Friday, March 14, 2008
Earth Crisis Firestorm fest Review
Seattle XXX Portland XXX
March 9-10 2008
It is Crazy to think that the first time I saw Earth Crisis was January 1993. A lot has changed in the world but this band still lives and promotes Vegan Straight Edge That in it’s self is amazing and unequaled event in the history of hardcore music. When the band broke up in 2001 it was wasn’t the bands best moment.
Unlike the end of other straight edge bands they were going out with their ethics intact but on the heels of two releases that left fans worried. Slither was a bold attempt expanding their horizon musically it was not well received. As huge an Earth Crisis fan as I am I can only get behind about half the album and of course it doesn’t compare to the power of early efforts. The cover album calmed my fears some producing one new original (Panic Floods) that I thought rocked, but the band was tired and they called it quits.
This has been a good year for reunions. Look at Stallone! Rocky V was a bad movie, and lets it face Rambo III was a blatant desecration of a sacred vow. After two nights of watching Earth Crisis on this recent tour and talking to Karl about Rambo IV it is clear that EXC and Stallone had the same realization.
Go back to your roots, and your roots are hardcore.
The two shows I saw were slightly different, both were well attended with perhaps a few more people in Seattle as to be expected since they have a bigger and more active hardcore scene. Some people have complained that more kids were there to see Terror. I don’t think that was a bad thing for Earth crisis or unexpected. Terror has spent the last 7 years building a fan base while Earth crisis has become a legend.
I think the Terror fans of the world need to hear Earth Crisis and certainly Terror front man Scott Vogel made this clear. The members of Terror were going off singing along both nights and that was nice to see.
Some non-Earth crisis fans complained early in the tour that EXC played to long but they had cut four songs off there set list by Seattle. They cut songs Randall and I wanted see including ‘Cease to exist’, ‘Eden’s demise’ and most painfully ‘the order’. This also points an unspoken fact that the type of hardcore that Terror plays is perfect for hardcore kids with short attention spans. Short songs, mosh parts and simple lyrical topics. Earth Crisis on the other hand plays a style of music that is heavier, more complex and lyrics challenge the listener to think and act on what they learn.
It has been a long time since a hardcore band with this kind of audience has been on tour speaking the truth like this.
The set opened with a sample of the gears fromk between the tracks on the Destroy the machines album. As it faded out and the lights went the voice of Travis Bickle(from the movie Taxi Driver) was heard over the appaulse. Karl and the boys took the stage. The gears stopped “Some day a real rain will come and wash all the filth off the streets.”
The lights came on and Earth crisis exploded into the DTM track ‘Born from Pain’ Both nights the crowd went crazy. In Seattle It became clear I had not drank enough water and was killing my self by the time the started the second song ‘Stand by’. That song was always a favorite mine but the fact that it was in the set list was great sign remember they didn’t play that song from ’94 until the last show in 2001.
In Seattle they played ¾ of firestorm, ¾ of all out war, 4 songs off of destroy the machines and one song off breed, Gamarroh’s, slither. Portland missed out on Unseen holocaust and End begins. True scholars of all things earth crisis would notice a few surprises for one was the return of Scott playing the clean guitar intro to All out war( not heard since ’94 at least) which sounded great with Eric doing feedback into the heavy part that never sounded so brutal.
Seattle had no fights, Portland only came close once. Karl pointed to the guy starting the fight and said this:
“I don’t care if your in a hardcore costume, a metal costume or a eastern bunny costume, were all here together and were all one tribe.”
Over all I was happy with the reaction both nights, I’m glad I got the chance to see them again and think it is wonderful thing they are back. They live in three states, across thousands of miles they are working hard to make the band still happen. It’s not hobby, their certainly are easier ways to do a band, so what feels great to me is just how committed they are to making the legends continue.