Ryan's Hope/Down In Front/Kid Presentable - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Ryan's Hope / Down In Front / Kid Presentable

live in Chicago (2003)

live show

I gathered the gang up and headed down to the familiar and lovely Fireside Bowl to see Ryan's Hope play their first gig at the famed venue, as well as take in some new rock. Let's begin.

Ascending / Descending was the first band up. I didn't have a big problem with this opening band's music, which was that kinda tech melodic hardcore stuff, but the singer, when he wasn't screaming, reminded me of a crappy band…not sure which, maybe Godsmack. Also note that the bassist used to be in Dearest Fae I believe, a really psycho hardcore band, and now he's in this band. Oh well. This band apparently has only been together for 20 days or something (they only had a 4 song set), so they will likely improve. We'll see.

The Evil Us's were next, and they reminded me of Strung Out or old Lagwagon back when they were metal. They were not hardcore, but punk, often with double-time beats, and then add metal riffs onto that. At times maybe they could even be compared to Thrice with the guitars' technical harmonized parts, but these guys didn't have any screaming. Worth checking out for sure, but sometimes it seems they were just showing off their chops whether the song benefited or not.

Next was Kid Presentable. When they started off, I was horrified at the singer's voice. He seemed to improve his pitch as the set went on, but this had already turned me off to them. They seem to be fairly young band, playing decent rock with emo leanings. Nothing that really grabbed me, but perhaps with time…

Then came Down in Front. These guys played a tight set of Alkaline Trio-ish punk rock. Their singer had a good voice and a big range, but it seemed to wear on him as the set went on. He said he was taking over all the vocals that he shares with the other ill guitarist, and it's lucky for him he usually doesn't have to do all that, because many more sets like that one may require him to join Skiba in vocal chord destruction. Check these guys out - melodic rock that maintains an edge thanks to aggressive guitar parts and an energetic and skilled rhythm section.

Finally it was time for Ryan's Hope in their Fireside debut. Their fans came out in droves and everyone was excited for the occasion. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Ryan's Hope is three hardcore guys playing melodic punk/emo rock. The hardcore leanings (and C tuning), along with sweet breakdowns and kick-ass solos set them apart from other punk/melodic/rock/emo/whatever bands.

The band kept the set going at a good clip, playing a variety of songs from their two EPs -"Home Tonight" and the title track off the Every Place I Hide EP, and "Death Machine", "Kristen", "A Change in Everything" and the title track off the Weighing What Matters EP, and also the three tracks off their full length's demo. One of those newbies featured an appearance by the singer from Article 57 who did some bloodcurdling screaming. They closed with my fav, "Nick Springer", with its multiple buildups and those sweet metal riffs at the end. Also, the band's stage presence didn't disappoint, as the guys showed their hardcore experience by lifting guitars high in the air and headbanging in a circular fashion. Rock.