Stick To Your Guns are an explosive band. Explosive in the sense that both their music and their fanbase are nothing short of rabid. Hot off the release of their new record Disobedient, STYG have been flying through the country on their headlining tour along with The Amity Affliction, Being As An Ocean, ’68, and In Hearts Wake.
We at MEB were lucky enough to catch this tour twice, in New York City and in Philadelphia. Myself and staff writer M.J. Rawls devised a way to bring the tour to you, together. Check out what we thought of the Disobedient tour (and check out our photos!) below:
Connor: The night began with Australia’s In Hearts Wake, who, much to the chagrin of every photographer present, played in absolute darkness for the first three songs (the limit to shoot for most venues), save for a few strobes and flashing lights. The band was out in support of their latest record Earthwalker and made sure that everyone was paying attention. The lack of lighting seemed to work in the band’s favor, presenting easily the most “intense” set of the evening.
Connor: Next up were ’68, the two-piece sludge rock band comprised of drummer Michael McClellan and The Chariot‘s once-crowned leader Josh Scogin on guitar and vocal duties. This was my third time catching ’68 and they have only gotten better since. The duo ripped through some of the heaviest tracks from their debut Good Fight release In Humor and Sadness, such as “Track 8 / O” and “Track 1 / R” and made sure to leave time for hilarious banter between songs. They were definitely the “odd band out” of the tour package, as seen on the confused looks of various patrons, but they stole the show for me. Scogin climbed McClellan’s kit a few times and tossed his now-destroyed Gibson (long live, good buddy) into the air once or twice. Casual stuff.
M.J.: There was melodic hardcore band from Alpine, Calfornia, Being As An Ocean who honestly caught me off guard as the opening chords of “Mediocre Shakespeare”, which is the opening track from their 2014 album, How We Both Wondrously Perish, took over the room. It rang through like a snake before it takes a strike. This was a very energetic six-song set which highlighted lead singer Joel Quartuccio often going into the crowd and singing with fans. I would call it a meeting of the hardcore masses as the sea of fans ganged together to scream into the mic for “Death’s Great Black Wing Scrapes the Air”. Rhythm guitarist/clean vocalist Michael McGough echoed the choruses while Quartuccio would take breaks in between songs to talk about positivity which was something that really resonated with the young crowd. Let’s just say the set got me interested to check out their music.
M.J.: The Amity Affliction was all business, guttural and veteran-like. Before their set, fans let out a chant of “TAA! TAA!”. Fans went flying to the front in a sea-like motion. I was amazed that nobody got tired climbing all over each other. Just like Being As An Ocean before them, the theme of the night was to become one with the fans (this has been a point of controversy lately). “Death’s Hand” and “Don’t Lean On Me”, songs from the latest album Let The Ocean Take Me, sent fans into a moshing frenzy as the beginning of “Death’s Hand” had a “wall of death” where everyone bounced off each other like rubber balls. The band’s set mostly held tracks from their 2012 release Chasing Ghosts and a few from LTOTM. I didn’t mind one bit and neither did the crowd as the nine set song kept everyone on their toes.
Connor: Stick To Your Guns had one of the most inventive entrances I’ve seen in recent memory; to stay true to the theme of their new record, smoke filled the stage while red and blue lights shone through as sirens rang out from all sides. The band, as if from nowhere, then burst out onto the stage to open their set with “Nobody”, from Disobedient. I’ll admit, here and now, that this entire tour (save for ’68) is not my general cup of tea, but STYG have something so special about them that makes them stand out over other bands I’ve seen in the hardcore genre. Their fanbase is wildly devoted and has one of the broadest age ranges (below 30, mind you) in the game. It was nothing short of special to see so many people so into the music. That alone blew me away and I have STYG to thank for making me see that.