Showcasing new talent

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By Tyler Davidson

(Courtesy of Adrenilin PR)

By Tyler Davidson

The Showcase Theatre in Corona, California has seen its share of up-and-coming local acts, many of which have risen to prominence in their respective scenes.

Avenged Sevenfold’s brand-new DVD, “All Excess,” sees lead singer M. Shadows go out of his way to speak about the times that A7X had on their way to the top at the Showcase (some good, and some…well, not so good.)

On, July 28, however, the Showcase saw hundreds of hardcore and punk fans gather from all around the SoCal area to see several hours of high-octane brutality, headlined by metalcore veterans Evergreen Terrace.

The first band on the bill, and those who held the arguably arduous task of riling up this raucous crowd for the night to come, was a San Diego-based quintet known as Underminded. Lead vocalist Nick Martin displayed decent emceeing skills right off the bat, developing a friendly rapport with members of a scene that is admittedly not the friendliest around and jokingly introducing three straight songs in a row as being about…well, a certain four-letter action. What followed, unfortunately, could only be described as forgettable, at best. Martin shouted monotone vocals with every bit of anger and passion he could muster, which, while admirable, can become a bit more than tiresome. Throw in some bland guitars and you’ve got the makings of a band that could have potential, but is still a while away from fulfilling it.

If Underminded left me wanting more, then the next band up, Casey Jones, most definitely got me pumped up again. A powerful five-piece out of Jacksonville, Florida, Casey Jones makes no two ways about their stance as a “straight edge” band, which could be seen as both a benefit as well as a detriment. On one hand, it is refreshing to see a band stick so closely to their beliefs, however, with an ethos as strict as straight edge being the main theme of a band’s content, it’s extremely easy to venture into the realm of the preachy, with songs like “1 Out of 3 Has A STD” and “If You’re Smoking In Here, You Better Be On Fire.” Content aside, the music is amazing by itself. In keeping with punk tradition, rarely do the band’s songs ever go over 2 minutes in length, but seldom do they need to, with catchy-as-hell riffs not usually found in the hardcore scene.

Next up onstage was The Warriors, a hardcore/metal band that calls Tehachapi their hometown. Unfortunately, this is about all I’d be able to tell you about them. They displayed tremendous energy onstage, but aside from that, they fell into the same category as Underminded; not terrible, not particularly good. Just kind of…there. A good warm-up nonetheless for the next band up, Pennsylvania-based Christian metal act August Burns Red.

Before I go on any further, it must be noted that Matt Greiner, drummer for ABR, must be seen and heard to be believed. The double-bass kicks that Greiner contributes are rapid-fire salvos like nothing I’ve ever heard live before. This is especially evident on songs like “Back Burner,” a track off ABR’s new album, “Messengers,” penned by guitarist JB Brubaker. According to Brubaker, the hard-hitting number is “basically just a song about taking your convictions and morals and just setting them aside…doing what the crowd’s doing just because it’s ‘in’ and popular. I think that’s something that a lot of young people struggle with in today’s world.”

Once August Burns Red finished up their set, it was time for the headlining act of the night, another Jacksonville-based quintet named Evergreen Terrace. Evergreen Terrace’s unique brand of metalcore sees the empassioned screams of lead vocalist Andrew Carey contrast sharply with the deeply melodic choruses of guitarist/vocalist Craig Chaney. This combination is all set to thought-provoking lyrics, including largely taboo topics like being pro-choice.

At the end of a long, long night, the Showcase Theatre was left thoroughly ravaged by a hardcore riot. Stage-diving, slam-dancing, and good times were in abundance in the quaint little town of Corona, and by the time the clock struck midnight, all in attendance were reminded of one thing: punk is sure as hell not dead.

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