Any time Ceremony make their way through Southern California, you can expect me to be there. On this Observatory date though, the band stepped down as the headliners of their tour for one night and let hometown heroes, Fury, close the show for their highly anticipated Failed Entertainment record release show. Both bands had new material to share and are on the edge of transitioning beyond fans’ expectations. Ceremony had released word of their next album Into The Spirit World Now only days before the show and Fury, who’s previous album Paramount cemented them as some of the scene’s brightest prospects, released an album that really showed their range and complexity.
The entire bill was stacked with diverse genres clumped together to make for a memorable evening every stripe of rock fan could enjoy. Huntington Beach’s Diztort opened up the pit early with traditional, jagged, and pummeling hardcore that really hit that stormtrooper pace and rhythm hard for all the kids to slam to. Next, alternative rockers, Bugg, were matched with hardcore bands yet again, establishing them as the perfect breath to take between heavy noise. They too had new material that they showcased in their set.
One of the most talked about bands of the moment is Sheer Mag, a band that harkens back the true rock and roll of our forefathers. Sonically, this is as close to AC/DC as Americans get in 2019 with songs about street fighting and badassery. Every player knows how to get an audience moving and their singer, Tina Halladey, howls with a voice you didn’t know a millennial had the guts to belt out. This is an old sound made new and fresh and I’m sure in the confines of a small club, this band becomes an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.
As always, Ceremony were absolutely incredible beginning their set with “Sick” and capturing all the pent up frustration kids have against the government. People were walking on the audience’s heads to get a chance to sing into Ross Farrar’s microphone. What was different about this set than others was their cover of Gary Numan’s “Cars” and the new, unreleased song “Into The Spirit World Now” both of which foreshadow the changes the band will be going through with their next album. Expect more electronics and more upbeat songs. After The L-Shaped Man got all the sad out of these Rohnert Park boys, it seems their next record will capture more of the art rock side of post punk instead of the sorrowful stuff. These changes in sound mirror the band members’ life changes with Ross Farrar having gone through a masters program in poetry and Anthony Anzaldo playing in various side-projects, playing keyboards and guitar in Cold Cave, and publishing various literary works.
Fury closed out the show with an audience that reciprocated every bit of intensity, celebration, and epicness that the band was feeding them. We knew this was an important show for our boys, so we had to show up and be present in every form a hardcore kid should. The audience was stage diving in horrendous waves, no care for anyone’s body was considered but all the care in the world was paid to our friends, which happened to be everyone. Beyond the usual songs that catapulted Fury to becoming one of California’s best hardcore bands, the new songs gave the audience a fresh perspective on a band we thought we had pigeon holed. These songs included “Angels in Berlin”, “America”, and the album’s finisher, “Crazy Horse Run Free”, my favorite of the set which features this noisy, Neil Young twang that you wouldn’t hear any other hardcore band fuck with. The boys in Fury love various genres of music and so, it should come as no surprise as that they break out of the box the began in as their careers blossom.
Words by: Rob Shepyer
Photos by: Veronika Reinert