Beachlife Fest in Redondo Beach

Willie Nelson steals the weekend.

May 16th, 2019
Lex Voight

It’s already been a week and Beachlife Fest feels like its only barely wrapped up. The beach-set California culture festival spanned three days of incredible artists and surprisingly incredible amenities, but the clear and inarguable highlight of the entire weekend was Willie.
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La Dispute/Gouge Away at the Regent

Panorama opens at the Regent

Lex Voight

La Dispute touched down the other week at the Regent, bringing their brand of literary post-hardcore to a sold-out show. I have seen the band countless times over the years, but each time they bring their absolute a-game, weaving their complex, compassionate narratives with a fervor live. At the Regent they played to a fully immersed audience; longtime fans who’s rapturous attention was carried away as much by songs from their recent full length Panorama as from their oldest releases.
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Knocked Loose/Harms Way/Acacia Strain at SOMA

and you thought Game of Thrones was heavy.

April 30th, 2019
Lex Voight

On the heaviest stacked tour of the very early summer so far, current scene darlings Knocked Loose headed a bill of hardcore’s hardest bands including Harms Way, The Acacia Strain, Sanction, Higher Power, and Absence of Mine. Check out the photos after the jump (obtained from a safe distance, gratefully)
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Snapcase @ the Observatory

A night of unlearning

January 20th, 2019
Lex Voight

With the number of times I can call a band “legendary,” one might think that the hardcore scene is nothing but legends. But here again, is the monicker accurate for the Buffalo hardcore stalwarts Snapcase. Gather together a large group of the bands who have influenced the most recent crop–your Converges, your Modern Life is Wars, your Have Hearts–and ask them the bands that influenced them. Nine times out of ten, Snapcase would be name dropped. The Victory band’s Lookingglassself and Progression Through Unlearning are seminal hardcore touchstones–eternal classics that cemented their legacy in the hardcore hall of legends. This was hardcore approached in a new way–angular, intelligent but lacking none of the brutality of their peers. This was a new way of doing things that created a sea change in the scene at the time and spread their influence beyond the confines of the genre.
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Emma Ruth Rundle at The Echo

Dark and dreamy and just right

December 18th, 2018
Lex Voight

Living in the modern world can be a horror. War, famine, disease, corruption, impending economic and environmental disaster, technological dissociation…its all there. But music and art have continued to proliferate at such an exponential rate that we are getting some of the best songs ever written at an increasing rate. As genre’s twist and co-mingle and meld, we are getting genres like “gothic americana” and “dark folk” that somehow also manage to rub up against drone and doom.
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Atreyu at the House Of Blues

The Curse is still as strong as ever

Lex Voight

Metlacore megastars Atreyu recently wrapped up their headlining tour with a hometown show in Anaheim, putting their electric rock n roll showmanship on full display. They ran through their classic hits with heavy doses from their new record showing that, despite not having invented the genre, they still are one of Metlacore’s prime purveyors. Check out the photos after the jump.
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Iceage / Black Lips / Surfbort @ The Regent

Mosh Ado About Something

November 15th, 2018
David Fisch

There’s an exhilarating rush knowing that you’re about to be surrounded with living, breathing music and wild personalities for an hour or more. Sure, it’s likely the band you go there for that gives you those feels, but sometimes it’s the venue. Some of the best ones have this storied allure of being small but feeling large and procuring energy from like-minds and enjoyment in togetherness.

Photos by David Fisch

It’s how I feel about The Regent in Downtown, and it might be why Danish toughs Iceage performed there twice in the same year during the same album-touring cycle. Though you might expect the band to put on the same show, you’d only be partially right: the set was mostly the same, with most of the material devoted to this year’s Beyondless. But the energy was more tense and, in a sense, controlled, like the band had refined what was otherwise an already formidable concert act from months before.

The crowd was also more riled up, given the co-headlining of Atlanta’s dependable garage punk rockers Black Lips (who played material both old and new) and the fervent speed punk stylings (and wow-ings) of Brooklyn newcomers Surfbort. It made for a night at The Regent another one of giddy joy, in which moshing is par for the course and the bands put on a display of power in a room that handles it nicely.

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Black Lips

Goatwhore/The Casualties at The Roxy

The Metal Alliance Tour brings a ruckus

November 12th, 2018
Lex Voight
Category: News, Photo Gallery

Last week the Metal Alliance tour dropped like a bomb on The Roxy. While weekday attendance left lots of room for hardcore dancing maneuvers, Goatwhore, The Casualties, Black Tusk, and Great American Ghost brought their A-game. Check out the photos after the jump.

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Young Fathers / Algiers @ Fonda Theatre

Two doses of experimental soul and something else

The 2010’s have proven to be the most remarkable showcase of indie experimental hip hop and soul, birthing some of the most ingenious acts who have traversed new compositional territory and blending genres so outside the realm of hip hop that it might not even be considered hip hop at all. To witness two of those acts on the same bill is something of a wish come true.

Photos by David Fisch

Scotland’s Young Fathers and Atlanta’s Algiers appeared together Friday night at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood for a brief U.S. tour, and while their studio recordings offer good insight into their instrumental drive and meticulous dexterity and conceptual thought, their live performances are another thing entirely, reverberating all of that energy into two sets that easily topped this year’s list of best concerts experiences.

Although they were only allotted a 30-minute set, Algiers made the most of it with a rapturously seismic performance, supporting one of 2017’s best efforts overall, The Underside of Power. The piercing dramatism of “Cleveland” and the industrialist gospel of “Cry of the Martyrs” and the post-punk fury of “Animals” brought out the wild of just about everyone, with vocalist Franklin James Fisher and bassist Ryan Mahan frequently exchanging close-ups as if they each wanted something extra out of their performances, more-so than the crazy energy already emanating from the stage presence.

Similarly, Young Fathers were just as if not more electric, the trio entering the stage in complete darkness before completely bursting through the strobes to “Wire” from this year’s Cocoa Sugar. The album was only slightly indicative of what a performance we would get, with its wide array of grooves and punches that could translate into a strong live show. What we got instead was something else, something otherworldly, in which this collective gathered to perform to all of their strengths with “we are not worthy” shining confidence.

The mostly bare stage felt larger than life when the colorful strobes against white hit the audience in blinding fashion, mixed together with the band’s impressive movements during “Old Rock n Roll” or “Get Up” or any one of their songs. They treated the audience to perhaps their most recognizable of the bunch, “Shame,” but they also gave their performance some refreshing nuance with tracks like the slow-burn “Lord” and the thick and sticky “Toy”

Both acts provided full-bodied performances that rank up there with the best this year has to offer, with their recent studio efforts ranking among the best in indie experimental music this decade. Your best best is to see them this month, together under one roof, sonically pleasuring the senses.

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Young Fathers