Murray Hill Theatre was packed on this past Sunday night for a bill jam packed with Christian hardcore bands – seven to be exact.

I Am Endseeker included five members from Jacksonville, Florida (there were two locals).  Just because these guys were one of the openers doesn’t mean fans weren’t getting involved in the show, headbanging, and moshing.  There was a lot of energy onstage from the lead guitarist, bassist, and singer, all jumping around to the music.  One of the most unique characteristics of this band was Kyle Smith’s illuminated drum set.  Despite it being apparent the band couldn’t hear themselves in the monitors during their sound check, they still played pretty well. However, most of their songs sounded similar. More variety in style would have caused them to stand out more.

Capsize was up next with five guys out of San Diego, California.  The drummer had an enormous amount of energy and it was clear he was beating the hell out of the skins.  All three guitarists were jumping around onstage and headbanging pretty much their whole set.  There was a massive pit for this band and the singer even invited fans to come up on stage and dive into the crowd – much to the chagrin of security.  Even though they were energetic onstage, their music sounded like jumbled noise. Hopefully that was a problem with the venue and not the band.

Dayton, Ohio natives, Wolves At The Gate, took the stage next.  Their sound was tight and rehearsed, showcasing that practice does pay off.  With only four members and split vocal duties between heavy vocalist Nick Getty and guitarist Steve Cobucci, these guys quickly became a favorite – until they started preaching.  Piety aside, Wolves At The Gate had intricate riffs and melodies, even with only one guitarist, and there were strong emotions put into the music by both singers.

The following band, Gideon, was one of the crowd favorites.  Fans were screaming lyrics into the microphone while singer Daniel McWhorter leaned into the crowd and was practically engulfed.  This quintet from Tuscaloosa, Alabama opened with a song called “Out Of Control” and the crowd followed suit.  Circle pits, crowd surfing, and headbanging could be seen in every corner of the venue.  Gideon was definitely the hardest band of the night and the majority of the lyrics were screamed.  There were a significant number of bass drops and breakdowns that triggered the crowd’s appetite for destruction in the pit coupled with varying drum snippets within songs and powerful guitars that kept the attention on Gideon for their set.  Being As An Ocean lead singer, Joel Quartuccio, even joined for the ending of a song.

After Quartuccio’s warm up with Gideon, Being As An Ocean took the stage.  Also hailing from California, this five piece started off a bit slow with each of their songs and then cranked them up to 11 as the tracks progressed.  The singer, Joel Quartuccio, had the most variety out of all the bands thus far in that he would scream, sing, and rap during the songs.  He would also jump around onstage and move from one side to the other frequently.  However, his bandmates did not share the same enthusiasm.  In fact, the bassist looked like he would fall asleep at any second during the performance.  The drummer was all over the place and would incorporate drum tricks into his playing, but because he was at the back of the stage and in the shadows, his energy couldn’t bring the rest of the band up.

The singer from Capsize joined for a few seconds onstage, but it didn’t help the energy either and the crowd seemed like they weren’t very interested – they definitely weren’t as into Being As An Ocean as they were Gideon.  Too much downtime between the songs continued to spiral the band further and further into boring the crowd.  Credit goes to Quartuccio at the end of their set to save the gig for Being As An Ocean though.  Joel jumped off the stage and into the crowd where fans surrounded him and started screaming into his microphone along to the songs.  At first, he seemed to be swallowed by the crowd, but when he resurfaced, he brought his same energy onstage into the pit.  After the song was over, he lingered in the crowd a bit longer and was sharing very emotional, long hugs with a few fans.

Headliner Fit For A King rounded out this night fully loaded with hardcore bands.  The quartet from Dallas, Texas showed that big things come in small packages.  Singer Ryan Kirby certainly wasn’t the largest guy to take the stage that night, but he did command the attention of the crowd.  None of these guys were standing still onstage for more than 30 seconds at a time.  Drummer Jared Easterling was wearing a harness with an attached Go Pro camera to record their whole performance.  And what a show it was.  Bassist Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary provided Kirby exceptional backing vocals and melodies along with an explosive energy onstage while guitarist Bobby Lygne screamed his lungs out and shredded complicated solos all while oozing confidence.  Wolves At The Gate heavy singer Nick Detty joined Ryan Kirby in a screaming match for one of the songs and the crowd ate it up.  The circle pits and headbanging were nonstop for this band and it was a solid end to the night.

This was quite obviously a Christian and religious concert.  It was at a theatre that was a part of the Murray Hill Church just around the corner.  There was preaching by one of the performers and an overall positive message conveyed in the lyrics of each of the bands.  What inevitably caught a few people off guard about this concert was the fact that all of the acts were hardcore, screaming bands, showcasing that any style of music can be used to portray an array of feelings.  Music has no religion, gender, or boundaries, and that’s what makes it so powerful.

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Fit For A King:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Being As An Ocean:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Gideon:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Wolves At The Gate:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Capsize:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

I Am Endseeker:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

About The Author

Julie Goldstein is a 25 year old rock fanatic residing in Jacksonville, Florida. The first concert she ever attended was Evanescence back in 2007 where she became mesmerized by Amy Lee's stage presence. While attending college at the University of Florida for a bachelors degree in English, she saw Halestorm live in 2009 where Lzzy Hale awoke something in her that brought on a calling for music journalism. Julie has since gone from that small club show with her little point-and-shoot Sony to sold out, two day rock festivals behind the barricade with her Nikon DSLR and interviewing top acts such as Lacuna Coil, Sick Puppies, and Butcher Babies. She runs her own website at www.backstagevips.com where fans can take a step backstage for artist interviews, cd reviews, and concert photography.

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