This past week I had the pleasure of attending El Corazon in Seattle, Washington to catch the east coast hardcore band, Turnstile. Last February was the long-anticipated release of the band's new album "Time & Space." The album is their new debut album on The Roadrunner Record label. With this release, there was an announcement of a U.S. and World tour for thier new album. With 25 shows scheduled In the United States and 16 European stops, these boys and the opening acts accompanying them have a long wild ride ahead.
On this Seattle stop of the tour, the opening acts consisted of a lot of talent. At first, I only knew of Turnstile and Culture Abuse, but I was pleasantly surprised by the other opening acts. The first to perform was Seattle-native hardcore band Odd Man Out. Odd Man Out came out the gates fast and loud and got the pit started early. These guys in between sets took time to talk about love and positivity among one and other. They also took time to talk about their choice to be vegan explaining "I don't think my life is any more important than any other living thing." When further researching the group and finding their Bandcamp account they explained themselves in their short bio stating "Odd Man Out supports a lifestyle that informs and inspires all forms of life. Although the language in the name suggests masculinity, we admire and embrace all spectrums of love, sexuality, and identity. Odd Man Out supports a positive interaction with YOUR world and YOUR life, and encourages every struggle against socialized oppression and capitalism." With their hard sound and set values, they will be a band to look out for in the hardcore scene in the future.
The second act was one of my personal favorites of the whole night. From Denton, Texas, the band Razor Bumps brought a sound and a look that set them aside from every other act. Their clothing showed slight signs of their Texan roots, but their music was far from that. Their fast edgy garage punk sound combined with a strong female lead vocalist brought on a sound that you couldn't help but jive to. Songs like “3 in a row” and “make your mark” are two of my favorite songs from the concert. After seeing this group, it's easy to say I am a new fan. I will be patiently waiting for them to return to the Pacific Northwest.
The band known as Culture Abuse was next and reigns from the Golden State of California. I have had the personal pleasure of seeing Culture Abuse three times now, and they always bring a party. Their release of the song “Calm E” earlier this month was a great tease for new songs to come for the band. Their set was energetic, full of fun, and had a few crazy antics involved. One of these antics being their use of a stolen University of Washington parking sign as a stage prop. Their style consists of a nice mix of grunge, punk, and hardcore. They played a lot of songs from their 2016 album, which had tracks like “Turn it off,” “Dream on,” and “Jealous.” Their great sound, high intensity, and overall stage presence make them a must see.
Touché Amoré was a band I was very unfamiliar with but was shocked by the number of supporters they had present. This post-hardcore band formed in 2007 in Burbank, California. Their sound is complemented well by vocalist Jeremy Bloom; who put his range to the test throughout their set. The number of fans they had that were rushing the stage frantically with every verse made for a rough and rowdy environment. Touché Amoré took some time to explain how El Corazon was a place they played when they first started touring as a band. They gave credit to the owners of the club for helping them out when they were starting out in the Pacific Northwest. I hope I will have the opportunity again to see these gentlemen. They were one hell of an act.
Last but not least, Turnstile made its way onto the stage and was ready to bring the house down. I was so excited for this act and it was everything a punk rock fan hopes and dreams for. With the size and layout of El Corazon being packed and always hot, it made for an exciting experience. As soon as the first song played, the crowd exploded, and the pit began to turn. It wasn't long before the front row was met by stage divers and rowdy fans eager to get one step closer to this fantastic group. Often, the mic was handed to people in the front row to help sing along and join in all the mayhem and fun. I was even handed the mic by front-man Brendan Yates and was able to help finish the song “Gravity,” which was a huge highlight for me as a fan. They played a lot of their older songs like “Keep it Moving” and “Blue by you," while also playing hits off their new record "Time and Space" with songs like “Real Thing,” “Moon,” and “Generator.” Their set was incredible and I would recommend any rock and roll fan to see these guys.
This show was one to remember. The lineup was full of energy and grit that fueled the crowd all night long. Each band was different than the next, which made the diversity of the show excellent. Like any genre of music, there's a cultural following behind it that can often distinguish itself from other styles or sub cultures of Rock. The hardcore community promotes positivity, acceptance, and love to all who are willing to subscribe to the lifestyle and music. Going to shows like these makes me feel like I have a room full of friends that I have never even met. The underground shows nurture safe fun while still getting rowdy. That's something that I love more than anything. I encourage anyone who needs positive direction in their life to give hardcore a try and to see a local show. You never know when you'll run into the pit and see me and other friendly faces there.
Photo: Google, Labeled for Reuse.