This night at Catch One was easily one of the most extreme, craziest nights of music that will occur in 2019. The entire night, every room at Catch One was booked to perfection with diverse bands going on in time slots that allowed you to catch every flavor of heavy music if you had the right credentials, which was the case for me. Jesus fucking Christ, I got to see Integrity and Pageninetynine in the same damn night. It was one for the history books.
I had been waiting to see Integrity live for years, bitching and moaning on their social media pages for them to play Los Angeles. Leave it to Psycho Entertainment not only to make my dreams come true but exceed my expectations with a lineup that featured amazing bands that would each draw me to a show if it was just them playing. They weren’t the only promoters that made this night happen though, this shit was so insane that Midnite Collective and Church of the 8th Day had their hands in the pot too.
My night began with Graf Orlock, the perfect dose of insanity to open this can of worms on a high note. This early slot didn’t mean they were the least of anything, it was the exact opposite, they started the show at a very high plateau of quality, extremity, and insanity with the same sort of violent and hilarious hijinks one should expect from Graf Orlock. Staying downstairs, the next band to hit the stage was Portrayal of Guilt, three young lads that make crashing, pounding walls of punk noise that sounds like a machine under heavy duress and derangement. They slowed things down from Graf Orlock but certainly brought a more cerebral element to this night of hardcore.
Rolling upstairs for the first band to kick off the main stage, I got to see Funeral Chic, a young, fresh-faced band of true heavy metal bastards making a new, rabid sound that combines various subgenres of metal from death to black and gives it a coolness and rock & roll spin that you can’t deny. Their 2018 album Superstition is one of the hardest freshman efforts you can find in a metal band and it’ll give you great hopes for this band’s future.
Returning back to the downstairs stage, I got to see Majority Rule, probably my favorite underdog act of the night after the headliners at each stage. These three guys were a super heavy, avalanche of rhythm and noise that you can’t help but stomp and head bang to because the music just sandblasts and strips your skin away then crawls right under.
It’s amazing I got to see not one but two hardcore legends in the same night and those first legends were All Out War, next upstairs. The band brought that distinct, hellish, and iconic sound hardcore kids have come to know from these Victory Records heavyweights. With doses of Slayer-like thrash and crust punk, there’s nothing like seeing All Out War and the madness they conjure in a mosh pit. Like Integrity, All Out War represents a certain breed of hardcore that is more nihilistic and extreme in their content than the rest. The band’s message is one resigned to human catastrophe and fate that lies in destruction. There’s no going back in an All Out War song, not after all the pain, damage, and chaos we’ve already caused.
An unholy beam of light fell upon the center of the downstairs stage to sanctify a circle of musicians that reunited to show the world yet again, how it’s fucking done. Those musicians were Pageninetynine, who’s duel vocalists and three guitarists battle with their drummer and bassist to make for madness incarnate. This was easily the most insane and best show I’ve seen all fucking year. I had waited so long to see Integrity but the band before them raged way to hard for anything to compare to. I’m sure both bands were bucket list acts for fans to see, we were rabidly waiting for either, but the all out chaos these chaps took Catch One to was incomparable. They jam, breakdown, and thrash about so hard that the audience poured onto the stage in waves, this unstable mass ready to meltdown at any moment but contained purely by the guidance of the band’s leadership on vocals. One vocalist, Blake Midgette, is a tank, pushing the crowd to their most violent and hardcore impulses. His counterpart, vocalist Chris Taylor, screams like a banshee and rushes through the crowd with no fucks to give. He climbed on poles and shimmied down with a wild look in his eyes as if the punk rock spirits were totally in control of him. I got booted in the head a few times and got to carry Chris as he crowd surfed and all the pain and effort was worth it to be part of a moment this carnivorous. 10/10. All praise to Pageninetynine.
Toxic Holocaust took the stage before Integrity and though I didn’t make it upstairs to see them, as I was having my mind blown by Pageninetynine, one can only expect the best thrash from Toxic Holocaust at any show.
Integrity was able to do the impossible and follow a show like Pageninetynine and did so with the brutality we all bought our tickets for. The moment Dwid Hellion took the stage, Catch One unhinged and we were ready to bleed for the sake of worshipping Hellion’s vision of this world’s end. Dwid’s voice is that of a straight up hardcore cerberus, a dog barking, ready to bite your fucking head off. The band’s guitarist, Domenic Romeo played with such intensity, virtuosity, and heavy metal awesomeness that it took the performance to a level you won’t ever see at a club. This was stadium metal in a small venue. Every song had the audience singing along, pitting, and pushing into each other. It was the violent realization to my dream of seeing Integrity, the pain felt nightmarish but the music was heavenly, even if depicting hell on Earth.
Words by: Rob Shepyer
Photos by: Anthony Mehlhaff