Terror / The Warriors / Death Before Dishonor / CDC / Trapper Under Ice The Underground, Calgary, AB August 1

For the uninitiated or out of practice, attending a hardcore show with a line-up as tough as this one can be an exercise in blending in. Rather than piss off some dude with a neck tattoo or accidentally giggle at someone’s rehearsed kung fu dancing, sometimes the best response is to observe from the sidelines. Fortunately, with a line-up as heavy as this, there is a lot to observe. Baltimore’s Trapped Under Ice opened the show with some hard-hitting guitars and aggressive vocals, but the crowd had only half arrived, so there was a huge gap in energy. As Pennsylvania’s CDC continued the momentum with their tough-as-nails set, the crowd was slowly waking up, but it was Boston’s Death Before Dishonor who really got the kids stoked. Playing a ton of their brutal hardcore anthems, as well as a Piece By Piece cover that almost had Terror’s Scotty Vogel onstage for some vocals, the band incited huge circle-pits and as many circle kicks from the wound-up crowd. Then California four-piece the Warriors took things a step further with their Rage Against the Machine-meets-Snapcase metalcore assault. Essentially one giant breakdown after another, the band’s slowed-down jams blew minds as the crowd grasped every word and riff. It got particularly crazy during universal favourite "Set the Stage,” where one line of vocals caused a sea of bodies to battle for the mic for the remainder of the song. After a brief waiting period, Terror somehow upped the ante with massive riffs that hit so hard before Scotty Vogel tore it apart with his vocals. Sure, there was his standard "Vogelisms” between songs where he preached about how Terror are screwed up dudes like the rest of us, but the set was centred on the band’s killer sound. It was an explosive finale to an evening of heavy, mean hardcore.