When Ceremony got denied from Canada, they needed to find a few days worth of shows to fill time before the quickly approaching This is Hardcore Fest. Andy Nelson and the residents of Party Mansion stepped up, and the show got set up for Monday night, with about two days notice. The supporting bands weren't announced; the lineup merely said "Ceremony and friends." Now, it doesn't take much to realize that Ceremony has recently toured with both Paint it Black and Blacklisted, both of whom are at home right now. I had a feeling that at least one of these bands were going to be playing, but was stoked when Mike got a call as we were heading over saying that both were. All three of these bands in a tiny ass basement would prove to be an outrageous time.
We got there and saw a lot of friends, ate some food, and hung out until about 8 when Blacklisted was about to start. The basement at Party Mansion was extra sweaty and smelly, as this was by far the most crowded I'd seen this house. I came in right as they were about to start, so I was toward the back of the room and had a hard time seeing until I could weasel my way up a bit, but they sounded great, and played mostly songs from Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the only song they played from earlier material was "Long Way Home." They sounded huge, and kids were really into them. George got a lot of help with the sing-a-longs from the crowd, and kids were going off. They announced that they'll be working on a new LP, and I'm pretty sure he said the title was When People Grow, People Go and he made sure to give shout outs to all of the other bands playing, and some other locals for their new releases this year. It had been a little while since I'd seen them, so it was good to see them turn in such a powerful set.
After a walk to the corner Chinese spot to get a tall can of Arizona half-and-half, I made it back in time to sneak right up front for Ceremony. I hadn't seen them since This is Hardcore last summer, but both that set and their set at the Church a few months prior were both killer. They got some of the biggest responses I've ever seen, and for as fast and thrashy as they are, they always sound tight. They got a lot of kids into it last night, but I guess it's obvious they aren't really the "hype band" they were a year ago. Either way, they sounded good, and as energetic as I expected. I don't know the new album super well, but was glad to hear most of the songs I really enjoy from Violence, Violence. These songs also seemed to get the best crowd reaction, although kids were into a lot of the new songs as well. As expected, a fun set from a band that I love live.
Well, it had been about a month since I'd seen Paint it Black, so it was about time again. I came in a bit late, since I was busy discussing the intricacies of pizza and pizza making strategies with Robby Redcheeks, but came down to see Paint it Black turn in another tight set, as usual. They played a nice mix of songs, including "the three good ones." Andy was a bit more "chatty" than usual, but he made sense talking about the segregation in the hardcore scene, and how some people thought it was weird that these three bands would be playing a show in a West Philly basement. I dunno about weird; I thought it was a nice venue, and good to see a show where there are three bands who are all so different and working to push the boundaries of hardcore. Either way, the crowd had thinned out a bit by this point, but kids were into it, and it was a typical sweaty sing-a-long Paint it Black set - much better than seeing them in the monstrous setting like Terminal 5.
Regardless of whether or not people thought this was a weird show, I thought it was one of the best shows I've been to in a long time. I got to meet some nice new people and see some friends that I hadn't seen in a while. I got to see three great hardcore bands play killer sets in an intimate setting, all supporting great records that they have released this year. If you haven't yet, go pick up Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God, New Lexicon, and Still Nothing Moves You. If you're going to This is Hardcore this weekend, you'll see all of these great bands, as well as a plethora of others.