NYC Hardcore band Show Me the Body Playing at the Subterranean with fellow Chicago bands, Vortex and Rash.
In a rather partly cloudy day radiating over the skylines of Chicago, a few brash and a few humble miscreants line up for a Hardcore show that no other person in the street seemed to take notice of otherwise. A few of them gowned in preppy, slim-fit Chino pants and all-black hoodies huddle around each other, expressing their anticipation with one another.
The venue room itself is rather dull, bleak with low-lighting and perhaps a little eerie. The perfect fitting for a night of abrasive behavior and cathartic resonance. The surprising aspect of the show, compared to the Nujabes tribute concert held just three weeks prior, is the vast range of age groups present.
We stood in the left corner of the darkness next to misunderstood teenagers who dyed their hair with sparse and vivid coloring, across from many husky and silent young males with fitted t-shirts and loose-fitted jeans.
Standing directly in the front of the stage was a group of young freelancing photographers, who were in front of many seemingly excited and anxious youngsters.
After a forty-minute waiting duration, the first band, Vortex, comes out in preparation for the short but sweet segment. By this point, the pit was developing in the central point of the venue and as ecstatic faces sway back and forth while being pushed and pulled in every direction. Andrew Johnston, the lead singer of the band, hops and strides around the stage as the sound of pummeling drums and explosive guitars blare through the speakers.
After their segment, the audience simmers down for the next band, Rash. A Chicago band whose sound resembles a nostalgic yearning for the careless chaos of the 80s and 90s, such as that of Exodus. The lead singer paces back and forth in ape-like fashion, resurging his vocals after spewing furious incantations towards the enticed crowd. He drags his microphone along the stage (he tells the crowd he brought it from home).
After Rash’s set, the energy of the venue becomes vibrant; the atmosphere sultry. Show Me the Body comes out and prepares their set as the crowd pushes forward and yells with joy. Playing singles from their albums Dog Whistle, Corpus I, and Body War, the scene of the crowd involved a mesh pool of head-banging, pushing and shoving, yelling, and chanting.
The members of the crowd can be seen climbing atop the stage and diving towards the crowd. All while Julian Cashwan, the band’s lead vocalist and aggressive Banjo player, dauntingly froths his words and stomps around the stage. At some points, I had to put my camera down along with the other photographers and join in on the energy blast.
A small venue meant for a small crowd fits no other place than the Subterranean. Show Me the Body, Vortex, and Rash all delivered their night of vengeance upon a raging crowd, as the night proceeds and the tired bodies wallow out the doors, with a smile on their faces and a night to remember.