Until this night, I hadn’t been to a hardcore show or to a show at the local legendary venue, the Ché Café, in about 5 years. The venue, located on the UCSD campus, was a frequented stomping ground in my teenage years and hosted some of my favorite shows as both as an attendee and as a performer. Upon discovery that the quintessential LA hardcore band Terror would be playing this intimate, 200 person capacity venue, I figured it would definitely be worthwhile to take a step back into that scene.
Opening up the show was Nomads, San Diego natives, who played a generic hardcore punk set but started to get people in the mindset for the raw energy that would be released throughout the night. Dutch veterans, Born From Pain, stepped it up by adding some breakdowns to the mix and unleashing the first wave of hardcore dancing to the floor. I had almost forgotten how crazy that can get and what a sight it can be. If you are unfamiliar with hardcore dancing, the best way I can describe it is someone on the dance floor fighting an invisible enemy. Imagine a group of people shadow boxing, dropping roundhouse kicks, emulating windmills, and doing round offs amidst this chaos. San Diego’s Take Offense whipped the crowd into circle pit frenzy with their brand of SoCal hardcore drawing upon Venice thrash acts like Suicidal Tendencies. Los Angeles’ Rotting Out played a high octane set to a loyal following, that prompted gang choruses, and dogpiling near and on the stage to get a chance to shout into the mic.
Transitioning into Terror’s set, it was apparent that it was a sold out show with people packed elbow to elbow to witness a no holds barred performance on the band’s 10th anniversary tour. Imagine all the raw energy that had transpired with the opening acts and then take it to the next level with stage dives, people hanging from the rafters and mobs of people on the stage who prefered their involvement as a participant and not just an attendee. And you know what? Terror’s vocalist, Scott Vogel, encouraged all this with such fervor it’s hard not to want to as he orders “Activate the pit! Jump off these speakers! Climb the rafters! Jump off someone’s head! Dance or die!” Influenced by old school thrash and hardcore groups like Agnostic Front, Madball and Sick Of It All, and dished out with a modern edge, Terror laid down it down with tracks like “Overcome,” “One With The Underdogs” and “Keepers of the Faith.” Terror were just as intense, if not more, than when I had seen them a couple years after they had formed. They prove that hardcore is still alive and well.
Look out for their upcoming album Live by the Code on Century Media Records/Reaper Records coming out next year.
– Submitted by Jesse Nathason, Music Design