The Blood Brothers – Denver – Double Entendre, CO – 2000-06-22

The Blood Brothers
Where: Denver – Double Entendre, CO.

When: 2000-06-22

It was about 7:30 p.m., but the temperature was still in the 80s, and inside this tiny record shop amidst a crowd of scenesters, most obviously under the age of 18, the temperature must have been closer to 100. Some all-girl, no bra-wearing emo band was playing reasonably well in the back behind a crowd of people standing perfectly still and clapping politely after each song. There were indie rock chicks galore, scattered amongst tattoo-laden hardcore guys and punks who looked almost as out of place as I.

The Blood Brothers set up in the opposite corner, actually taking the approach of playing to the crowd instead of perpendicular to them. The first several songs from this Washington state band sounded like typical hardcore: lots of screaming and really fast music that didn’t sound different from any of the other songs. But at least the singer from The Blood Brothers got into the crowd, throwing himself around, leaping off an amp onto people’s hands (promptly falling to the floor and proving the crowd wasn’t as in to the show as he was), and gesturing wildly. The last two songs were much more interesting, hinting at a bit of originality but ending relatively quick and harmlessly.

Now Orchid are an interesting band. This hardcore band can go from nothing to full-out, chaotic hardcore in the blink of an eye. The singer (and can you really call a guy who only screams a singer?) has to stop in between each song and breathe, because his tear-your-throat-out screaming is about as fast as possible. The drummer of Orchid really carries this band, changing rhythms and playing off-beat while never slowing down. At one point during Orchid’s short set, a person wearing a bag with a face drawn on it and another with a ski mask pulled over his face leaped on the singer, knocking him down and not letting him up. Of course, the singer never broke stride, continuing with the song and, finally getting up, looking very confused. Those two people disappeared, although the bag showed up later and made its rounds. It stunk.

Finally, The Red Scare set up, taking forever to get the sound right although Orchid sounded perfectly passable using the same equipment. With noise ordinances forcing the show to be over by 10 p.m. (right around most of the fans’ bedtimes, I assume), they played a very short set, only about five relatively short songs. And, much to my surprise, they were a hardcore instrumental band. Well, that’s not really true. The frontman did scream into a mic, but it apparently wasn’t turned on, and the music was so loud it drowned out any chance to hear his screaming despite standing only two feet away. When he introduced the band, he didn’t even bother to face the mic.

The Red Scare are really impressive, playing complex and rapidly changing hardcore, fast and furious but not simply a wash of noise and the same riffs and drumbeat repeated. So, even without vocals, these guys were interesting. And by the end, they were really getting into it, throwing themselves around and swinging the guitars perilously close to crazily bobbing fans. It’s just shame their screaming couldn’t accompany the music, but what they played was impressive enough. And by this time the temperature amongst the crowd had to be topping deadly proportions, and all those indie rock kids and punk kids and hardcore kids stank miserably, so no one was disappointed to leave.