Saturday, July 14, 2007

American Uprising Tour Brings Hardcore Rock to 50 Cities

As a middle-aged guy I haven't really been familiar with the rock genres known as emo and hardcore. Yes, my friends consider me somewhat hip because I listen to a lot of obscure alternative bands, but I got a taste of something new when I chaperoned by 16-year-old niece to a show in the American Uprising tour, a barnstorming series of shows featuring young, up-and-coming hardcore rock bands.

Finding the venue in Milford, New Hampshire wasn't easy, because the concert was held in a Knights of Columbus hall set back from the street, with only a small sign identifying it. As for the half dozen bands on the bill, they reminded me of some early punk, some old hard rock, and pioneers such as Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins. The was basically hard rock (one band's riffs reminded me of Deep Purple), but the vocal style was what was distintive. Though it's often called "screamo," the vocals are actually in more of a low gutteral growl.

Most of the bands were far from home--one from Chicago, a couple of bands from Cincinnati, and a couple from California, including Sacramento-based Catherine and headliner Winds of Plague from Los Angeles. Also on the bill were Born of Osiris, Beneath the Sky, and At The Throne of Judgment.

I'm sure at least some of these bands are featured on podcasts somewhere, and I'll include links to those if I find them. I thought some might have been played on Martina Butler's Emo Girl Talk pocast, but these are not emo, I guess (I'm still not sure of the exact distinctions between the two).

The vocal style wasn't really my taste, and I probably wouldn't be too enthused about listening to the bands on CD or radio. But hearing them live and up close--literally from a couple of feet away, in most cases--made this an exciting show.

The American Uprising tour is still out on the road. It's a loud, high-energy show, so make sure you bring your earplugs.

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