By Matt “Rabit” Martinez, Red Hare Images
With the Vans Warped Tour finally coming to an end, we have lost a major festival in the music industry that provided fans and bands with one of the best ways to discover new music. Two bands that have been cutting their teeth on the last few years of Warped Tour are Beartooth and Knocked Loose. When it was announced these two bands were only going to be part of select tour dates, it was unfortunate to see they would not be playing my town. But luckily enough I only had to wait a few more months as they came through Los Angeles on The Disease Tour. With support from Sylar, this was a night that hardcore kids could come out and unleash themselves at the Belasco Theatre.
Opening the night, and getting the frenzy started, was Sylar. A hardcore band from New York who was ready to make their presence known to the LA crowd. With a crowd just itching to start moshing, as soon as the band played the opening notes to “Assume” the crowd started moving. Lead singer Jayden Panesso could not be contained as he let the lyrics flow threw his body as he moved around the stage. Guitarist Miguel Cardona filled the harmonies with more melodic vocals, while trading heavy guitar riffs with Dustin Jennings. Holding down the low end was bassist Travis Hufton, and giving the fans a crashing beat to mosh and head bang to was drummer Cody Ash. Keeping the crowd pumped and moving through songs like “All or Nothing,” “Dark Daze,” and closing with “Prescription Meditation.” Sylar started the night with a heavy beat that got everyone in the right mood for the next two bands.
Full Sylar slide show below:
Next up to the stage was probably the heaviest band on the bill. As I was standing in line waiting to get in, I overheard fans talking about the last time they went to one of their concerts. With one guy saying, “The mosh is so rough, if you go down they pick you up just to punch you down again.” Followed by another guy chiming in “I was once punched so hard my contact flew out.” Yet both guys were saying this with smiles on their faces, laughing about the experience, and still in line to go through this all over again! I am of course talking about Kentucky hardcore band Knocked Loose.
With “No Crowd Surfing” signs hanging all over the venue, Knocked Loose fans were not going to let that stop them. As fans heard the opening chugs by guitarists Isaac Hale and Cole Crutchfield to the song “Oblivion’s Peak,” you could feel the energy in the Belasco tense up. Waiting with bated breath on lead singer Bryan Garris to roar the opening lyrics, the crowd erupted into a frenzy as fists and kicks went flying in the mosh pit and people started to crowd surf to the front. Garris would not be left out as he threw his own moshing fists on stage as Hale & Cole traded off guitar licks. With Kevin Otten and Kevin “Pacsun” Kaine driving the bottom end on bass and drums respectfully. Performing a roughly 40-minute set, Knocked Loose played through 14 songs including “Billy No Mates, “Counting Worms,” and “Deadringer.” With each song flowing into each other, Knocked Loose rarely let up on the gas pedal. Instead choosing to let the audience use their set to take out any negative energy in the hardest mosh pit I’ve seen all year.
Full Knocked Loose slide show below:
As fog started to fill the Belasco Theatre, Beartooth took the stage opening their set with “Bad Listener.” The opening lyrics to this song set the mood for what the rest of the night was going to be: “You say my vision’s not a vision at all/There’s no degree in rock n roll/Say it’s a waste of time/Say I’ll never get a real shot/I’ll be bangin’ my head ’til my brain rots.” That night fans would not stop jumping, screaming, and banging their heads. Beartooth were there to fill the fans with pure Rock N’ Roll ecstasy. Fronted by Caleb Shomo who sings with such vigor and stage presence, you would have to actively be trying not to be moved by the music. Filling in the melodic vocal harmonies and taking lead on some of the chorus’s was bassist Oshie Bichar. Providing the heavy riffs are guitarists Kamron Bradbury and Zach Huston. Keeping the beat for the moshers to stomp to is drummer Connor Denis.
For an hour and a half, Beartooth performed a set consisting of 17 songs including “Aggressive,” “Manipulation,” and “Hated.” Something that did surprise me was that drummer Connor Denis got a drum solo. This is something that not a lot of bands these days allow time for in their set. Yet with one of the simplest drum kits I’ve seen of a metal drummer, Denis could keep the crowd roaring throughout his solo. Just before going into “Disease.” Shomo gave a heartfelt speech about the meaning and creation behind the album. Talking about his depression and suicidal thoughts that he had to fight and overcome. Writing the Disease album was one way in which he found solace. After Shomo gave his speech, it took a moment for the audience to snap back into the right mind set to rock again. Coming back out for a two-song encore to perform “Fire” and closing the night with “In Between” the audience was clearly not ready for the night to end. Cheering non-stop as the band walked off stage, it took a few minutes for the cheers to finally die off.
Full Beartooth slide show below:
Fans came out to The Disease Tour ready to rock their hearts out and go crazy to some of the heaviest music from three intense hardcore bands, but they got a more heartfelt show than they may have expected. With Sylar and Knocked Loose, the crowd could go crazy and just lose themselves in the music. But Beartooth proved why they were the headliner as they touched the souls of each person who showed up that night.