EMMURE with Stick To Your Guns, Wage War and Sanction at Brooklyn Bowl LV

Friday, October 19th, was a big night for hardcore metal music at Las Vegas' Brooklyn Bowl, and on the bill were three bands from the East Coast (Sanction from Long Island NY, Wage War from Ocala FL, and Emmure from Queens NY) combined with one from the West Coast (Stick To Your Guns from Orange County CA).

Sanction opened the show, in my opinion the hardest of these hardcore bands, basically more along the lines of deathcore. They were definitely a good choice to get the show started and played with a lot of energy and passion, and as soon as they came out a large mosh-pit formed about 6 rows back from the crowd at the rail. Now, I don't go to a lot of hardcore shows, but I do enjoy a good melodic metalcore band and the energy from the crowds that they draw, especially the mosh-pits. But there's a trend now, especially from NY bands, called "crowd killing", where the moshers basically flail and kick as wildly, and were throwing arms and elbows, doing roundhouse kicks - I even saw one guy do multiple roundhouses from one side of the floor to the other, in a capoeira-like dance. This bunch, for the most part, looked like they were intentionally missing each other, and most of the crowd gave them a wide enough berth that they never really came in contact with the onlookers. All of this seemed a bit unnecessary and against the spirit of traditional moshing, but that's just my opinion. Sanction played a fast-paced, short set of about six brutal songs. They are very good musicians, with harsh, growling vocals, and are an up-and-coming band in the Long Island hardcore scene definitely worth a look/listen.

Wage War have been around since 2010, but went under the name Empires early on. After a couple of name and lineup changes they solidified as Wage War and have released two studio albums under that name (Blueprints 2015 and Deadweight 2017). Wage War consists of Briton Bond (vocals), Cody Quistad (guitar/vocals), Seth Blake (guitar), Chris Gaylord (bass), and Stephen Kluesener (drums). They have a good mix of clean and unclean vocals, with hard-hitting drums, fast-paced riffing, and slow breakdowns. All but two songs in their setlist were off of Deadweight, and hearing them live made me a fan. I ordered the CD from Amazon as soon as I got home. These guys are outstanding!

Wage War Set List:

The River




Never Enough


Don't Let Me Fade Away

Johnny Cash