The Masquerade reopened its doors this past Tuesday after an unfortunate incident the previous Sunday that left two lives cut short in a senseless act of violence. The security was much tighter than usual, combining an APD presence with the addition of pat downs at the door. But that did not stop concert goers. It was a sold out crowd tonight, and it certainly looked like it too. You could barely move an inch inside Hell. The entertainment that evening would be provided by Drug Church, Turnstile, and The Story So Far.
Drug Church are a hardcore outfit out of Albany, New York. Their sound is a blend of equal parts Black Flag, Fugazi, and early grunge. Their most recent LP is 2015’s Hit your Head off No Sleep Records. However they just released a new single this year called “Weed Pin”, which I assume will be followed up by a new LP, as one is long overdue. A large portion of the crowd seemed into them and gave them a good reception, but the singer did jokingly remark that they were there for more of a warm up type slot for the bands that followed.
Next up was the mighty Turnstile. They are a hardcore punk group out of Baltimore. They have released 3 EPs and one LP to date, their most recent being the Move Thru Me EP. They have also released a single within the past few weeks called “Real Thing” which was accompanied by a video that premiered on the VICELAND TV network recently.
The band collectively brought an energy to the stage that couldn’t be measured by any real scale. The ferocity with which they played was borderline indescribable. Watching YouTube clips online doesn’t even do it justice. It’s something you have to see in person to understand. Their bassist, Franz, and singer Brendan frequently would dive off the stage and into the crowd while clearing the 4-5 foot gap left by the stage barrier. The crowd ate it up. Although, you could sort of see a split between fans that were there to see Turnstile and those who were there to see The Story So Far. I think Turnstile may have caught some fans of The Story So Far off guard.
As the crowd subsided, the headliner for the night was ready to take the stage.
The Story So Far are a pop punk band from California. They formed in 2007 and have released 3 LPs and a slew of EPs and split EPs through Pure Noise Records. Their second LP, What You Don’t See, debuted at #46 on the billboard top 200.
As they took the stage, the crowd was deafening. They tore through a set that had tracks from just about every release to date including their new single, “Out Of It”. The crowd sang every word back to them. The elation could be felt throughout their entire set.
As I departed the show. I did notice a few nervous parents waiting outside for their kids, which is understandable. But what I can say is that if two days removed from a tragedy they can sell out the very same room where it took place, that the Masquerade will prevail and make it out of this better than they were before. Live music has a way of doing that.
Written and shot by Peter Sigmund. Check out Peter’s photos from the show: