New Year, New Intensity
The night started off like a gunshot with Nothing Left pummeling the audience with their grimy brand of hardcore, blasting through a tight twenty-minute set. Orange Couty’s Stick To Your Guns took the stage next, feeding off the last set’s energy, they delivered their set with the same passionate energy they always do. Delivering a solid thirty minute set of blistering, positive music.
After two straight forward sets of hardcore, the stage took on a more sinister vibe, flanked with dilapidated barrels, emitting a faint glow. It was time for the headbanging, goth, dance party that is a Motionless In White show. The band stormed the stage adorned in face paint, blacklight paint accenting their ghoulish aesthetic. The packed, sweaty crowd was having the time of their lives and the band seemed unstoppable until strobe lights started going off throughout the venue. Whether it was their abundant use of fog machines or a falsely tripped fire alarm, the set was paused. Once they were given the go-ahead, Chris Motionless didn’t skip a beat and the band picked up where they left off. Delivering a metal set with a Halloween rave sheen, that was enjoyed by all in attendance.
The last time I saw Beartooth was when they opened for Bring Me The Horizon in 2017 at WAMU Theater and they were pretty damn impressive, capturing the crowd’s attention. Last night they put what they’ve learned from various supporting tours and festival appearance on full display. They’ve gone from the proving ground to having their own devoted, screaming fan base. This isn’t some happy accident, but rather the beautiful alchemy of genuine, emotionally raw music connecting with people who feel understood by what they’re listening to. The vulnerability and open wound nature of Beartooth’s music translates well live, the band sounds amazing and lead singer Caleb Shomo sounds fantastic in person. It’s only a matter of time before they become huge and they headline WAMU Theater.
A few dates on this winter run have already sold out and those crowds are in for a treat. If you want to see two bands who are carrying the flag for rock music into the next generation, look no further. And to anyone who thinks rock is dead or dying, get your head out of the sand, you’re just not looking hard enough.