By: Lindsy Carrasquillo
After going to Atlanta last month, and spending enough time in the pit to get the wind knocked out of me during Pup, I told a friend that I wanted a similar high energy show right here in town. To no surprise, Gainesville delivered. It seems that the music scene here always does. Anyone who knows even a little bit about this city’s music scene knows that it’s history is rooted in punk music. Thursday night’s Gouge Away show was a testament to that.
Once doors opened, people made sure to pack themselves into the dark blue graffiti filled venue. I think it’s important to note that in all the times I’ve gone to a show at The Hardback, I had never seen that venue so full before.
Setting the tone for the night was the grungy noise band Bird Eat Bird. The band’s post hardcore influences were prevalent in their heavy riffs and quick paced sound. Adding a different element to their performance, the band closed out their set with a song that came off as a spoken word poem. However, that didn’t take away from their energy as singer Edward Dinardo traded his pick for a drum stick to play heavy guitar riffs that were amplified by the emotion that poured out of his voice.
Next up was Living Lost, another local band with a heavy sound. Instead of being on stage, lead singer Mollie Taylor opted to stand on the floor and weave her way around the crowd. The audience quickly picked up on the bands energy as people shoved each other around and moshed during their instrumental breaks.
When I first saw Bite Marks live at UV-TV’s tour kick off in April, I was immediately impressed and that was the case once again. They’re a band that knows how to grab anyone’s attention with a performance full of attitude. Singer Dita’s unhinged vocals marry the band’s piercing riffs and fast paced rhythm with a sense of power that’s hard to beat.
To set the scene for Gouge Away’s set, let me just state that in my almost six years of going to shows in Gainesville, I have never once seen a pit at a show so being in one in such a small venue made it that more intense. Gouge Away is clearly a band with a message. One of resistance and power. Their consuming, fast paced songs cut like lighting against a pitch black sky where even if you’re not paying attention, you just can’t miss it. Christina’s voice drips with rage and their breakdowns where enough to knock people off their feet as the crowd pushed each other around, even if for just a moment. Their performance is a cathartic release of energy and anger that’s enough to lift anyone’s spirits.
As expected, the night did not disappoint and even managed to pass my expectations. If you managed to miss this show, make sure to see Gouge Away when they come back to town for Fest, if not sooner. Shows in Gainesville are something special.
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Photos by: Eliza Goldstein