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Greene Street rocks out to hardcore metal lineup

Published: Thursday, September 10, 2009

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010

Friday night, five bands came to Greensboro in hopes of not only get their name out, but to make their fans shout their name and remember them always. Mission accomplished. Performing first was Tattermask, a female-fronted rock band hailing from Charlotte. They were soon followed by Bob, an alternative rock group from Washington, D.C., Saint Diablo from central Virginia, two of Greensboro’s finest rock and hardcore bands made an appearance: Hephystus and The Five L’s.

Due to low attendance and general last minute word of mouth that the bands were just waiting to kick in, the show didn’t start until around 8:45p.m. It was a slow start with Tattermask. Amanda Caines, the lead female vocalist who demurely sipped on beer with band mates and roadies before her set, seemed to step into the role as much as she stepped into her fishnet stockings and platform boots: semi-awkwardly, but with great gusto. Caines and the rest of her band mates approached the stage shyly as if once Amanda mentioned that they were from Charlotte, the hardcore Greensboro crowd would light torches and chase them out of town. However, Tattermask delivered their set with strong-willed determination, power guitar stances and amazing lead vocals. The band certainly supported Caines in her least moment of certainty, but Tattermask was only going to get even more masked by the bands to come.

Bob hit the stage blazing, literally and figuratively. Three of the four band members lit up cigarettes before starting the show adding to their intense “we’re from D.C. Don’t mess with us” vibe. As soon as they blasted out the first few chords and lyrics of their set, it was well known throughout the Greene Street Club that that vibe was justified: Bob was a fireball, a force to be reckoned with- becoming an energy that could have been seen from space had there been no ceiling. With dreadlocks swinging, sweat cascading, and beats penetrating everyone to the core there was no doubt that they were. They didn’t come to Greensboro to just play a show, Bob expected nothing in return. Hardcore rocking stances, fists in the air, and a well executed act of getting the crowd to jump up and down with them, they came across as an amazing rock group who knew who they were even if the audience didn’t. After their set the members of Bob humbly signed autographs, shook hands, and introduced themselves individually as if they didn’t just get up and rock the stage. Once the signing was over, they disappeared into the crowd and spoke like regular people but were not to be forgotten.

Saint Diablo took the stage and gave a show that would make the censors nervous. They were intense. Saint Diablo’s lead singer, Tito, screamed like a banshee and cussed like a sailor emitting nervous energy and laughs from the crowd. That energy only heightened when he took off his camouflage hat to reveal a braided and fancifully shaved hairdo and a burly beard. He screamed his heart out and left it on the floor for the audience to do with what they will. Saint Diablo closed their set as strongly as they had begun, but it was hard not to notice Tito standing near the merchandise table with a “somebody please buy our CD” look on his face. Though a great band and very talented, that was to be overshadowed by the next two bands taking the stage. Greensboro’s own Hephystus made a wonderful show out of testing the microphones and made an even more spectacular show during their set. Full of amazing rocking “we sell out stadiums” energy coupled with a humble intimate “it’s just me and my instrument” feel, made them more relatable to the crowd than they already were. Brandon sang and talked to the crowd in a way that made the crowd feel familar. Matt on the guitar showed an artistic prowess that reached beyond his years and his position on that stage was well deserved. Andrew rocked out in his own way with his strap-on keytar that made one want to start playing keyboard even if one didn’t know how. With hair swinging back and forth Andrew rocked it hard and proud in a way that made him just as much of a musician as his band-mate counterparts.

Lofts on the bass provided the hard-hitting and steady undercurrent that carried the band from beginning to end. Troy seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself on the drums and that was felt throughout the set. With an amazing display of technique and artistry, Hephystus made Greensboro proud.

The one band whose motto was “let’s play one more since we’re here” was another Greensboro rock band: The Five L’s. They took the stage and rocked harder than all the groups of the evening put together- times five. They had a huge following and got the crowd going so much that stage security had to intervene by pushing moshers back into the pit just to keep things “under control”. It was that awesome. They brought back a vibe lost and found in the hardcore scene and they were hardcore personified. The two lead singers revved up the club, the drummer pushed things into a frenzy, the guitarists and the bassist seemed overshadowed by the lead singers and the drummer but they held their own and contributed to an amazing end of the night.

These five bands were the epitome of hardcore/rock in its finest hours. Bringing everything from a female-fronted rock band to a mosh pit, they proved that rock is alive and kicking and hardcore is really just that: hardcore. Though they will all go their separate ways to their various venues, they are all welcomed back to Greensboro to show everyone how rocking hard really feels.

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