The Pure Noise Tour, featuring headliner Stick To Your Guns, came to Vinyl Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel bringing some hardcore heavyweights along with them for the packed show at the club.
Delaware straight-edge/hardcore band Year of the Knife followed up one of our local hardcore bands (which I unfortunately missed due to such an early weekday start time). With a short six-song set they set the tone with tons of aggression and lots of energy. Their fresh-faced, youthful, and innocent looks belying their intensity. Never having seen or heard them before I was impressed with their sound and raw energy. If hardcore music is your thing this is a band to keep your eye on. They are on the right path.
Hailing straight out of the Long Island, NY hardcore scene, Sanction kept things going with a face-melting, blistering set featuring their entire debut EP (minus the title track) The Infringement of Godís Plan (2017), as well as a couple of new songs from their recently released LP, Broken In Refraction out in July 2019. As the crowd began to trickle in, the area directly in front of the stage remained wide open, with most newcomers standing to the back and sides of the stage. There were a few brave souls at the rail who managed to endure the crowd-killing flailing and kicking of the half-dozen or so in the giant circle pit at stage front. It was apparent from the get-go that this was going to be a wild night of metalcore and hardcore dancing. Sanction ís old-school metalcore sound and style heated up the room quickly and paved the way for Terror.
Terror stepped up next and the stage-front insanity really took off. Terror is an LA based hardcore band formed in the early 2000's and fronted by New York native, Scott Vogel (formerly of Buried Alive). Terror has released seven full-length studio albums, as well as several live albums, Eps, and a compilation. From the start Vogel showed his old-school punk rock roots expressing his disdain for stage-front barriers. He encouraged the crowd to fill in the giant space in front and was adamant about having a fight-free hardcore show. Gradually the space began to fill and then the crowd-surfing began. There were even a couple of people who made it over the barrier, onto the stage, and then dove back into the crowd before security could get hold of them. It seemed like security was content to let the hardcore fans have their fun, as long as no one was getting hurt or starting fights. It made the venue feel even more like a small, local club as opposed to a corporate casino showroom. Definitely a good thing for this type of concert! Terror concluded a solid 30-minute set having amped up the energy in the room and gearing the crowd up for Counterparts.
Counterparts are a Canadian hardcore punk band, formed in Ontario in 2007, with front man Brendan Murphy the only remaining original member. They have five studio albums and three EPs, with their sixth LP due out in November. Brendan sped things along with barely a pause between songs. He explained at the start, that he a had a date with a Willy Wonka slot machine and was already down a couple hundred dollars to it. While Terror front man Vogel wanted the crowd to close in the area in fro
nt of the stage, Murphy kept encouraging them to open it back up, and they did. This was probably the rowdiest pit Iíve seen since the last time Knocked Loose played at House of Blues. Surprisingly, I only witnessed one minor injury and, for all of the flailing and kicking, the crowd was obviously having fun and looking out for each other.
The Pure Noise headliner, Stick To Your Guns, came on to close things out and I wasn't sure if they could go any harder than their predecessors - but they did. The Orange County hardcore punk/metalcore band has been around since 2003 with front man Jesse Barnett being the only remaining original member. They were obviously the band that everyone was there to see and hear, and the crowd sang along on every song from beginning to end. While every member of every band was in constant motion throughout the night, nobody has hops like lead guitarist Josh James! That guy was high flying and jumping all over the stage, showing the crowd how to do it, and keeping the energy pulsing through the building. Front man Barnett is one of those rare hardcore vocalists that, although he screams most of his vocals (occasionally using spoken word) he comes across very clear and melodic and can transition to clean vocals with ease. If you like hardcore music these guys are the top of the heap and are a must-see/hear live. They never disappoint and you couldnít ask for a better tour lineup. If you were fortunate enough to catch the Pure Noise Tour then you know exactly what I mean!
Stick to Your Guns Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
COUnterparts Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Sanction Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
TERROR Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Year of the Knife Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos