On Monday June 19, 2018, I attended a local show at the Humanist Hall in Oakland near Broadway to kick off the summer.
Before entering Humanist Hall, they told us that partial proceeds would be going to survivors of the volcano eruption in Guatemala. The show started around 7pm, so before the show started the bands were all running around, geting ready, and talking to the crowd.
One of Oakland’s finest hardcore bands, Khilis began the set with songs from their demo they released earlier this September. Kimia, the lead singer of Khilis, commanded that mic and the crowd with her powerful lyrics and aggressive dance moves. After their first song, Kimia wanted to pump up the crowd and asked us to come in closer as they dealt with some of their technical difficulties. Once the crowd got more comfortable, Kimia and Amanda started to jump around and play with the crowd. The dynamics and the build up between Amanda, Austin, and Ryan when they performed Namak was electrifying and had people amped up. Once they ended their set, we calmed down and went to get hydrated for the next bands. In between, they blasted cumbias, rap, and some hip hop to keep the crowd light-hearted and fun.
Up next was another amazing band from Oakland, Provoke. Most of the crowd started to rush in from the garden to get as close as possible. The lead singer of Provoke, Jenny, seemed grateful to be there and ready to deliver a great show. Provoke performed songs from their recently released cassette Fragment and 6 Songs, which came out in 2016. We were also lucky enough to hear new music that Provoke has been working on and planning on releasing later this year. As Jenny belted out her heavy lyrics from Full Heart to Our Mothers Cry, the croud got riled up and ready to jump around her. A pretty memorable set and band despite being right in the middle of the lineup.
The last band from the west coast, straight out of Southern California, Initiate. Although, not much activity on their Bandcamp, Initiate has been touring around the west coast performing music from the demos that were released in 2016 and 2017. At this point, Humanist Hall was overcrowded the bands that played previously were standing on tables to support on another and everyone standing was jumping around. The lead singer was incredibly raw and she was ready to tear into crowd. To what I remember, she was encouraging the crowd to mosh and dance around.
They were the best band to set the crowd up for the headliner Krimewatch, coming all the way from New York ready to perform their debut album that was just released this April. Rhylli, the lead singer, was ready to shove her crowd. For her opening song, she had her back to the crowd and she let out her first few word she started to push into the crowd. The band performed their newer stuff such as Paranoia, Machismo, Coward, and You Lose, which sent the crowd wild, to the point where someone dropped their phone in the pit and Rhylli helped them find parts of it on the floor. The set was just as long as the previous bands, but everybody wanted Krimewatch to perform one more song because the energy they projected was just so addictive. After their encore, the bands sticked around a little longer to sell their merch and talk to the fans. Overall line up showed me personally that hardcore still has a place in the west coast and that their are bands we should keep our eyes out for.
All these bands can be found on Bandcamp. Khilis also has a few more shows coming up in the bay area. Provoke also a show coming up on July 7th with Cremalleras. Krimewatch and Initiate still has a few more shows in California.
Photos by Michael Thorn from Razor Blades and Aspirin photozine and link to their Instagram https://www.instagram.com/razorbladesandaspirin/