I do not consider myself a true hardcore music fan although I do love a good, live hardcore show. To me, hardcore music is better experienced in a live setting, I want to see and feel the band’s energy and aggression, otherwise it just comes across as “angry music” and not something that I want to listen to while sitting at home. But that’s just my opinion and take on that style of music. It’s not a genre that I will seek out on Spotify, but when a hardcore lineup featuring Stick To Your Guns pops up on a list of upcoming shows I jump at the chance to cover it. I just saw STYG as headliners a couple of months ago (you can find the gallery and review HERE ) but I was not going to miss seeing them in support of hardcore leaders, Knocked Loose! It’s kind of funny, because being a quinquagenarian, I am quite often the oldest person in the room, unless the band members’ parents are in attendance!
Pure Noise Records and Good Fight Management put together a stellar lineup to support Knocked Loose on their A Different Shade Of Blue Tour - titled to match Knocked Loose’s recent sophomore LP release in August. With top-tier hardcore talent like Stick To Your Guns and Rotting Out in support, as well as Candy and SeeYouSpaceCowboy rounding out the lineup, this is a hardcore fan’s dream show.
SeeYouSpaceCowboy got the show started and the hardcore dancing began, with a huge hole opening in the center of the floor with everyone on the outskirts facing the middle to watch (and defend against) the wild kicking and flailing arms. SYSC is a self-described sasscore band, formed in 2016, with singer Connie Sgarbossa, Jesse Price (guitar), Ethan Sgarbossa (drums), and Cameron Phipps (bass), and based out of San Diego, although Sgarbossa now resides in Oakland. With such an early 4pm start, the crowd had only begun to trickle in, but they were obviously into it.
Candy is a hardcore/punk band from all over the U.S, as strangely, these band members do not live in the same states. I’m not sure how they make that work but apparently, they do. Candy is vocalist Zak Quiram, guitarist Michael “Cheddar” Quick, guitarist Andrew Stark, and drummer Steve DiGenio. By the time Candy hit the stage the Fremont Country Club had begun to fill up and it was apparent that this was going to be a good-sized crowd. The hardcore dancing was in full effect and the big hole in the center of the room began to fill with enthusiastic revelers.
Rotting Out took to the stage next, and I immediately felt a connection to this group. While not quite my age group they are a little longer in the tooth and have obvious influences from bands that I grew up with, like Pennywise and Suicidal Tendencies. Formed in 2007 and coming out of LA, Rotting Out is a hardcore/punk band that released two LPs and three EPs before disbanding in 2015, and after a three-year hiatus the band re-formed in 2018 to play the Sound And Fury festival. Front man Walter Delgado is a hulking figure with an intensity in his eyes that is expressed in his fierce vocal delivery. He roams the stage like a beast on the prowl and commands everyone’s attention. The crowd feeds off his energy and the pit goes crazy while crowd surfers begin to pour over the barrier faster than security can get to them. I saw one guy get launched into the photo pit and land on his back, hitting one of the legs on the stage-left speaker stack. To my surprise he jumped up of his own volition and ran back out into the crowd. This was my first time seeing RO and I was thoroughly enjoying the performance. I’ll be keeping an eye out for future events with them on the billing.
Next up was Stick To Your Guns, one of my favorites from the hardcore scene and are a must-see if you like hard, fast and loud music. I have seen them several times and they never disappoint. They are pure energy and put it all out there every show. From front to back these guys just plain rock and the energy in the room only escalates.
As the headliner gets set to take the stage, the crowd begins to chant, “Knocked Loose!” Knocked Loose is a hardcore/metalcore band out of Kentucky, formed in 2013, and consists of Bryan Garris (vocals), Cole Crutchfield (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Isaac Hale (lead guitar), Kevin Otten (bass), and Kevin Kane (drums). This is just my second time seeing Knocked Loose, but
after seeing them once I knew exactly what to expect. As much as RO and STYG got the crowd going there is no comparison to the intensity that Knocked Loose brought out- they are considered one of the top hardcore bands around and for good reason. Their latest LP, A Different Shade Of Blue, is a hard-hitting and powerful collection of hardcore hits that will knock you on your ass. A couple songs in, and the place was in an uproar, with fans on the rail screaming the lyrics to every song back at vocalist Garris. The quintessential hardcore front man, Garris is in constant motion, dancing his way around the stage in his very own circle pit, the other band members doing their best to stay out of his way as he kicks and jumps around them. It’s hard to believe that the crowd could go any wilder than they did for STYG, but they did. One frantic crowd surfing fan got a little carried away in the moment and caught a security guard with a flying elbow, breaking his nose and ending the evening for both.
Knocked Loose is the epitome of hardcore and exemplify everything that makes these shows so much fun. There is nothing better than seeing a room full of people, cutting loose, getting crazy, and enjoying fast, hard, loud music and forgetting about whatever was weighing on their minds before they walked in the door. This show was easily the wildest I’ve been to in a while.
Knocked Loose Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
STYG Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Rotting Out Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Candy Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
SeeYouSpaceCowboy Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos