I hadn’t seen Misery Signals play since they got their new singer, and although I miss Jesse Zaraska as their front man, replacement Karl Schubach does a fair job of filling his shoes. I would have liked to hear more of their old material, but considering the personal content of Zaraska’s lyrics, I would understand if that was the reason they were lacking in that department. Schubach has potential; his hopeful screams filled the near-empty Croatian Cultural Center and were ringing in my ears for hours after the show. Like most hardcore, the music is a sort of organized chaos, and they pounded out gut-wrenching note after note. Unfortunately the mosh pit was weak—the crowd didn’t seem to know or care what they were doing. I was very disappointed.
Between the Buried and Me put on the best show of the night. They were quite boring visually, but musically they were mind-blowing. Tommy Rogers has the most spectacularly diverse vocal ability, ranging from high-pitched shrieks to guttural growls. He even sang his way through a cover of Queen’s “Bicycle Race” with near perfect pitch and sense of harmony. I would still expect quite a bit more movement and action out of a band with their talent; they were unbelievably tight, just very dull to watch. One guitarist was actually seated throughout the entire set! I am still in awe of Rogers’ vocals, especially since he is so average in his looks. His attire consisted of a plain navy blue sweater and jeans, and a short neat brown hair cut. He looks like someone you would find asking for the 2 for 1 deal on Cheerios at your local supermarket.
The only slightly entertaining thing about Norma Jean’s set was the ghastly stench they emitted when they took the stage. They looked and smelled as though they hadn’t showered in weeks, and to top it off they had smeared dirt (or something of the sort) all over themselves. Other than that, and a second drummer that seemed to be serving no purpose other than to look neat, they were completely mediocre. Their music is less than impressive, sounding like every other band on their genre right now, and they weren’t even overly energetic.
All in all, the show was quite bland, with few exceptions.