Photos and Article by Chandler Poczciwinski
A cold Saturday night in Rochester, NY, caused people to crowd around the parking ticket booths like penguins huddling for warmth. It was my first show with a complete hardcore bill in quite a while, at a venue (Anthology) that I had never been to before. I was excited, to say the least; a new venue is always an adventure, and Stick to Your Guns, one of my all time favorite bands, was headlining the event for the evening. Unfortunately, I missed the opening local act Destroy//Create, who I was really hoping to see because I know they are a local gem. Destroy//Create is definitely one of the premier hardcore bands in the Buffalo/Rochester area, and they have some really great shows coming up that I hope to find myself at.
Sanctions, the boys from Long Island, NY, were the next act to hit the stage. This band definitely did not disappoint, their extra heavy chugs shook the room and were the perfect way to start off an evening of hardcore music. I was super excited to see the next band Wage War play, they are one of the first metal bands that I got into, and I have been following them since their first release Blueprints. Wage War has always been on the top of my list for great sounding metal bands, and they once again solidified their spot on that list. However, I could see it in their faces that they were itching to play some new songs, and I hope to see some new music coming from them soon. The co-headliners for this tour, Emmure, treated the Rochester crowd to a combination of great heavy music and awesome stage production. The lighting production for this tour was unlike any that have seen before. They raised the bar to the next level and added a really unique element to the show for their fans viewing pleasure.
When I first saw this tour lineup, I was a little surprised to see Emmure and STYG co-headline together, and didn't know what to expect when I got there. However, the combination of Sanction, Wage War, Emmure and Stick To Your Guns provided a wide range of sound for the crowd to eat up. It actually turned out to be a great night and I was able to get a taste of all the different types of hardcore music that I find myself listening to. This was my first time seeing STYG live despite them being one of my favorite bands. My high expectations for STYG were surpassed, and they didn’t disappoint in the slightest.
Besides their undeniable energy and passion, what I love the most about STYG is the positive message that they preach while they are on stage. A message full of standing together, standing tall, and taking action that can be easily taken to heart during these pivotal moments in history. It should be known that Stick To Your Guns is not a political band, they are a band that speaks on social issues. Their latest release True View (2017), actually touches the least on social issues, and instead gives us a glimpse into frontman Jesse Barnett’s personal struggle and reflection that has plagued him for the past few years. This tour shows once again how STYG is a band that focuses on action, their #Hopebringers initiative rewards fans who do simple volunteer work around their community, with free tickets and signed merch. Is that not enough to prove STYG’s commitment to their message? It should also be know that recently in 2017, in support of the Action not Words charity, Stick To Your Guns became the first American hardcore band to play in Kenya. I could go deeper and deeper into all the great things that Stick To Your Guns does as a band, however, I will leave that for a future article. If you want to dive deeper into STYG for yourself you can catch them right now on their co headlining tour with Emmure, or you can find their latest album True View wherever you get your music. However, until next time, stay positive, take action, and long live hardcore.