagram and wondering about what is to come I can't help but feel confident in my knowledge that, if nothing else, I will always have last nights stripped down DIY magic to guide me through the darkness. The four bandsd I saw allowed me to get into something greater, something deeper, and find a part of myself in some kids garage in Wilmington.

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