Fear Before The March Of Flames / Hot Cross - Live In Poughkeepsie (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Fear Before The March Of Flames / Hot Cross

Live In Poughkeepsie (2004)

live show

My anticipation for this show was pretty high, considering Hot Cross absolutely NEVER comes upstate, and I have heard nothing but the highest praise about their live show. My anticipation was put on hold, however as I waited in a t-shirt in the 30 degree weather outside Club Crannell in the shit hole otherwise known as Poughkeepsie. I drove for 2 1/2 hours to see this, and they still couldn't open the doors on time. Once the doors did actually open though, the first band came on within about 10 minutes or so.

I soon wished I was back out in the cold.

Besides nu metal, there's no type of music I abhor more than mosh metal. Welcome I Am The End! First off, the singer looks like he had come straight from Chess club to play this gig, and if only he had stayed there. I'm not sure if they played different songs or not, I was too busy wishing I was watching Iron Chef, because it's far easier to comprehend that then the reason these ass clowns are playing music. It was the most uninspired, boring 20 minutes I've ever experienced. The lead singer marched around like an angry gorilla, (You Remembering Never fans would love this!) and the two guitarists played the same god damn chord, chord, breakdown progression throughout the duration. Ugh.

The next band apparently was local, because a lot of the kids seemed to be into them, and I was too after the first song. I didn't catch the name the first time around, so I asked one of the singers after the set, and still didn't understand what he said. Something Port Jervis Zoo? I don't know, but it was good. They went with the whole two vocalist approach, and pulled it off well. The one vocalist sounded like that of Spirit Of Versailles, the other could sing for Between The Buried and Me. Made for a nice shrieking/growling contrast. They were also a lot more entertaining to watch, and, just to throw us a curveball, the guitarists didn't play repetitive chord patterns the entire time. Those tricky bastards.

Next up was Hot Cross, and god damn. I mean, God damn. I've seen a lot of shows, and a lot of bands, but I've never been so blown away by a set in my entire life. I was in awe during the entire set. They kicked it off with "Fortune Teller", which sounded even better than on recording. The energy the entire band puts into their show is like nothing you will see. Sure, hardcore bands can be fun live, but this is different. The guitar parts are entirely more technical and precise than 95% of bands, but the guitarist managed to thrash about wildly and not miss a single beat. Billy, the singer was as engaging and entertaining as you could ever hope to be. The stage at Club Cranell is about a whopping three inches off the ground, so Billy and the guitarist were out on the floor, and they needed every inch they could get. They tore through their 7 song set like it was the last time they'd ever play. After Fortune Teller, I was lucky enough to see my favorite Hot Cross song, "The Eye Is A Tricky Machine." Once again, even more impressive live than on record. They kept up a good mix between new and old, playing "Prepare/Repair," "Solanka," and "Throw Collars To The Wind" and they closed it out with "Lend Me Your Brain." I really don't think this paragraph can accurately describe to you how good this band is live. It was jaw-dropping. Too bad the next band on couldn't follow their cues.

Scars Of Tomorrow was that band. Have you heard It Dies Today? Okay well, it's the same band. That's my theory anyhow. Too bad It Dies Today sucks. More mosh metal, hooray! If I could have only counted the breakdowns! These guys should go tour with Remembering Never, It Dies Today, and Hatebreed. And then, if the Gods love any of us, they'll be on the shitty end of an 8 car pileup. That sounds horrible, yes, but that's got nothing on what I'm going to do to the lead singer of the next mosh metal band who's set I have to stand through to see somebody good. I don't know what songs they played, nor do I care to. The two guitarists and bassist all stood in a line, with their matching black hair and t-shirts, and did that dumb hunching over and standing up while playing thing. I hate that. I hate them. Bah!

Fear Before The March Of Flames came on last, and thankfully put on a decent set. I was expecting more from them, to be honest. But a lot of times it really just depends on whether or not kids are into them, and they weren't. No mosh parts = Unhappy kids. Don't get me wrong, Fear Before were tight, and they were entertaining, I was just expecting something different I guess. Like Hot Cross, they did play my favorite song of theirs, which score points for them. That song is "The Twentieth Century Was Entirely Mine." Though, in their defense, they played more of the second album, which is not as enjoyable for me as the first. It's not as chaotic, and they took away a lot of the double screaming that the last album was so much about. In any event, the lead singer, all 78 pounds of him, did his damndest to get kids into it, but everybody just kind of stood in a horseshoe. I think a lot of it was also that Hot Cross was just so good, that they paled in comparison. It'd go see Fear Before again though, they sounded good, they played well, they entertained me. That's all I ask for. Here's as much of a set list as I can remember. It's not in any sort of order:

The Twentieth Century Was Entirely Mine
What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas
Given To Dreams
Hey Kid, I'm A Computer, Stop All The Downloading
The State Of Texas Vs. Fear Before
Whiskey Has Its Place, and Its Place Is In Hell
Should've Stayed In The Shallows
The God Awful Truth

All In all, worth 10 bucks. Hell, I'd have paid 10 bucks just to see Hot Cross and not see any band with breakdowns. If you get a chance to see Hot Cross, absolutely do it. If you're not a fan, they'll make you one.