Converge w/ Red Chord, Baroness, and Genghis Tron

Posted April 22, 2008 in
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With a packed bill like this you know that it’s going to be a good show. Converge alone is worth the price of admission, but I was excited to see how the rest of evening would turn out.

First up was Genghis Tron. Their spastic drum-machine infused electronic metal amalgam was as involving live as it is recorded; that is to say mostly novelty with not much else. The eight-foot-tall alternating colored lights on stage were a nice touch, and their stage banter was humorous - but not enough to get worked up about.

Baroness took, or should I say stormed, the stage next. Wow. This band is worth every bit of praise and hype they received over the last year or so. For being a band whose music is mostly instrumental they sure put a headliner’s energy into their set. Not only that, but they looked like they were having a great time doing it. That was the most impressive part, it was fun and metal. Next time these guys pass through I’ll be there to salivate over their Kenny Loggins meets Black Sabbath riffage.

The Red Chord blazed through a set of their signature deathcore, which really wasn’t all that interesting, and the vibe in the crowd was showing it. About a quarter of the spectators vacated during their set, some others decided to fight and mostly everyone was chomping at the bit to see Converge.

The evening culminated in the best set I have seen Converge play in the 10 years I have been going to their shows. Kurt Ballou led the set solo by opening with “Plagues” from No Heroes. Halfway through the song the rest of band took the stage, and the minute Jacob Bannon began his ear piercing, gut wrenching scream all hell broke loose. There were bodies flying, people screaming and fists pumping. It was a cacophonous swirl of untethered emotion punctuated by outbursts of hardcore flailing and the urge to simultaneously scream, cry, punch and hug—the ultimate Converge experience. Bannon and his cohorts pummeled the crowd with their most brutal songs, even going as far back as “Forsaken” from Petitioning the Empty Sky. Bannon left everything he had on stage, at one point commenting that he had “thrown up twice, lost half his face, and had bones protruding from his hand, but that he didn’t care”. That’s dedication and more or less sums up how much passion the band puts into their live set. Converge proved once and for all why they are the top dogs when it comes to live acts in the hardcore realm. I escaped with only minor injuries, a scraped elbow from jumping off the PA and a bruise on my ribs from the endless downpour of stage dives. This is what it’s all about folks.