Strung Out / Evergreen Terrace - live in New York (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Strung Out / Evergreen Terrace

live in New York (2007)

live show

Only three days after watching their tour van be driven out of a hotel parking lot in Philadelphia by some stranger, along with their trailer and every personal item brought with them on tour, Strung Out hit the Knitting Factory for their New York City stop. In recent years their NY date would find them playing Irving Plaza, but not on this fateful tour, perhaps the first unfortunate sign of a dwindling fanbase. Funny enough, this same night Minus the Bear was taking up residence at that very venue, Irving Plaza.

I never realized that Evergreen Terrace are only a few musical steps away from Atreyu. They tend to get lumped in with mildly heavier acts, like the bulk of their former labelmates at Eulogy, or even the roster at Trustkill Records, but they practically mirror Atreyu's growled verse / sung chorus stride, wrapped up in a metalcore package with the occasional fast tempo and stupid horror chord (see: any five seconds of Norma Jean's Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child). I want to say they sounded awfully contrived and often silly encouraging their fans to "push-mosh, hardcore dance, whatever!," but the way they've helped Strung Out continue on tour by providing transportation with them in one likely cramped van is admirable. Plus, their 39-minute performance was tight, if nothing else, including "Burned Alive by Time," "Wolfbiker," and "Chaney Can't Quite Riff Like Helmet's Page Hamilton" among others. I would've loved to have A Wilhelm Scream on our leg, but oh well. Maybe these guys are a little more sincere than they seem to come off.

During the transition between sets, the Knitting Factory main space slowly started to fill until the room was cramped with anxious, impatient fans. An involved chant of the band's name broke out, and soon the quintet took the stage in matching atom logo tees. They then immediately broke into the title track off their new, divisive album; no matter critic or fan reaction to it, the band were clearly playing their hearts out and the audience responded to that -- at least half the room went absolutely batshit, an energy that seemed to carry itself through the entire set. It seemed Strung Out weren't even looking for sympathy, though; I can't even remember whether or not they mentioned the theft altogether.

With Necro playing later that night in the same space, the band kept their set to a tight, fluid 17 songs and 58 minutes. Maybe they would've played longer in different circumstances, but this was definitely a case of quality over quantity. The set list seemed fairly imbalanced (2 off Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues, 6 - Twisted by Design, 1 - Element of Sonic Defiance EP, 3 - An American Paradox, 1 - Exile in Oblivion, 4 - Blackhawks Over Los Angeles), but the band threw in a lot of fan favorites as well as my personal number one, "Velvet Alley," managing to give it a nice fluidity. There were flawless transitions between songs from completely different eras and everything seemed accurately placed.

After coming off what has to be a devastating loss, Strung Out put on a passionate display over the course of that hour, and I think their fans were able to see that clearly.

Set list (8:57-9:55):

  1. Blackhawks Over Los Angeles
  2. Ultimate Devotion
  3. Too Close to See
  4. -----
  5. Solitaire
  6. Mind of My Own
  7. Firecracker
  8. Deville
  9. Scarecrow
  10. Razor Sex
  11. -----
  12. Calling
  13. Mission Statement
  14. -----
  15. Cult of the Subterranean
  16. Blueprint of the Fall
  17. -----
  18. King Alvarez
  19. Velvet Alley
  20. Diver
  21. Matchbook