Photography and review by Seraphim Dibble
Denver has a very active hardcore scene. Between dozens of local hardcore groups and the regular tour stops from larger, more well-known bands, it is a year-round thing. Summit, formerly known as Summit Music Hall, hosts many of these shows. Summit was recently acquired by LiveNation, who closed it for a months-long renovation and renamed it. The stage-obscuring stairs have been moved out of the way, but the balcony seating is now VIP ticket only. A second bar opened in the old merch area, and the second stage was transformed into the merch area.
Moving the stairs had the double benefit of removing a potential safety hazard for mosh pits, a fact that this show took full advantage of. Sanction, from Long Island, was the first band in the queue. Despite being the opener, they brought their best selves. A mosh pit opened during their first song as their singer catapulted across the stage. There was no hesitation or uncertainty here. Sanction played like a seasoned touring band before it was time to move on.
The other opener, Wage War, was just as good. The Orlando band also stormed the stage like they owned it. It was refreshing to see smaller bands with such fantastic stage presence. In true hardcore fashion, they bounced back and forth across the stage. They got a big more stage time than Sanction, and brought enough stage presence to build a bridge to Emmure. Wage War is definitely a band worth seeing live.
Emmure brought themselves on stage amidst a projection display for their backdrop. With the crowd already riled up from Sanction and Wage War, it took only seconds for them to start moving again. Emmure was an aural assault, loud and boisterous. Between that and the visuals projected onto the screen behind them, it was a spectacle to behold. Their figures cut an imposing vision in the stage, matching with their bombastic sound.
The headliner of the night was Stick to Your Guns. STYG has been offering a meet and greet to fans who demonstrate that they are making positive changes in the community throughout this tour. They hit the stage like a falling brick, having an immediate impact on the crowd. While the other bands energized the crowd, STYG really drew them out to nearly riotous energy levels. More pits, more crowd surfing, more singing along. They really knew how to draw the crowd in and thrill them.
Their US tour is continuing throughout the next few weeks. If you’ve never seen any of these bands before, or even if you have, you need to get out and see them. It’s a one-of-a-kind tour that offers a lot of energy and fantastic music. Make sure you don’t miss out!