Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ hosted one hell of a show on April 13th. Local New Jersey hardcore band Phantom Pain put on a great opening spot. Featuring members of The Acacia Strain and Suburban Scum, they did not disappoint! People were still piling in for the later band’s sets as they took to the stage, and one thing I wished for them was a bigger crowd.
Next up on the bill was UK hardcore band Higher Power. I really enjoyed their set but for a band playing mostly old style hardcore it was a bit odd to see they were on a touring package with some of the heaviest bands in the hardcore/metal scene. I definitely can appreciate them bringing back some old-school back to a music scene flooded with panic chords and breakdowns, but from observing the crowd it didn’t really sit well with the audience wanting to mosh and go crazy. I guess concert-goers were saving their energy for later in the night.
The third band, Sanction from Long Island, really got the crowd moving and into the show. Another band that I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about but haven’t had the chance to check out. I would go as far as saying they played my favorite set of the night.
Harm’s Way, straight edge from Chicago, was one set of the night I was really excited for. Having seen them at Vans Warped tour, I knew what to expect and, like usual, they killed their set.
Another Long Island native, Incendiary played fourth and destroyed their set. I really like that there are bands out there still playing New York-style hardcore and absolutely killing it. It’s also amazing seeing the growth of a band, like Incendiary, having played to much smaller crowds at nearby The Meatlocker and QXT’s Night Club, then going on to playing a sold out show to 3,000 people, which is mind boggling to me.
Deathcore band The Acacia Strain was next and having seen them many times before, I knew I was in for an extremely heavy display. Stage divers and all, they put on an insane set. They even featured the vocalist from NJ local band Tourniquet during one of their songs.
After many hours and some great sets it was time for the band everyone came to see, Knocked Loose. The guys for sure have a good sense of humor, as before coming to the stage and performing their first song, ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X was blasted in its entirety through the main PA. After years of listening to this band and watching them rise up to be one of the biggest acts in the scene, it was great to see they haven’t lost their heaviness and great stage presence. The crowd was really feeling their set and the mosh pits looked insane. They ended off the night with a crazy set that will be remembered for a long time.
Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.
Coming soon to Starland Ballroom:
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