The night’s very diverse lineup was kicked off by Gainesville’s Sports Reference. They provided a good set of emo jams coming off their EP Blue Room. After a few tracks, as if their set wasn’t good enough already, they covered Third Eye Blind’s “How’s It Gonna Be.” Sports Reference closed their set with a darker song, “Adult” which features “You don’t know how it feels to have your dreams cost you so fucking much,” as opening lyrics, to which I feel, speaks well to a college town audience with many people in the venue either working in or alongside the music industry. Jeremy McGuire, the drummer, owns Killer Robot Music, a Gainesville record label and booking company; in response to the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, he put together a compilation to help benefit the victims and families, which can be found here.
The Orlando boys in Letters to Part continued the stacked show. Their setlist was composed of songs off their newest album A Human Curse, which they released earlier this year when they signed to Wilhelm Records. With a sound similar to Circa Survive and just a dash of Dance Gavin Dance it is very hard not to love Letters to Part. Especially, because they truly make you feel something; their music hits hard. The band slowly began to take shape in 2010 as a way for singer Y’shua Escobedo to cope with the grief of a loss. So it is no surprise that a strong emotional pull can be felt in each song. Since hearing songs off A Human Curse live, it has been one of my go to albums over the last past week.
A not so familiar face took the stage next, DRUSE from New York stopped by Gainesville on their east coast run. I must say they were a very impressive band to watch setup and unpack their wide array of pedals, as seen in their music video for “High Visibility“:, which we had the pleasure of hearing live. On their Facebook page they describe themselves as “screamo guys from the Northeast,” which is very accurate description, and also far too general; listening to them truly sets them aside from any other screamo guys in the area. What really stood out to me were the lyrics from their song “Meria“: “you grow stronger in your action, even if you need someone to help stabilize your will…….there’s no shame to be found in taking care of yourself,” ; a very important and seemingly obvious concept, but is often forgotten in the hardcore scene. They made really good use of the Hardback Cafe’s intimate atmosphere, as singer Alex Jones, spent most of the set in the crowd. If like me, you can’t get enough of DRUSE, fear not; they played three new songs as well, so keep an eye out for new releases!
Also far from home, South Carolina’s Innerout joined DRUSE on tour and made some noise at the Hardback. They hit the stage playing Say almost in entirety, which was released a few months ago. “Desired Things Pt 2” being one of my favorites tracks of the EP; I really enjoy the contrast between the harsh lyrics and the soothing melody. They also shifted to some older material off of one of their first releases. One song , “Desiderata“, really caught my eye because it’s framed around the poem written by Max Ehrmann, and highlights important lines like “strive to be happy.”
Arrows in Action closed out the night, drawing the crowd into their set by painting nostalgic picture of California with their L.A. Sound. They have been a band since 2012, but have really made a name for themselves more recently when they opened for big names like We the Kings and Icon for Hire. Their song “Three Night Stand” was even featured in the movie What Happened Last Night which stars Amber Rose. Besides playing their EP Coasting in its entirety, they played some older tunes like “Skully” and “Lust, Love & Misery.” They then ended the night with “M.J.F“, for which they just released a music video. Arrows in Action is definitely a very, very fun band with a vibrant sound and catchy lyrics.
Last modified: October 15, 2017