Hardcore Heroes Bring Buffalo Bedlam to South Florida
– review of the show at Culture Room (Ft. Lauderdale).
They say in every cloud there is a silver lining, and that proverb certainly rang true last night at the explosive Every Time I Die concert Thursday at the Culture Room. Joining the ranks of bands like Machine Head and Skeletonwitch, Every Time I Die was banned from playing at Orlando’s House of Blues venue, for reasons unbeknownst even to the band, where they were originally scheduled to open for Taking Back Sunday on their current nationwide tour. However, this presented the band the perfect opportunity to play a rare headlining show outside their native Buffalo, NY to a horde of fans anxious to see the band play in a far more intimate venue than normal.
Support was provided by two local South Florida bands, Fero Lux and DyneSide, who got the chance to show off their chops to a much wider crowd than usual. Fero Lux’s style could best be described as a mixture of early Dillinger Escape Plan and At The Drive In, with harsh vocals coupled with complex guitar work and intricate time signatures creating a melting pot of musical chaos. DyneSide, on the other hand, reminded me more of Jawbreaker, merging a more high-pitched screaming style employed by the hardcore bands of the early 2000’s with crushing guitars. Both opening bands absolutely killed it and I would highly recommend checking them out.
After the small appetizer of opening bands, it was time for Every Time I Die to finally take the stage. Started by brothers Keith and Jordan Buckley in 1998, the group has released eight full-length albums, with their latest effort “Low Teens” having come out last year. Touring non-stop for the better part of the last decade, the Buffalo ensemble is one of the hardest working bands in the scene. Concentrating on making sure every concert they play is full of unbounded energy and letting their fans know they’re at the center of everything, from staying after the show to meet devotees to personally communicating with their fans on social media (they often take requests for songs from twitter, as was the case with tonight’s encore), the group takes extra care to give back to the people that ensure its survival. This dedication to their supporters paid off in spades, with fans selling out the venue for a chance to see their favorite band up close and personal.
From the moment they started their first song, Decaying with the Boys, the crowd went absolutely bonkers. A giant pit opened up in the middle of the room, with people constantly jumping in and out of the fray, and the throng in front of the stage did not stop moving the entire time the group was on stage. Singer Keith Buckley combined melodic crooning with aggressive screaming while guitarists Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams (who reminded me of an enormous old-time carnival wrestler) created screeching sonic soundscapes to enrage the crowd. Blasting through hit after hit from their massive repertoire, the group jammed through a massive 21-song set list including Bored Stiff, Romeo a Go-Go, Thirst, and The New Black. Keith took the time to comment on the whole “House of Blues” situation, saying that while he doesn’t know why band was unable to play in Orlando that night he’s glad he was able to come down to South Florida, a place where they rarely play, and perform such an intimate show. After a few more songs, the group thanked the crowd and disappeared off the stage to a roar from the audience demanding more, which of course they obliged with a two-song encore, Map Change (the aforementioned twitter request) and Fear and Trembling from their most recent album “Low Teens”.
The group completely demolished the show, leaving the crowd entirely sweaty and satisfied. Having fallen victim to House of Blues’s oppressive band policy led to one of the greatest up-close and personal hardcore shows I have ever seen the Culture Room host, and hopefully the success of this show encourages the group to do a proper headlining tour soon.