June 27 Worcester, MA – Palladium Upstairs
Reach The Sky
A Loss For Words
I should start this review off by saying that I had been looking forward to this one for months, maybe years if you count how long I wished Reach the Sky would play a reunion show in Massachusetts while I was home from tour. Reach the Sky was the band I can fully credit with getting me involved in hardcore in the first place. To this day they are one of my all time favorite bands, so when the rumors started swirling about a possible Worcester show I had a twenty-foot expectation boner for it.
Now, my friend Jay was the person I can credit with getting me into what has become my favorite band in the first place. When we were a lot younger he would tell me to come to shows and I was always too busy riding bikes to ever really want to go. That all changed when he gave me my first really awesome mix tape. It had songs from Bane, American Nightmare, (although I think at the time they were called American nothing) Diecast, the Suicide File, and of course Reach the Sky. I would eventually fall in love with all of these bands, but “a year and a smile” by Reach the Sky came on and I immediately understood why Jay was so adamant about them.
That tape never left my cassette player until it finally got eaten and destroyed. I followed this up by buying both records until those got too scratched up to listen to. I would eventually buy them one more time (at this point RTS were no longer playing shows) until just recently I bought them for what will hopefully be the last time on iTunes.
I can’t stress enough what this band has meant to me over the years, I had a girlfriend who wouldn’t get into my car because she was so sick of listening to Reach the Sky and Death threat. She eventually went on to bang a bunch of random bmx dudes, so I probably should have just left her on the side of the road.
In any case, when I was first introduced to RTS I was probably fifteen, I’m twenty four now and they might mean more to me now than they did back then.
After a pretty long day of riding, Jay and I met up at my favorite bar in Worcester, Ralphs Diner (R.I.P. Ralph) and caught up over a few drinks. As we were leaving the bar and heading to the show, it began to torrentially downpour. Worcester was a fucking swimming pool by the time we got to the palladium, and we caught up with a few people outside before heading inside.
The palladium has a lot of history in Massachusetts, a lot of amazing shows have gone down there over the years. I saw Bane there for the first time (and many subsequent times), I saw Hot Water Music with Glassjaw there once and too many random hardcore shows to count. We filmed our first video there, upstairs, for “heroes get remembered..” and I will never forget Mat Brusso getting kicked out immediately after jumping off the high balcony, suffice it to say a lot of really fucking rad shit has gone on there, and this would be some of the raddest shit yet.
It’s also worth mentioning that I’m pretty used to being one of the older people at shows these days, but tonight was completely different. I was closer to the median than usual, and it was awesome to see as many people hanging out at the bar getting loose as there were. After buying some owed beverages for some old friends, and being a little girl and buying some RTS merch right away, Smartbomb started soundchecking.
Smartbomb are rad Worcester dudes and they even have a song about Worcester so you know they fucking rule. They play really fast, upbeat Pop punk. (Or whatever you want to call it) Their drummer, Perkins, also plays in No Trigger and Outbreak and filled in for Set Your Goals on Warped Tour last year where he and I spent a lot of time seeing how much weed we could roll into joints and smoking them under bleachers with whatever other scoundrels would come and indulge. People are into them, but everyone’s catching up with friends and having preemptive brews before the main event.
As they are playing people are still funneling in. It’s already a good turnout but plenty of familiar faces keep pouring in. I can’t help but notice how many red, white and blue “21+” wristbands there are. I notice two vintage Shark Attack shirts and I have a huge erection for them.
My notes say “piss #3, ‘bro-fest,’ and “this is rad as hell.” I can’t stress enough that by the end of this show I was pretty inebriated so reading back through my notes is fucking hilarious. I can barely even read my own writing already at this point, although I’m glad I had the foresight to keep notes as theirs no way I’d have anything other than “RTS rules I’m wasted” to write down. It’s also hilarious how idiotic you look walking around a show with a notebook in one hand and a beer spilling everywhere in the other.
Next up was Cruel Hand. They are from the icy north of Maine and are another awesome representative of Bridge 9. They are doing a bunch of touring coming up and are hard as hell. This band fucking rules, and if you haven’t scoped them out you probably should. They have a guitar player with wicked long hair wearing a Hawaiian shirt so I was down before the first chord. I’m embarrassed by my drunken descriptions of this band. “Hard as hell, kids get loose.” Although, honestly that works pretty well to describe whats going on. There were a ton of people up on the balcony and I’m surprised no ones jumped off of it yet, I suppose its because they’ll get dragged out and miss RTS if they do. Probably a good call. Towards the end of their set my friend kip tells me I “need to write down that the guitar player is wearing a Hawaiian shirt.” Hilarious that I beat him to it. Great minds think alike…
Reign Supreme is up next and I’d be surprised if you haven’t already heard of these guys, they’re making a pretty good name for themselves these days and it’s totally understandable, these dudes rule. Oddly enough they actually recorded their record in New Jersey at the same studio we’re currently recording at. I got to meet J, who sings for them a while ago in Philadelphia and he is one of the nicest people you’re likely to meet. His appreciation of The Starting Line and booty shorts makes him one seriously rad dude. This band is heavy as shit and kids are going wild, its awesome to see them kill it in Worcester like this, I had heard about their live show for awhile but this is the first time I’ve gotten to see them, definitely lives up to the hype. Still no stage dives, but I think it’s mostly because no one wants to get kicked out. Go check out their new Record “Testing the Limits of Infinite” on Deathwis Inc, its fucking rad.
Now it’s time for our good friends in A Loss For Words. I’ve said it before but it makes me so happy to see these dudes doing well, and tonight was no exception, tight as all hell and kids are going wild. I jumped on a fat girls shoulders for good measure and got crushed by an even fatter dude. Shit rules. Hell yes. I can’t forget to mention that Matty who
sings for AL4W was playing this show with a severely broken hand and a huge smile on his face. These guys went wildly out of their way to play this show and the drives cross country, mid-tour, for this one is appreciated by everybody there.
After a couple select whiskey drinks everyone’s ready for Reach the Sky. I put my notebook away for a bit because this is one show I need to be involved in. I wish I had a scanner so I could show you how terrible my post-show notes were. I have to apologize if this review sounds a little weird for me, but honestly I was like a little kid all over again. When the lights went down I ran the risk of cumming all over everyone in the front of the room. I had more fun than I thought I was capable of. Ian sounded amazing, all the dudes were tight as hell, everyone was going completely fucking ape-shit. I can’t complain about a single thing. Everyone in the building had a grin on their face. Even the two kids whose faces got smashed apart in the front, the smiles never left. As fruity as it sounds, I think I counted thirty high –fives during their set. They played every song I would have asked them to play. My eye socket got fingered and I think whoevers filthy hand got in my skull might have given me pinkeye but I didn’t give a shit. I haven’t headwalked more in my entire life, there are people climbing on top of people on top of people. It was seriously awesome seeing dudes from the ages of thirteen to forty all going completely nuts with no problems at all. No one caused any trouble because everyone was too stoked.
When their set ended I couldn’t believe it, I would have stayed up and watched them for another four days. If you aren’t familiar with RTS, do yourself a favor and listen to a very important band in Boston hardcore. A lot of bands who play heavier music with pop influences owe a lot to this band, even if they might not know it. It’s unfortunate that if you haven’t seen them before it’s unlikely they’ll play much more, but it’s still some of the best, most honest music I’ve ever heard.
When the lights went on and everybody got kicked out, me and Jay headed back to Ralphs wasted and exhausted. Jay broke his ankle, I had a seriously clawed apart face and was covered in bruises, but both of us fucking loved life. Check out some pics at future-breed.com and returntothepit.com! Till next time…