Aaron Goff ’12
The Water Front Tavern in Holyoke is known for having really tough shows, but the concert they hosted November 20th definitely takes the cake. On November 20th the “To Catch A Predatour” came to the Water Front. The tour’s bands consisted of Gaza, The Contortionist, Born Low, The Red Chord, The Acacia Strain, and Terror. The night was full of pile ons, 2 stepping, mongo stomping, windmills, and most importantly, stage dives.
Born Low was the first band to go on. They come from Albany, NY, bringing an old school, early 90’s hardcore sound. Their amazing stage presence made for a really enjoyable set. It seemed like this was Born Low’s first time playing the Water Front because no one was moshing and only a few people were singing along. Their set only consisted of about six songs, but those six songs made a major impact; a lot of people lined up to grab one of their Cd’s after the performance.
The next band to go on was The Contortionist. This band was absolutely amazing. The weren’t anything like the other bands that played this show. Their genre of music was math-core. Now, you may find yourself asking yourself what exactly is math-core. It is a genre of music that incorporates math while still being hardcore. What I mean by math isn’t that they sing songs about pi or logarithms, but they are very technical. They use math to figure out how to make their music sound like chaos, but actually have it make sense by simultaneously playing on off beats and being really organized. Hayden Durand, member of the Hopkins Senior class, and I joked about how you can tell whether or not a band was math-core or not. At on point Hayden said, “You know a band plays math-core if one or more members has a wrist watch and is not wearing a suit” to which I said, “Or if they sweep pick to warm up”. The band consisted of two amazing guitarist’s (both wearing wrist watches, not accompanied by suits might I add), a great bassist, a drummer, and a singer who also played a synthesizer in some songs. They played about six or seven songs, all of which were very thought out and methodical.
As Gaza came on, all the metal kids rushed to the front. Gaza is a metal-core band that hails from Utah. When they came on, I was a bit confused because the singer mumbled something about Nancy Pelosi. The only way to describe this band was, odd. The singer came on wearing a sweat shirt with the hood up. Now what happened next I don’t think anybody saw coming. When he took off his sweat shirt, there, on the top of his head was a karate head band that reached his lower back in length. He wore it so that he could head bang and have something twirl on his head, even though he had no hair. The band certainly was not my cup of tea because I couldn’t hear a word the singer was saying. His yelling was very deep and groggy, which made it incomprehensible. Even so, the band played perfectly well with no noticeable mess ups.
The Red Chord played the set next. They are a band that is well known throughout Holyoke. Many people throughout Western Massachusetts know and love their music. Red Chord came on with tons of energy and was probably the most energetic out of all the bands playing the show. They were a very fast paced band that obviously had a big following because lots of people were singing along. I thought that this band was really good with their fast paced 2-steps and tremendous break downs. They played about 6 song and all were very well played.
The next band up was Terror and, in my opinion, the best band. Terror has been around since 2002 and has been the definition of hardcore ever since. They bring an old school sound and when hardcore started becoming something of the past, they breathed life back into it. Notorious hardcore bands like Mad Ball, Hate Breed, The Cro Mags, and Agnostic Front are all bands that have influenced Terror. They are a must if you want to listen to real Hardcore. When Terror came on, many people rushed to the front of the stage because everyone there knew and loved them. As Terror played their set people were bombarded by stage divers and pile ons. Throughout their entire set people were 2-stepping, and mongo stomping. Scott Vogel (front man for Terror) has been singing in bands for years and loves it even more with each passing day. Terror’s old school sound was very prevalent throughout their set, as the songs they played were off their first two albums. Terror played a total of 8 songs and with each one kids were moshing harder and harder. I have to say out of all the shows I’ve been to, and I’ve been to many, this had to be my second favorite, just because of this band.
Last to play was The Acacia Strain. Now I really have nothing good to say about this band because they are a joke band, and they know that. They formed the band as a joke to make fun of all the people that liked them, mainly scene kids. The band has songs about about how Sloth loves Chunk and some with really ridiculous lyrics. The problem is that people don’t get that they are a joke and rep them really hard; so it just kind of stuck with them. Now they play shows just to make money off the stupid scene kids who worship them. We stayed for 3 songs and let me tell you they weren’t good at all, but what else would you expect from a band that is purely in it for the money.