Ah, Christmas time. A time for friends, family, spiked eggnog and cider, and… moshing.
Yup, it’s that time of the year again. It’s time to break out your ugly Christmas sweaters and your pair of trusty Chuck Taylor’s. Because it’s time for Four Year Strong’s 11th Annual Christmas Show at the Worcester Palladium. Yes, the 11th one, I remember the first one back in 2009 with Bane, Therefore I Am, Smartbomb, and Beyond City Lights.
Regardless I knew I was in for a good time the moment I got the word to go shoot this show, as I am a big big fan of FYS. I have been to several generations of this hardcore homecoming show, for those not in the know, Four Year Strong are from Worcester so this show is ALWAYS a packed house.
This year’s lineup was one that I was fully looking forward to. We had Smartbomb, A Loss For Words, Knocked Loose, and of course Four Year Strong. I, unfortunately, missed both Smartbomb and A Loss For Words due to a complication in me getting my photo pass from the Will Call booth and having to wait out in the freezing cold (it was about 17° outside before the wind picked up) for an hour and a half. So by the time I got my photo pass cleared up and I was allowed inside the Palladium with my camera, A Loss For Words was on their last song of the night.
Up next, Knocked Loose… Hardcore from good ol’ Kentucky.
Having only ever heard this band’s name, despite their seemingly meteoric rise through the heavy music scene, I knew I was in for something to remember. And I was not wrong! It’s been quite some time since I’ve been to a real nitty-gritty hardcore show, anyone from the Southern New Hampshire area will recall Rocko’s, and I felt right at home. Loud, abrasive, in your face. A musical kick in the teeth really. As soon as they got on stage and jumped right into their first song, a tidal wave of crowd surfers converged on the photo pit. Subsequent boots to the back of the head happened across all of us up front. They put on an intense set full of breakdowns, beatdowns, and stage dives.
And now on to the main event, Four Year Strong!
Firing on to the stage with what is probably their most well-known song, ‘Heros Get Remembered, Legends Never Die’, I could actually feel the floor of the Palladium quake from the entire Palladium moving. As I’m getting my shots of the show I am transported back to my high school and college days, as I’m screaming the lyrics right alongside Dan and Alan. FYS continued to string along the hits, and in the case of the old-school fans that were there… nostalgia. ‘Wrecked ‘Em? Damn Near Killed ‘Em’, ‘What The Hell Is A Gigawatt’, ‘Prepare To Be Digitally Manipulated’, one of my personal favorites ‘Bada Bing! Wit’ a Pipe!’, and closing out the show with ‘Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)’.
All in all, this show was something I was looking forward to for quite some time, and with good reason. Even with the situation with the photo pass to start off the night, I wouldn’t trade this night for anything. It made me feel young again and I got to relive some college memories in my head. So yeah, I’d say this was a very good way to end 2018 in terms of shows.
ON TO 2019!!
WORDS AND CHRIS SMALL