I can’t believe the album Diamond has been out for a decade now, I was 22 (31 now) when I heard the album for the first time at Self Help Fest. The one thing I’ve always loved about hardcore is the message behind the lyrics. The sense of community that this scene has brought everyone together. This album started the conversation about how we can be better humans to each other and respecting everyone’s rights as citizens, most importantly being united together and fighting for what’s right. This show was year’s in the making, these songs don’t get played very often.
Orthodox is a Nashville metalcore band that packs a punch. Crunchy riffs, electrified sound, and a brutal aggression that makes you want to bang your head and mosh. For an opening band I was very impressed with what I saw and feel like Orthodox are a band to watch out for. The most raw energy I’ve seen at a hardcore show in a long time. And that was just the start of it. Some of the songs on the setlist included “Panic”, “Cave In”, “Feel It Linger”, & “Become Devine”. “Learning To Dissolve” is out now on Spotify.
The next band, Spiritworld were very interesting. They came out with all cowboy attire the slacks, cowboy hats, and dock martins. But once the singer started to scream and the guitarist started walling you were transported into the gates of hell. Fast paced blast beats, with catchy riffs that would even make James Hetfield happy. They were definitely the wild card of the show, but much needed balance between the other bands on the bill. Setlist included “Ulcer”, Relic of Damnation”, Purafied in Volence”, & Mojave Bloodlust”.
Canadian heavy weights Comeback Kid were the real kicker for the night. Formed in 2002, Comeback Kid have made quite a name for themselves over the years. Playing big festivals and doing an extensive amount of touring have made them a household name within the hardcore community. Originally signed to Victory Records they have since put out a total of 8 studio albums, currently signed to Nuclear Blast Records.
They had the perfect spot being right before Stick To Your Guns, got the crowd rowdy and ready to two step. At this time in the show the crowd grew bigger and everyone was amped up. People were flying up on stage, stage diving, crowd surfing, go absolute nuts. The setlist had some classic songs mixed in with the newer album “Heavy Steps”. Setlist included “Heavy Steps”, “False Idols Fall”, “Talk Is Cheap”, “Absolute”, & “Wake The Dead”.
At last Stick To Your Guns took to the stage. The opening intro to Diamond starts to play in the background, as the drums start to kick in and then Jesse Barnett goes into the first verse. It’s almost like the first time I saw this album played in full at Self Help fest when I was 22. These songs carried me through a lot of struggles in my life and gave me hope to continue to push forward.
The whole lineup of the band sounded tight, well rehearsed, and like it was yesterday Diamond came out. The album only clocks in at 35 minutes. But there is such power in the words that are being sung that you can feel the energy in the room. This is what hardcore is, the community of complete strangers coming together and singing these songs. Jesse in between songs gave the opportunity to talk to the crowd. He explained his love for Portland and how the Hawthorne Theater felt like home and was thankful for supporting them over the years. As an added treat as an encore they played some crowd favorites such as “Amber”, “What Goes Around”, & “Nobody”.
As a surprise of events during the last song “This Is More” the crowd decided to bum rush the stage. Now you had about 15 fans fighting over the mic until the song ended. What a rush of adrenaline a great way to end a great show.