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  • André Rober Beriau

DRAIN: Cannonballs Royale: Boston, MA

Full Disclosure: I ate a slice at New York Pizza, and I missed the first set. I’m not M.A.D. about that. ;). Haywire is Boston Hardcore. Haywire is not here to convince anyone of that fact. Their set during the DRAIN Pool Party on Friday, May 24th, at Royale in Boston, MA is a testament to that statement. Bringing Baltimore to the front, End It dropped a solid set, opening with Do You Still Hate Me? by Jawbreaker. Over 15 songs, End It kept the energy high and the vocals powerful.


Taking full stock of the hardcore talent on the Eastern Seaboard, King Nine rolled up from Long Island to bring their blend of hardcore and metallic sounds. Bringing the mosh, the pit was wide open for all styles of dancing while a crew filled in the front for singalongs. Adding to the darker themes of King Nine’s lyrics – Twitching Tongues twisted the concept of hardcore like a contortionist – offering a fresh balance between the heavy, metal leanings with a delicate interlude of Spanish music between songs. Considering the band’s more melodic presence, there were ample opportunities for crowding around the mic – though TT is more of a band to watch than participate in –and that’s not a bad thing. Their cover of Last Caress was perfectly placed – and even better performed.


With a lineup steeped in heavy – read beatdown – hardcore, Scowl was a welcome reprieve from the crowd killers, ninja kickers, and stage-dive to oblivion stunt actors. Drawing the crowd forward, Kat Moss’s vocal style mixed with the sonic divebombs by Mikey Bifolco and Malachi Green on guitar made for a full-on vibe change. Catchy melodies paired with Kat’s enthusiastic drive made for a crowd-involved set from brazen superman stage dives to two-steps stage left to right. Hard guys have feelings too, and it’s difficult to deny how fun their set was. Elder Statesmen of Hardcore, Terror, never fail to blast through a set of LA-infused NYHC – and this gig was no exception to their well-oiled band. A full crowd pushed all the way up as Brian DBD offered vocal assistance throughout the set – offering a raw touch of BHC.


Holy Shit, though. DRAIN. DRAIN must be one of – if not – the best hardcore band to see live. From the jump, DRAIN came in hot with the lights on – a digital banner declaring their lack of responsibility for the thirty minutes of stage time they had, and got the almost sold-out (Did it sell out? I hope it sold out) show moving unlike any other band on the lineup. If those two sentences aren’t enough – see the photos. Their set was full on Beach Party – minus the sand, wedgies (except for Speedo Man), chlorinated eyes, and pee (well, someone probably peed themselves a little bit – no promises on that one).


Singer and frontperson Sammy Ciaramitaro introduced a room of roughly 2,000 people to the concept of being hardcore and inclusive. Without the tough guy flexing, their set was like the best house party anyone could be at– where everyone knows the rules, and no one wants to risk getting busted. At one point – and certainly the highlight – Sammy pulled up a kid to the stage who said his name was Louis. Sammy might not know this – but Louis is a local Boston Hardcore kid who’s relatively new to the scene and 100% the heart of what hardcore is about. He’s at every gig, dancing to every band, stage diving through all the sets, and singing to every song. He had the crowd chanting Louis’ name, and Louis hyped up the crowd to circle pit/mosh before stage diving himself. This type of fan/crowd encouragement is missing from hardcore music. Tough-guy style flexing is so antiquated – it’s great to see Gen Z operating a new dynamic in an often hypermasculine environment. Sammy was all smiles and air guitar throughout the set, while Cody Chavez wailed on guitar shoulder-to-shoulder with bassist Sam Jameson. Closing out with California Cursed – the mass of people drained the dancefloor and formed a total takeover of the stage for the ultimate pig pile with Sammy clambering his way to the top. If you’re going to host a party – you might as well go out in style.


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