April 8th, 2012 was Easter: A day of family, brunching, chocolate consumption, and hardcore. Or so it was the case in Chicago this past Sunday, when Converge, Loma Preita, Weekend Nachos and Git Some had their own special celebration for Zombie Jesus.
Denver’s Git Some opened the show, bringing an interesting blend of classic sludge, thrash and rock to the table. Their lack of predictability and engaging stage presence made it a game changer, as its continuous energy in the face of crossed arms certainly deserved kudos. Hometown favorite Weekend Nachos roused the crowd with a quick burst of pure, “average-dude”-power violence. Lead singer John Hoffman’s humorous offering of “Thanks for coming to our first show,” was met with collective chuckles from the audience as the band grinded its way through an intense, short set. Reggie’s security strobed the crowd with flashlights, trying to uphold the clubs strict safety rules, but lucky for those who came ready to “dance”, no spin kicks were interrupted.
Switching the tone completely was California’s Loma Preita. Having been touring continuously for the past few months, Loma brought fresh energy to the less intimate space, as the group was always on the verge of frantic. Even when faced with a few lengthy pauses—for tuning and tending to a broken string—the band’s atmospheric wall of noise translated well in the larger venue. While not as keen on banter as Nachos, Loma Preita held its own with its screamo-tinged thrash, not afraid to take the artistic chances that made I.V. one of the best releases this year.
Converge, a pinnacle of the hardcore/metal scene for over 20 years, did nothing less than reaffirm that status during its set.
Choosing to open its set with the sludgy classic “Jane Doe” did little to prevent the inevitable chaos that is typical of the band’s performances. Jacob Bannon threw his body into every lyric as if compulsion overtook reason. Kurt Ballou and Nate Newton stood thrashing at the sides, with a wall of speakers behind each. To say Converge is a band that continues to mesmerize would be fair; to say they incite incredible passion and emotion, truth. If the music didn’t inspire such animalistic physical reaction, one could step back and simply enjoy the pure showmanship of it all. Yet hearing favorites such as “Dark Horse” and “Crash and Burn,” fans didn’t seem capable of controlling themselves.
Even when teasing the crowd with new material, Converge demonstrated how and why it has remained relevant by being an ever-evolving entity. For every single hand Bannon outstretched to the audience, a sea of fists rose up to meet him. Every offered microphone was met with a scream to sing-along on “Reap What You Sow,” “Axe to Fall,” “The Broken Vow” and set closer “Last Light.” Playing an encore of “Concubine,” Converge fans were only sated by the fact that the band will be returning in the fall, finding comfort in never fully knowing what promise the band will bring next.
Converge at Reggie’s Rock Club on April 8, 2012
- “Jane Doe”
- “Dark Horse”
- “Empty on the Inside”
- “No Life Escapes”
- “Reap What You Sow”
- “Worms Will Feed/Rats Will Feast”
- “Eagles Become Vultures”
- “Hell to Pay”
- “Axe to Fall”
- “The Broken Vow”
- “Last Light”