Gig Review: Turnstile, Touche Amore, Culture Abuse, & more at Warsaw in NYC
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The wafts of cigarette smoke coming from set breaks outside carried in from the giant venue of Warsaw. With notes of beer in the floorboards and sticky sweat, the crowds of this hardcore show throw caution to the wind. Stripping themselves of their 9 to 5’s to have 5 hours of screaming energy that coats the back of their minds for the rest of the working week. This is what the latest tour titled “Time + Space” after their 2018 album release of the same name put on by Baltimore hardcore band Turnstile. With a mammoth lineup of amazing performers on the bill including Touché Amore, Culture Abuse, Razor Bumps and Nosebleed, the show was a continuous exponential curve of energy.
Surprise opener Nosebleed who hopped on the bill towards the end of the tour is a secret yet to be unlocked. Hailing from Richmond Virgina, the small band’s ripping vocals cascaded through the few who showed up to see the openers.
As more and more came in to flood the venue, second opener Razor Bumps delivered an unforgettable performance. Lead singer Jenn Smith almost transforms herself into a Jekyll and Hyde persona. Whipping the mic around like a weapon and howling the vocals to the crowd as if she’s targeting one specific person. The entire band almost seems to strip themselves onstage to take on the persona that is Razor Bumps. Their garage rock, yet almost 60’s surf rock influenced sound off of their 2018 record “Hellrazor” detail the genre mashup and offer a fresh take and admiration to the old rock sound.
Culture Abuse had a shocking fan base. Creating a mosh pit almost immediately as the first note hit. Also offering a surf-punk influence, the California based band is backed with a powerful band and spearheaded by singer David Kelling. Rocking his DIY merch which was scattered amongst the crowd, and dropping the mic into the crowd. The fan base of this band are loyal and strong, shoving their way to the front and screaming out every lyric.
Fresh off the release of their single “Green” off of Epitaph records, Touché Amore’s emotional performance spread over the crowd like a virus. Bringing forward a wide range of their discography including the roller-coaster of emotions from their last album “Stage Four” Lead singer Jeremy Bolm bouncing left and right on the stage delivering heartfelt lyrics that shred through the audience like knives. The overwhelming connection that the crowd has with the band’s lyrics are more than just poetic, they provide comfort and solace for those dealing with any sorts of issues daily.
Coming off of the release of their new LP “Time + Space” headliner Turnstile are one of those bands that transcends the hardcore genre. Their vocal delivery and jumpy tracks create both the atmosphere to mosh around but also to dance to the beat. Opening with tracks “Bomb” and “Real Thing” the band keeps up with the same energy and build as the record. With lead singer Brendon Yates zig-zagging across the stage and bassist Franz Lyons keeping the energy high and mighty. With the pit open a mile wide, and a heavy push of people cramming to the front to shout out the lyrics, Turnstile’s performance felt as if it was a mash-up between the hardcore shows of the 80’s and Saturday Night Fever. The band continues to not try to take themselves too seriously, embracing falls, taking risks and having a huge poesy of friends on the side stage. A disabled fan with the aid of the crowd was able to fulfill his love for Turnstile by joining them on stage via crowd surfing. There is no doubt that the band’s love for their fans is what keeps them going and producing more and more music.
This show was one that stood out to me more than other hardcore shows I’ve been to. It felt like a circulation and admiration for the genre whilst introducing new twists onto it and breaching into new waters. A great mark of the halfway point in 2018 music.
Writing and photography by Sarah Knoll
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