Thursday, December 9, 2010

Show Review - The Chariot - Altar Bar - 12/1/10 - Pittsburgh - Live Review - Concert Review

Typing with a broken left thumb is not an easy task, especially when you could have a potential concussion, judging from the size of the bruise and lump on your forehead. (The dry blood under your nose may be a clue as well.) I am not really able to tell you exactly when any of these injuries occurred to my body, besides a general blanket statement that any hardcore music fan would understand, “I saw the Chariot last night.”

My friends and I were more than excited to go to this show, considering our very good friends’ band oldfears. were opening. As my friend Becca put it, “I get to see my favorite band, and my best friend’s band on the same bill!” The day before the show is where the mental preparation began, and up until the show, we were all getting ourselves psyched up to throw down, get hit, and face the pit.

The beginning of the show was relatively quiet crowdwise, with two Pittsburgh local openers playing, Dinotrax and Arcane Haven. It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen either of these bands, and though they both deserve respect for what they do, neither performance was anything special. After these two bands played, it was then time for oldfears., one piece of the night that we were all excited for.

It was, in total, oldfears’ fourth time on a stage, and I can proudly say I’ve been there for every single performance. They started off with the first track of their newly released EP, and for the first time that night, the crowd was able to get into the music, and a pit got started. Close to the end of their set, they played what most of the “oldfears. crew” decided was their favorite song, and the rest of the crowd looked a little jealous when all of our friends got the mic for “disloyal and divine.”

After oldfears. came a New York, Staten Island based band, Stray From The Path. I was nowhere near as excited for this band, because the kind of crowd they draw are the hardcore ‘bro’ type kids. I saw way too many flat-brim hats and basketball jerseys paired with cut-off shorts and snakebites for one day. Needless to say, while they were playing, I was happy to sit at the oldfears. merch table.

Beyond Stray From The Path is when the show really started to gain the intensity I was hoping for. The Cancer Bats played next, a hardcore/punk band hailing from Canada, and their set was fantastic, for lack of a better word. They had a fairly big pit going on, with plenty of people screaming the words, and their interaction with the crowd was awesome. They finished with a song called “Hail Destroyer” and even included a Beastie Boys cover in their set. When it was over, though, we all knew what time was, and a rumor had started to circulate throughout the venue that The Chariot would be setting up on the floor due to lack of a lead singer.

Josh Scogin, who screams for The Chariot wasn’t able to be there, because his wife had just had their second child, and I don’t think anybody held that against him. Without a vocalist, they were able to set up on the floor, and used guys from other bands and the audience as a fill-in for Josh. As soon as they started the first song and the microphone got handed into the audience, the raw emotion of that show began to pour out, and didn’t stop the entire time.

It was the kind of show where you just let everything go, you hit whoever you need to, you scream at the top of your lungs, you dance like it’s your last day. For every single one of their ten or so songs, I was in the middle of a crowd of people, being thrown around and throwing people around.

Most people might look at this performance and say, “How could the band let that happen?” The Chariot was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen because of this, anyone who wanted to scream could go ahead and do it. I got the mic for a portion of “The Audience” and “Daggers” and led the crowd with my friends and my voice. That wasn’t all though, my friend Adam essentially played drums for “Deaf Policeman,” and another friend of mine, Ben, acted as the entire Chariot that night, screaming and even playing guitar for them.

It was pure emotion, with no barriers or walls, every person did what they felt in that moment, and despite anything else that we had going on at that point in time, for those three hours we were free. As Chariot bassist Johnathan Kindler’s Twitter read that night, “I will never forget tonights show. Long Love Pittsburgh, Long Live floor shows, Long Live the King”

longlive to everyone - Sam Ritzer