H2O and Terror are in the midst of a co-headlining tour that made its way to The Underground last night, until H2O canceled the show a few hours before doors opened. We reached out to Mantooth and Bridge Nine records to find out why H2O canceled but have yet to receive an answer. Mantooth graciously offered full refunds to anyone who planned to just see H2O, and fans got $2 back on every presale.
Like many fans, I was pretty bummed out. H2O is one of those bands I'll drop everything to see (like that time I missed out on Frank Turner to see H2O for the third time). I had been looking forward to this show for awhile, and even though H2O dropped out, I fulfilled by reviewer duties by checking out Terror.
I saw these hardcore stalwarts a few years back at The Underground. It was a fairly typical hardcore show--the type where you stand in the back and observe kids hardcore dancing and piling on top of each other to grab the mic. My distinct memory of the show was hearing a loud crack during one of the songs and moments later seeing a guy emerge with a bloody, broken nose.
With that, I brought my camera with the intention of shooting from the back of the venue, but it was so packed and full of tall guys that I didn't stand a chance. Plus, I didn't want to get any closer out of fear of taking a spin kick to the face.
Terror's performance is the epitome of what hardcore shows are all about. Frontman Scott Vogel proclaimed that Terror doesn't have fans, they have family. The evening did strangely feel like a family affair, as guys banded together to sing along and beat the crap out of each other--but it was all in good fun.
H2O was noticeably absent, as a fan requested "The New Blood" and Vogel said he would have played it if H2O's Toby Morse was present. This lead to a slew of requests for "Betrayal" as Vogel seemed humbled to continue playing intimate shows like these over the course of a decade.
The band played a few unreleased songs from an album that is due out later this year, including "Hard Lessons." The new songs hit just as hard as fan favorites, so I'm sure the new album won't disappoint.
Vogel introduced what was "probably the funnest Terror song" as he shouted "you're so fucking caught" and the audience screamed along for "You're Caught" and opened up a large circle pit.
The intimate, sweaty basement show (Vogel suggested that everyone jumps in a pool after the show) is what I imagine classic east coast hardcore shows to be like. The Underground was packed enough for me to wonder why the show wasn't moved upstairs, but doing so would have created a bit of distance between the band and fans. Watching the crowd's reaction to closing song "Keepers of the Faith" was proof enough that The Underground was the perfect venue for this show, as fans jumped on stage and sang along.
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While it was disappointing that H2O didn't make it, Terror once again put on a great set, even if it only lasted 40 minutes. I was lead into a false sense of security as I climbed the stairs and exited the venue, only to see a guy sitting outside nursing his nose with a handkerchief. Yet another broken nose, reaffirming my decision to keep my distance at most hardcore shows.
Critic's Notebook: Last Night: Terror at The Underground. Personal Bias: Love H2O, could take or leave Terror, though seeing Terror a second time piqued my interest-- I listened to Keepers of the Faith on my drive home and enjoyed it. The Crowd: Lots of hoodies and testosterone. Overheard in the Crowd: Tough guy with a bunch of tattoos talking about seeing Mackelmore at Club Red. Random Notebook Dump: I wonder if the guy with the Deathly Hallows tattoo has ever heard "Harry Potter's Hardcore"?