Every so often, a band comes around that actually believes in the shit they say on stage between songs. A band comes along that actually believes in the convictions they preach, as they become more than words coming through speakers, but rites to live by, and in some cases, rites to die by. Syracuse's own the Promise is one such band. Straight Edge is something those five guys have invested everything in, yet, at no point in the evening did they feel the need to preach their beliefs, instead opting to give Club Tundra one of the best performances it's held in years.
Enough Is Enough led the way, and managed to entertain the crowd pretty well with their brand of straightforward, no frills hardcore. The only really noteworthy thing about these guys is how much the lead singer sounded like Justin Timberlake when he talked. It was a solid bunch of songs though, and kids responded pretty well for it.
Final Word was up next, and really got the floor opened up and kids into things. Their sound wasn't all that different from Enough Is Enough, but the members of the band put on a good show, and everyone responded pretty well to it.
Freya was put on the bill on Friday, as Charge had to drop from the bill for what are at least to me, undisclosed reasons. Freya as usual played a very solid set, but I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about it, as it's the same set they played on Friday in Fulton. Solid nonetheless.
Next up was the spectacle that is Bane. Now, for whatever reason, I'd never seen Bane previous to this night, but had always heard about how ridiculous the shows they put on were. And after watching their set, that claim could not possibly ring more true. As soon as the first chord was struck, bodies in the lower level of Tundra were flying from every direction possible. Singer Aaron Bedard commanded the crowd like it was so evident he was born to do. It seems almost impossible in the hardcore scene, but almost 10 years after they began, Bane are just as relevant as ever. From the frantic pit in front of the stage to the band members thrashing behind him, Bedard held every member of that audience in the palm of his hand, while they screamed his every word right along with him. I've heard complaints from people that he preaches too long between songs, but it couldn't have been more poignant than on this night. He had some really kind words to say of the Promise, and about the scene in Syracuse because of their existence, and it couldn't have been more right on. Bane tore threw their set in about 35 minutes with an intensity the likes of which is barely seen in hardcore anymore, but was it ever present here. They ended with "Can We Start Again," as seemingly every kid on the floor bum rushed the stage to scream the words around Bedard. Truly a great performance.
Much to everyone's dismay, after Bane's set, it became a reality that this was the last time anyone was going to be seeing the Promise play a show. So as we were told, Syracuse sent them out the only way we know how, on top. Bane's performance was intense, but on this night, the Promise held every person in that venue on the tips of their feet. Short of Hellfest, I've never seen so many bodies flying, so many kids in the pit, screaming along every single word; it really was a sight to behold. Vocalist Anderson Bradshaw was pulled into the crowd in a frenzy of bodies flying on stage, and it was obvious he was loving the energy. The guitars splashed in the background, the drums resonated throughout the room, and Bradshaw screamed every single word like he would never have his voice again. He talked to the crowd a lot between songs, and it was really a great thing to see somebody that obviously cared so much about this scene. A lot of bands do talk about this and that, and what they believe, but when it comes down to it, it's pretty easy to see through the fašade. And it's just as easy to see how genuine these five guys are, and how much love they have for the roots that they came from, and the scene they made a home in. These guys put their hearts out there for the hour they played, and I'm sure the rest of the hundreds of people there were just as appreciative as I was. They played the majority of the songs off Believer, bittersweetly ending with "The Kiss Off." During that last song, kids piled on to the stage to scream the words along, and afterwards, the guys stayed on stage to talk to every single kid that came up to them, going out on top, just like we all wanted.
I've seen a lot of shows, including a decent amount of final shows. I've seen the sendoffs that Skycamefalling, This Day Forward, and others got, but nothing compared to this. It was everything a final show for such a vital band to a scene should be. I know they thanked the crowd numerous times for being there, but I think it's really us that owe the thank you: For making music, being a part of our scene, and being genuine where so many other bands aren't. I was trying to think of a really classy way to end this, and I think the best way to do that is use some of their own words. You'll be missed.
This is our time to carve better ways, with our blood, flesh and thoughts, we will fight the tide and bite the hand that chokes with lies, this is our time to live better days, with our blood, flesh and thoughts. We will fight the tide. Turn this around, it is our past defeats that lead us to our destinies from tragic stories to high glories, uphill all the way.