When I first listened to Vein’s debut full length LP “Errorzone” upon its release last year, I was blown away by its ability to push the boundaries of hardcore while expertly recapturing the essence of the great metalcore records of the late 90’s and early 00’s. Its angular, aggressive guitars, technical, hard-hitting drums and high screamed vocals are everything that made other bands in the genre (e.g. Skycamefalling, Converge) great. Admittedly, this was my 4th time seeing Vein live since I saw them a year and a half ago with Code Orange and Show Me The Body. Nonetheless, I was still as excited as ever.
Unfortunately, Soft Kill had to drop off the tour due to unforeseen complications, so the lineup was Three Rose Charm, a local darkwave/post punk band, Narrow Head, a grungey shoegaze outfit from Houston, Higher Power, a hardcore band from the UK, and last but not least, Vein from Boston, MA. Three Rose Charm was pretty good, I’m not a huge darkwave guy personally but their set kept me entertained for long enough to stick around and watch their lead singer wail into the mic and fill the room with washed out, reverb filled vocals. The deep, dark bass riffs and drum pad loops were hypnotic and entrancing
I was very excited for Narrow Head’s set, as they’re a band I’ve been listening to for quite some time, and they’re from my home town of Houston, TX. They started their sets with some of their more popular, for lack of a better term, more “upbeat” songs like “Cool In Motion”. They transitioned into a gradual crescendo, playing with more fury song by song until the last song where Anthony DiDio from Vein jumped on the mic and sang part of the last song with him, shrieking the vocals and jumping around. The crowd enjoyed it so much that a few people started moshing early. Overall, Narrow Head’s set was a great transition from the hypnotic, darkwave opener that was Three Rose Charm, to the heavier hardcore acts to come
The next band up was Higher Power, a very energetic, dancy hardcore band from her majesty’s England. Their set was very fun, with the crowd opening up during the first song and 2 stepping and moshing the whole time. Jimmy (vocals) repeatedly tried to get the crowd to circle pit and nobody would, but overall the set was very lively, with bouncy songs like “Can’t Relate” and “Looking Inward” getting people up and moving, almost as if it were a warmup for the brutal set to come.
Finally, after waiting all night we’ve come to Vein’s set. I tried to psych myself up mentally for what was about to happen but deep down I knew I wasn’t ready. As I crouched down beside the stage waiting to snag some pictures, Jon, Jeremy, Josh and Matt from Vein all walked up onto the stage behind me and got on their instruments. Jon, Jeremy and Matt began to create an ungodly siren of feedback with their guitars, while Anthony knelt patiently off stage waiting to run up and grab the mic the second the first song started. 3…2…1… and the band exploded into their first song.
Within seconds people were jumping on stage and diving onto the tiny sliver of people who dared to be in the front. While Anthony was jumping back and forth on stage and standing on the monitors, spin kicks and fists were being thrown in the pit (even saw one kid turn around and front flip into a group of people from the same floor they were standing on). Vein fought through their first few songs without taking any breaks, playing songs such as “Quitting Infinity” and older songs like “Ideation: Self Destruct” and “Progenitor”. Anthony’s vocals were sharp as ever, soaring above Jon’s growling bass riffs and Jeremy’s panic chords and tremolo picking. The band sounded tight and the presentation was even tighter. The set ended with the entire band walking off stage except for Jon Lhaubouet (bass), who stayed behind and jumped around while slapping the same note on his bass for an extra 30 seconds or so, as if he was trying to tear the whole venue down with just one string and the weight of his own body.
I walked out of the show drenched in sweat, blown away by how nonstop and aggressive the performance was. Just goes to show you that any time you see Vein, you really are entering the Errorzone.