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The Get What You Give Tour hit Philadelphia last night (March 25th) at the First Unitarian Church, and featured hardcore associates Rotting Out, Stray From the Path, Stick To Your Guns, and The Ghost Inside. Moshes occured, crowds were surfed, and bodies hit the floor.
Rotting Out – San Pedro/Los Angeles, California
Rotting Out are one of hardcore’s hottest acts right now, and rightly so. Their 2011 album, Street Prowl, is a hardcore staple with track after heavy track of anger and aggression. Their newest album, Wrong Way, doesn’t hit stores until May, but they are selling copies on this tour.
What an opener. Rotting Out are one of those few bands that, in terms of quality, sound just as good as their recordings. However, this doesn’t take away from their performance at all. Walter Delgado is probably the most captivating front man that I have ever seen, with his crazy looks, sporadic movements and by opening up the show with a summoning of “This is your mic. This is your stage. This is your city. Let’s do this”. The other band members are technically sound, which sometimes lacks in hardcore (not that it is always a bad thing). Opening up with one of your most popular tracks is always a risky move, but Street Prowl proved to be the perfect way to kick off the show and the energy continued to stay high throughout their entire set. After their set, Walter and a few of the other guys hung by the merch table for the entire show, and were very approachable, which is what hardcore should be all about. I will definitely put forth an effort to see them again.
Stray From the Path – Long Island, New York
Stray From the Path are probably the group I was least familiar with coming into this show. I only knew one song, “Bring It Back To The Streets”, and I really only knew that for the trademark “BLEGH!” that the lead singer gives out midway through the song. However, they put on one hell of a performance. Again, the energy started high, and remained that way for the entire set. They had the most distortion on their guitars out of all the bands there, but they do so very tastefully. All in all, their performance was one that makes a passive listener like me into a fan.
Stick To Your Guns – Orange County, California
STYG was another band I was only vaguely familiar with at the start of the show. One of the more melodic bands on the tour, the fact that they mix in clean vocals doesn’t take away from the heaviness of their sound. Their sound is infectious, and you can’t help but bang your head. However, while their performance was strong, the lead singer got a little bit to preachy at times, and lost the crowds attention on a few occasions.
The Ghost Inside – Los Angeles, California
This is where things really got interesting. First of all, the tour is named after TGI’s newest album, Get What You Give, and they are headlining for good reason. The album packs a lot of punch but still is very melodic which is an incredibly hard balance. Their sound was great and every bit as heavy as it is in recordings. The set list had a good mix of old an new, that is, until someone got knocked out and was bleeding out of their ears, which caused the show to stop for approximately half an hour. By the time the paramedics had left, there was only time for TGI to perform two more songs. Those songs were White Light and Engine 45, the two songs I most wanted to hear. Before performing White Light, lead vocalist Vigil said, and I may be mistaken, but he said that it would be the last time they perform White Light, which personally meant a lot to me. After their set, Vigil stayed in the crowd and met anyone who confronted him. Fan after fan poured their hearts out to him, and you can tell that he genuinely cares about each individual story.
The venue itself truly impressed me as well. First of all, there were a lot of people packed into its small size. However, I never once felt unsafe or like I was too close to everyone around me. Furthermore, they did a fantastic job of getting everyone in off the streets as soon as they opened doors, doing so in a timely yet organized fashion. During the show, staff did a terrific job of interjecting when conflict arose, but waiting until they were absolutely needed. The sound in the place was great, and wasn’t turned up to an obnoxious level like some venues do. I was most impressed by how they handled the emergency situation of an injured patron, remaining calm and policing the crowd as they handled the situation.
Overall, it was a fantastic show. There were girls in the pit, and a great sense of hardcore community pulsed inside that church basement. If you get a chance, I would highly recommend heading out to a show on this tour, or seeing any of these bands on a future tour.