Hailing from Texas, Narrow Head made a stop on their US album release tour to their native Dallas at Sons of Hermann Hall on Friday, April 14th, 2020. Accompanied by DFW artists Bleed, Clear Acid, and Ozone, this show featured a stacked bill. Furthermore, its runtime went past 11:00 PM, a common characteristic of hardcore-adjacent performances.

Attendees packed the 200-capacity walls of the upstairs ballroom, fervently two-stepping and bow throwing during the entirety of each band’s set. It is clear that hardcore fans are passionate about the music they listen to; not only do they show up to nearly every gig they hear of, there is an obvious sense of community amongst them. I myself recognized a handful of familiar faces and, despite the seemingly intense music and environment, felt most at home. Texas hardcore has asserted itself as one of the most influential scenes of the past decade, Narrow Head being one Texas band that has become internationally recognized.

Ozone started promptly at 9:00 PM and set the standard for the evening ahead; seamless transitions, a commanding stage presence, and a comically large snapback worn atop guitarist Mikey Razo’s head. After a brief 15-minute break, Bleed performed their set. Composed of past and current members of Narrow Head, including Ryan Hughes on guitar and Carson Wilcox on samples and drums, Bleed put on a captivating performance, so much so that sweaty fans swarmed the stage to grab all four handwritten setlists.

After Bleed, a quick transition between members ensued; vocalist/guitarist Jacob Duarte, guitarist/bassist William Menjivar, and guitarist/vocalist Kora Puckett joined Wilcox on stage. Narrow Head played a lengthy setlist of songs old and new, and, despite having a relatively “softer” sound (in comparison to acts like Ozone), fans were still crowd surfing and moshing. Even Bleed’s guitarist Noah Boyce crowd surfed during Narrow Head’s performance.

Clear Acid closed out the evening with another well-curated set, even playing an encore, as requested by the crowd. This was indeed one of the longest shows I had ever attended, concluding near midnight, but it was also one of the most entertaining. Each band was excellent and their members showed no pretension during my interactions with them; a refreshing experience when working with any artist.