|Miracle Drug vocalist Bricks Avalon does a headstand! Photo by Caleb Good|
Friday April 22nd was my first experience at a hardcore show in what was probably at least 8 years. I was there on assignment to film some stuff for Miracle Drug. Before going to the show I did a lot of reminiscing. Going to hardcore shows was part of a weekly routine for me as a teenager. Somehow I fell out of that (maybe it was the back problems), but if it weren’t for hardcore music I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t love music as much as I do. I wouldn’t be motivated to write about all the local music I can find. I definitely wouldn’t be motivated to help the scene grow, or I may not even know anything about “the scene.” As much as I felt I had grown out of hardcore, Friday helped me to realize I hadn’t.
The show was stacked with 6 bands. It was a benefit for Alex Rhema, a young lady who is suffering from a painful disease that is resulting in unmanageable medical debt. It was amazing to see this community come together in support of her. The most surprising thing for me was that there IS a hardcore community still. Not only is there still a community, but it’s thriving. The show was packed wall to wall with people of all ages (although mostly under 21 I would say) swinging fists, headbanging, and singing along.
Regrettably, I didn’t get to see every band that played. I spent most of the night filming Miracle Drug playing skee ball, pinball, or Galaga. I did however watch all of Miracle Drug through my camera lens. This was my first time seeing them, and damn did they deliver. Lead singer, Bricks Avalon, is a thoroughly entertaining madman. In between his posi-rants about the community he was all over the place (and really hard to keep in frame). One moment he’s doing a yoga headstand and flailing his feet about, the next he’s in a circle pit with the crowd. On top of the shear entertainment value, Miracle Drug is holding down the old school hardcore realm about as well as it can be done. They plowed through their set in about 20 minutes and left me wanting a lot more. I can’t wait to see them again.
The other band I got to catch was Knocked Loose. I’ve heard their recordings before, and I’ve heard a ton about their live show. Literally everyone I know who listens to heavy music says, “have you seen Knocked Loose yet?” While warming up for the show I noticed they are pulling crazy numbers on Spotify with their top song at nearly 250,000 plays! After seeing them live it’s easy to see why. Knocked Loose are brutal as hell, like really brutal. They may be tuned to drop C, or they may use The Devil’s Tuning Fork.
Knocked Loose was so merciless that four people were sent to the hospital. Knees were dislocated, noses were broken, and in the end more medical bills were racked up for new people. Everyone still seemed to be having fun however. I miss that. There really is no other feeling like the one you get at a hardcore show. It’s the sense that this moment matters more than any other. You’re there with your friends, some who are close enough to be considered family, and you’re releasing all the rage that you’ve built up from trying to make it in this fake ass bullshit society. Sometimes that rage comes at a price however. You could dislocate your knee, or you could be the reason that Haymarket is no longer having all ages shows. Bummer.
Watch a pair of videos taken by YouTube user Knight Owl below, the first being Miracle Drug’s set, and the second, a portion of Knocked Loose. By the way, if you have some time, be sure to check out Knight Owl’s full list of videos, as this individual (who we don’t know) has a pretty good selection of hardcore/punk bands performing in Louisville.