Five hardcore-driven years into the tour, Rockstar’s Taste Of Chaos came to Fort Lauderdale and offered the overwhelmingly underage crowd an alternative to the St Patrick’s Day festivities. While their drinking age counterparts were getting drunk at the local Irish pub these young hardcore and metal music fans were getting their faces melted off by this year’s line-up. If you’re a fan of the hardcore music, your place wasn’t in a bar on this St. Patrick’s Day; it was at the Taste Of Chaos.
Even members of West Palm Beach’s own pop-punk band Hey Monday came out to spend this year’s St. Patrick’s Day rocking out. Starting in 2005 with The Used and My Chemical Romance, this so-called “Winter Warped Tour” has been going across the country to give the fans of hardcore and metal a tour of their own. This year was no different although the line-up was shorter compared to the years before. Headlining the tour were veterans Thursday, along with English death metal band Bring Me The Horizon who have been blowing up in the scene, with lead singer Oli Syke’s rumors and controversies set aside, and have been making a successful venture on their first headlining tour. Joining them are the pop punk and hardcore fusing band Four Year Strong, Pierce the Veil, and Cancer Bats. Winner of Battle of the Bands for Ft. Lauderdale, Back to the Party, opened up the night.
Bring Me the Horizon gave their fans what they wanted and nothing less. Revolution’s security even tightened up before the band came on, preparing for the waves of crowd-surfers to come their way. The heaviest band on the tour got through their short set flawlessly. From start to finish, there was never a calm point, with the beating drummer Matt Nichols was inflicting on his set, the thrashing guitar riffs and machine-gun bass lines from Lee Malia and Matt Kean. Then there were the growls, screams, and spastic movement of Oli Sykes who was joined by the lead singer of Cancer Bats, Liam Cormier, for a majority of the set. Together, the two angry front men made sure every growl and scream was shoved into your eardrum and sent a shock through your body. Everything about Bring Me The Horizon, from the cover of their sophomore release Suicide Season featuring a girl pulling out her bloody intestines, to the titles of their songs like fan-favorite “Chelsea Smile”, show that this is a unapologetically brutal hardcore band, and has earned them hot topic status among many hardcore fans across England, and soon, if not already, the a favorite among American fans.
Unfortunately, Thursday were not as successful with their performance. As soon as Bring Me the Horizon ended their set, the venue was already starting to empty leaving less than half of the original crowd. The entire general access floor looked like as if a plague had come through with shoes, plastic cups, shirts, and whatever else littered on the floor. Only twenty people decided to stay, and fill up the front row of the floor, while about the same number decided to stay on the balcony level. Fans of Thursday however were unfazed and actually saw this as a benefit, one fan said, “Good for me, sucks for them” pleased he could get closer to the stage. Thursday themselves made an effort not to show they cared, by coming out in full force. Lead singer Geoff Rickely jumped down into the crowd after the first 2 songs, and sang with the loyal fans who decided to stay. Rickley refused to be totally dejected by the small crowd but he did tell the fans “Thanks for staying around instead of leaving to get Bring Me the Horizon’s autographs”.
Openers of the night did not fail in hyping up the crowd. Cancer Bats was the first band up and they didn’t really seem up to par with the other bands. Nevertheless, they had a lot of energy and exuded the same hardcore angst-fueled vibe; they soared through their set with the anger and power of Bring Me the Horizon. Pierce the Veil, on the other hand, seemed out of place with their pop oriented songs. But they were able to please the crowd, ending their set with a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. The band also treated the crowd to short covers of Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop”, and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”, and incorporated some theatrics, with lead singer Vic Fuentes conducting the crowd with a mega phone, and the red ambulance sirens placed on both sides of the stage.
The last of the openers were the bearded Four Year Strong, who entered as if a football game was about to start, rushing out in letterman jackets, and “The Hey Song”. Yes, that song with the drums, and “Hey”, being shouted throughout the song, and is played all the time at football games. The pop-punk/hardcore blending band even included a short cover of Slayer’s “Raining Blood”.
More photos here: http://www.skopemag.com/gallery/index.php?album=taste-of-chaos
Words and Photos: Norrel Blair