*All Photos by Tom Miller
Gideon started the show with pounding drums… deafening to those in the front of Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park. The windows shook as the band rocked the audiences’ faces off. As the mostly teen crowd fought their way to the stage it was as if the band was trying to ward off the assault with waves of “Alabama hardcore.” When a pit finally opened up and the brave masses decided to mosh their Tuesday blues away.
When Upon a Burning Body from Texas came on stage it looked like an insurance convention. The gentlemen donned nice suits, spiffy ties and enough product in their hair for a guest appearance on the Jersey Shore. However, when they fired up their guitars, I swear they must have been gas powered. They reminded me of the wood chipper back home, in a good way. They shredded the air around Upstate NewYork. If you looked closely the drummer, Jonathon Gonzales, had three feet, because no mere human with two feet could pounce on the bass drums that fast. He’d compete with Neil Peart, in that element alone. The energy in the room was building with three more bands yet to come. With the night still young, and the stars are bright in the heart of Texas. After a lot of coaxing, the pit spun out of control and the whirlpool sucked the onlookers into the mayhem.
All the way from Phoenix, Arizona, The Word Alive came out in a fury. Though in the middle of their set the vocals went and “Telle” Smith sang heavily into a dead mic during the majority of one song. These things happen on even the most organized tours. As Telle left the stage the band didn’t miss a beat and played as their two guitarists (Zack Hansen and Tony Pizzuti) dueled it out on the stage and got the crowd into the instrumental sensation. Then Smith returned to the stage thinking the sound issues were over, but apparently they weren’t quite fixed. Luckily, the crowd sang along and life was somewhat normal again. As normal as it can be at a hardcore show in Upstate NY on a Tuesday in Winter. The drummer, Luke Holland, played as of he was at a firing range and the under 21 crowd before him was his prey. Then the lights went out but the music didn’t stop. Just the vocals… still. So with guitars, bass and drums and no lights, UCH was alive. The mic finally came back to life, the band kept it in stride and thanked the crowd for singing the songs for them. The Word Alive ended with the title track off their new album “Life Cycles”, and reminded the crowd that they’d rather die for what they believe.
Be sure to check back on Monday for the review of Memphis May Fire and For Today and full photo gallery from Tom Miller.