The minute I saw that Stretch Arm Strong was playing with Between the Buried and Me and Terror on the Made Tour, I knew I was going. The tour is a follow up to last year’s Made Tour that had The Movielife and Further Seems Forever on the bill.
The show was being held in the basement of club DV8, which is called Albee Square. Iced Earth was playing not even a block away. It was obvious, as people walked towards and past Albee Square, that the 45-year old guys with long hair and Man-O-War shirts were not going to see Stretch Arm Strong. The basement of the club, although large, holds most of the “crowd” in a somewhat narrow way or “hallway” section in front of the small stage. Thick pillars run right down the middle of the floor, supporting the floor above. One of the pillars sits right at front of the stage, where the singer of a band would usually be standing. The show was being sponsored in part by Peta, and a booth was set up next to the merch tables showing videos of animals being slaughtered. A couple other booths were set up near the exit showing videos…of what? I don’t know. I didn’t bother to look.
With about a little over one hundred people in attendance, Day of Contempt took the stage. I wasn’t familiar with them, and automatically my mind came up with the conclusion that they looked like Atreyu and probably played metalcore, but they sounded more like a hardcore band. The vocalist was really good and had a strong voice. The guitarist did some clean singing on a couple songs and there was a little double bass drumming going on. In between songs the singer told us that they’re from Australia and would be recording a new album soon. My friend and I talked with a couple of the guys after their set and they were really cool.
Between the Buried and Me took the stage next. I had recently bought their album, The Silent Circus, and I was looking forward to seeing them live. Either not too many people were familiar with them or just didn’t like them, but a pit opened up and a couple kids started dancing. No matter what anyone says, these guys are great musicians. The guitarists were all over the place, the drummer was insane, the singer was right-on with the album, and even the bass player can tear it up. I only grew to appreciate this band that much more. After a rather short, five-song set, Terror was ready to get things going.
Terror set the place off, (well, all the kids on the floor, at least) unlike anyone else that night. What was a fair-sized pit in front of the stage turned into an entire room of kids flailing their legs and arms and doing their coolest spin kicks that they practiced in the mirror hours before the show. I’m really not too much into Terror; they play a brand of what I consider tough-guy-mosh-core that I’m just not into…probably because I’m not a tough guy and don’t say ‘Fuck’ enough. Anyways, they played a tight set and I can respect what they’re doing and they seem to have a huge following.
Right before Stretch Arm Strong started their set, vocalist Chris McLane thanked the crowd for showing up tonight, as he was aware another bad was playing down the street. Someone yelled out “Iced Earth sucks!” to which Chris responded in typical posi-core fashion, “I didn’t say they sucked, I just wanted to thank everyone for supporting all the bands playing here tonight.” Playing for almost an hour, Stretch Arm Strong ended the night with an insane set. They played a good chunk of material off Rituals of Life, Revolution Transmission, and a couple songs off the newest album, Engage. McLane reminded the audience that everyone paid the same price, and everyone should be able to enjoy the show, whether it be dancing, standing in the back, or standing up front. There was a lot of dancing, piling up of bodies, mic sharing, and several people rushing on stage to steal the mic, most notably on the last song, For the Record, in which a group took the mic, as the vocalist “pretended” to sing the last few lines into an imaginary microphone, just before getting it back to finish the last three words.
The Made tour is over with as of the 11th of June, but I highly recommend seeing any of these bands if they come to town. All the bands seemed energetic and were very nice. All four bands will be playing at Hellfest.