Ep.384 – Converge @ Exit/In – Nashville, TN
Jul 23rd, 2010
Category: Converge, Exit/In, Nashville, Video Concert Reviews
My first lost episode! This show happened at the end of May, and somehow I misplaced the video card. BUT, I found it, so here we go…CONVERGE! When I was around 13 years old and going through my hardcore phase, Converge was the cat’s pajamas. Sure, we had our local Wormtown (Worcester, MA) scene with bands such as Thundercock, Stoolface, and of course, GodFlaw (my old school crew’s former band); but Earth Crisis, Hatebreed, and Converge were the role models.
I recall hanging at the creepy abandoned factory repurposed into “band rooms,” and I could be making this up, but I’m pretty positive members of Converge were hanging out with us. When I saw Converge was playing in Nashville, I felt a mosh down Memory Lane was in order, even if I listen to about one hardcore song per year now.
I guess Converge has changed a lot in the past 15 years, executing alterations in both sound and members. The singer looked different than I remember, but apparently, Jacob Bannon has been there from the start – so, one whammy for me. It was former guitarist, Aaron Dalbec, that was the major change since my heyday. Dalbec has since moved onto the band Bane (playing Rocketown on September 3rd). Fun Fact: an old neighborhood friend of mine played in Bane for a while.
It’s difficult for my ears to pick up on differences from then to now, but what I hear in today’s Converge is faster, more complex and advanced thrashing metal. What I grew up on was easier to thump your X-marked hand against your heart to.
The stage show is still as crazy as it was. Bannon is a machine, but I remember there being more screaming. He may have been wanting the audience to “sing” too much of the show. I heard a comment or two about that from the sidelines of the pit. Naturally, this type of music does a number on your voice, and depending on the shape of the singer’s instrument that night, he might need to modify to prevent complete blowout. Besides that, Bannon’s style is a higher trill so it can get lost in the mix easier than a deep howl.
It’s all forgivable though, because between the sweat, violent leaps, crazy eyes, and power of the voice we did hear – Bannon was all in. The sound check was entertaining, doubling as a Q & A with the audience. I’ve seen a few acts add this type of banter to their sets lately, and it worked really well as part of the soundcheck. It always seems awkward when the headlining band comes out and does their own soundcheck, then leaves the stage, and comes back. Many times the band ignores the audience, and that’s silly. Address the crowd and make it part of the show.
Consensus from the people I talked to was that Converge is the best hardcore band ever, and Gaza kicked ass too. True statement. I didn’t think I was going to be able to handle the opening bands, so I came late and caught the end of Gaza. They were a lot like what I was used to. Slower paced, not headsplitting (not saying Converge was, but some hardcore/metal bands are, for me anyway), full and controlled vocals – an even contrast to Converge, like the other end of a hardcore hourglass.
It was gratifying to see all those kids living miles upon miles from Massachusetts come out for a band I saw at their age. I selfishly felt like I had something to do with their success. Just let me have my glory, people! I hope these guys keep it up and continue to rep us right.
Converge Quote of the Night: “To all you guys with asymmetrical haircuts, prepare to look back in your yearbooks and be bummed out.”