A Tale of a Hardcore Show
By Joe DeBonis
The genre of “hardcore” music is if nothing else, hugely misunderstood. It takes a special kind of person to go to a hardcore show, much less listen to the music religiously or even create the music themselves. I normally am not that person, but I have friends who are deep into the scene so I wanted to try it all out and support my bros at the same time. My respect for my friends’ band, Crypsedra, rose tremendously after seeing them live. Actually, my respect for the whole genre in general grew quite a lot after seeing four different bands play different alterations of the genre.
First, these musicians are talented. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the expertise of some artists that on the surface just play really loud music. After this show though, that falsity became even more pronounced as I watched each band showcase their stuff. There was guitar playing that was intricately melodic, drum work that was complicated and physically demanding and a type of singing that even if it is harsh and uncomfortable to listen to, is incredibly challenging to keep that guttural bite in the singers voices going.
The bands Ruben and me saw were Crypsedra and Loathe, two Albuquerque hardcore bands and then two touring bands, Kublai Khan and Legion. All brought a different element to the music, from harsher screams, a more passionate message or just different attitudes while on stage. Sometimes the music blended together because of my inexperience with the whole idea behind it all but it stayed enjoyable to the end. Personally, seeing my friends in Crypsedra and how truly talented they are was worth the $10 I spent, but then every other band impressed me beyond my wildest expectations and I regretted nothing of the night.
What made the experience even more unique and entertaining was the dancing. Now dancing and hardcore music may not be two things normally associated with each other, but there is in fact a kind of dancing that goes along with hardcore music. Dancing may be too strong of a word for what it is, but basically what one is supposed to do is flail their limbs every which way possible, punching and kicking the air like there is a demon inside of you. It gets violent quickly, but incredibly, when someone accidently kicks or punches you as they dance about and lose control of themselves, all that you’re supposed to do or even really allowed to do is curl your arm around your head for minimal protection and then stick out the other arm to push them away if they get to close. Never have I been to a show where that much contact is accepted without some sort of reciprocation. It was frightening really, when the dancers got too close and I took my fair share of blows to my body. On the other hand, it reached an almost comical level of violence when at times the whole venue seemed to be full of the dancing, looking like a building full of people with bees stuck in their pants. I felt like a little kid as my friend Lake, the drummer of Crypsedra, protected me from some of the more violent dancers but at times even he jumped into the fray, leaving me and Ruben alone to fend for ourselves.
Towards the end even Ruben and me were trying to get into the dancing. Too scared to make it out onto the dance floor itself, we stayed on the outskirts practicing our punching of the air, albeit somewhat less chaotically. It was just a musical scene I had never found myself in before and I appreciated and relished the nuances and differences from what I normally see and hear. It was an experience I am ready to have again and the next time Crypsedra plays, I will most certainly be there, maybe actually doing some real dancing this time.