Such Gold seemingly had a bigger following, and while there wasn't much movement, finger-pointing and sing-alongs abounded. Hyper melodic band with nods to Avail or that Gainsville sound that aging bearded PBR bike kids (still) manage to get all chubbed over. The singer was running all over the stage, out of breath and giving his all, so I back 'em for that. Good band live. From a distance, the shirts they were selling looked like the cover art for the Cro-Mags Alpha and Omega album, but upon closer inspection ... nevermind.
OK, so I admit the next two bands were the ones I REALLY came to see, so I was pretty happy to be through with the more melodic stuff. Foundation's a band I've seen almost ten times at this point. (Most notables: 2009's This is Hardcore fest and then last year in Provo when the PA went out, but everyone sang along so loud it didn't matter.) They were in top form (though I could've used some more from the vocal monitor) and they opened with "Purple Heart" (duh). Right off the bat some dorkwad bouncer grabbed some moshing kid by the neck, to which a whole horde of showgoers started slugging him and a full-blown scuffle broke out. I'm not going to take sides, but this bouncer got worked hard. Last I saw, he was cut right above his eye with blood trickling down into it. Someone jacked his hat and radio in the kerfuffle, which seemed to bum him out royally. Somehow the radio ended up on stage and Foundation's vocalist said, "Your radio's up here, tough guy. Come and get it!" Love it. Should fights happen at shows? Probably not, but I love when bouncers get clowned ... and Foundation's vocalist did plenty of it. Most notable was "Chill out, these kids can take care of themselves, let 'em have fun." The rest of the show went on without a hitch (although I got my glasses bent catching a bad dive ... but I bent 'em back to a somewhat reasonable shape back in the bathroom. I need insurance). Best reaction was to "No One Writes Protest Songs Anymore" or maybe "No Cure for Fools." Good straight edge speech, too ("Why is it crazy that I'm the one who doesn't wanna drink himself into a stupor or smoke myself into an early grave? If that makes me crazy than I'll gladly avoid what YOU call sane." Al Barile just smiled somewhere). Great set, plenty of mosh and dives off the charts. Oh! And they had "Hang Your Head" shirts that were homages to Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine. Fourteen-year-old me just smiled somewhere.
I wanted to be all curmudgeony about Comeback Kid. I listened to 'em a lot in high school, especially Turn it Around. I kept insisting that I was only here for nostalgia. They got a new singer that some people don't like, but I'm not very good at being a bitter old dude (though I did just turn 25––does that count for anything?). They were excellent. Played tons of old stuff ("Die Tonight," "Step Ahead," "Final Goodbye" and "Talk is Cheap"). Stage dives were ... well, it looked like a damn tumble gym clinic at some points and it featured a heady mix of people. Crusty looking punk kids, hoodie hardcore jocks, high school aged girls. Good to see. Of course they closed with "Wake the Dead" (I just got a weird memory of that video they made with the moshing zombies) and it was pretty much a perfect closer. Super tight, as they've been going for almost ten years now. The singer was rocking that awesome Warzone shirt with the lion fighting the snake and the guitarist had just run a marathon in Denver. Nothing to be bitter about here. Just fun times, stage dives, high fives ... and something else that rhymes.
Oh, and T-shirt obsessions aren't killing hardcore. Gauged ears and five paneled hats are. –Dylan Chadwick