Bane / With Honor / Have Heart / Outbreak - live in New York (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Bane / With Honor / Have Heart / Outbreak

live in New York (2008)

live show

A mere matter of days after seeing one of the best show lineups hardcore has to offer (Paint It Black, the Hope Conspiracy, Have Heart and Crime in Stereo), I got the opportunity to see another quartet of hardcore greats -- all New England-based, this time.

But first, Brooklyn's Probable Cause was up to represent. For being a year-old act, I have to give credit where it's due -- they sounded like they had their shit together, giving a tight and pissed off performance all the same. Their songs ran the gamut of usual local NYHC topics; f.e., the singer let everyone know that one song was about "talking shit when you're drunk...and not being able to back it up." Well, no one really likes that guy, right? So I can get on the boat there. I was bored musically, but the swinging of various limbs on the spread out space of the floor let me know that there were differing opinions in the house.

Now we all know Have Heart is easily one of the biggest bands in hardcore, and their reaction may have been somewhat bigger than Outbreak's, but boy, you'd have had quite the argument on your hands as to who should've played before who. That is, after you witnessed the usual array of apeshit occurring when Maine's ambassadors shook the room for 17 minutes. Semi-violent, hyperspeed stage dives as fast as the band's songs broke out countless times, one or more from the singer himself. I feel like I'll end up saying the same thing about every band that played this show, but the band's penchant for just electrifying crowds with their lightning quick releases of aggression was as on as ever. They played a few more than these, but in order: "Lost for Words" (?), "Infected," "Deaf and Blind," "No One Cares" (of course), "A.S." and "Square One."

Could Have Heart actually beat out their incredible set they put on at the Church in Philly just days before at the aforementioned show? No, no way. But they still managed nothing less than a solid performance, and generally received the same huge reaction, only with more kids trying to pile-on and a few more stage dives in a much more cramped and poorly lit setting. The band had former member and current Death Before Dishonor guitarist B-Roll filling in on six-string, and he seemingly held his own -- as well as bringing a hilariously intimidating presence to things (one conversational exchange found Pat Flynn saying that in leaving Have Heart, B-Roll found a band better suited for him, to which B-Roll half-jokingly retorted "Fuck you!"). Seeing them for the third time in less than three weeks made me realize I'm starving for some new material (which I'll get in about 7 months), but another surprising change-up in the set order helped keep it somewhat fresh. But damn, the band really need to start playing "Old Man II" again.

Set list (8:51-9:19):

  1. Watch Me Rise
  2. Watch Me Sink
  3. -----
  4. Life Is Hard Enough
  5. Something More Than Ink
  6. -----
  7. Lionheart
  8. About Face
  9. -----
  10. The Unbreakable
  11. The Machinist
  12. -----
  13. Armed with a Mind
In late 2005 and early 2006, it seemed like I couldn't go to a Long Island hardcore show without seeing With Honor. The band were on virtually every bill, and being based only a state away was probably a likely contributor. In any event, the band eventually replaced their beloved lead vocalist, Todd Mackey, for Kevin White(y), and things weren't really the same. After a few tours or so, things just didn't seem to work out and the band broke up only a matter of months after the replacement, even having Have Heart's Pat Flynn handle vocals for the last show. This current reunion tour, featuring the original members, seems like a good way to really close out the band's mini-legacy of sorts, at least as far as New England or Connecticut hardcore goes. They're certainly doing it at the pleasure of long-time fans: Their set here drew surprisingly well from their first full-length, 2004's Heart Means Everything, as well as their 2003 self-titled EP. Having an unflinching melodic hardcore bias, I obviously prefer the followup, 2005's This Is Our Revenge, and especially the split with the Distance, but the mix of material here still managed to touch upon all their releases and offered necessary reprieves for every crowd member's discographical preference. Mackey, as well as the rest of the crew, seemed to be having a lot of fun, and much of the crowd went was bluntly going off and matching their enthusiasm. In fact, a healthy portion of the crowd cleared out after their set. That's slightly bizarre one guesses, as Bane is clearly (or was) one of With Honor's biggest influences. Chalk it up to With Honor nearly putting on a headline-worthy set.

Set list (9:43-10:17):
  1. Intro
  2. Bridges and Gaps
  3. ?
  4. -----
  5. Gun for Hire
  6. Plot Two
  7. More Than Heroes
  8. -----
  9. Up and Out
  10. -----
  11. Relentless
  12. -----
  13. To Believe
  14. -----
  15. Rethink Return
  16. -----
  17. Long Story Short
  18. All Hope Aside
  19. -----
  20. Like Trumpets
However, if anyone can follow up an explosive set, it's Bane. If you're even remotely familiar with the band, you probably know what to expect by now: every band member jumping around like they just downed a case of Red Bull; more stage dives than you can shake a finger-point at; and a psyched Aaron Bedard, clad in a long-sleeve and flimsy, worn-out baseball cap, consistently jogging in place and/or raising his arms in a cheerleading, Start Today-like manner every ten seconds and looking like he just climbed up on stage from the audience if it wasn't for the ten or so years he has on most everyone in the room. While the sold-out venue had clearly granted its inhabitants some newfound stretching room, many of those who remained collided bodies anyway. And if you stood in place, you were probably singing along and/or raising a fist. Maybe you were one of the countless people who joined Bedard on stage for the final, cheesy finish to "Swan Song" (I maintain that this song's high wail is a bit much for me).

Whenever there was a gang vocal part though, the chorus of shouts from the audience was thunderous and all-encompassing, and watching the chaos even from the back was entertaining. The theme of pleasing long-time fans also continued from Have Heart's "Lionheart" and With Honor's early discog approach, as you can see from certain selections on the set list.

I've never been a huge Bane fan -- I've always liked and certainly respected them to some extent, but never the one that seeps under the skin of a maniacal audience at their shows. However, that respect increased considerably after The Note, practically a self-audit of hardcore masquerading as a Burn-esque mosh part. Bedard brought forward a number of internal criticisms on the record that I not only agreed with but was glad someone was finally saying. Elaborating on those points on the record, his wisdom impressed me nearly as much here, as much as he probably confused the crowd at one point by condemning and then praising attitudes of negativity within the scene.

All in all, again, a lot of fun and a great way to help kick off the new year.

Set list (10:45-11:31):
  1. Ante Up
  2. Pot Committed
  3. -----
  4. Fuck What You Heard
  5. Count Me Out
  6. -----
  7. Can We Start Again
  8. -----
  9. Speechless
  10. Ali vs. Frazier I
  11. End with an Ellipsis
  12. -----
  13. Superhero
  14. My Therapy
  15. -----
  16. Some Came Running
  17. -----
  18. Swan Song