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When you tell an audience of show-goers “Go ape-sh*t but take care of each other”… They’ll listen. For this show, the crowd surrounded the microphones, opened up circle pits, or even lifted the occasional crowd surfer. But wait, this was a record store! The Glass House Record Store played host to a handful of touring bands stomping through the west coast.

I initially came to see Polar Bear Club, a band I’ve been listening to for a couple of years but have never seen live. I got to talk with some of the guys before the show started and they were pretty excited about touring for the first time on the West Coast. Most of the guys had to quit normal day-to-day jobs to take on the task of touring. That’s when I realized the magnitude of what these guys and all of the other bands were doing.

There were buses outside, but they were for those on the Anberlin tour playing right next door at the Glasshouse. The bands I saw tonight were making their trek across the land by way of the good old fashion band-van. All of these musicians made sacrifices, choices, and gambles to come out on the road and the crowd definitely showed their appreciation.

First up was Touche Amore. They played a really short but well-received set, a given being that they were the only local band playing tonight. Friends came out for support and the energy bounced back between crowd and band was pretty awesome.

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Next to take the floor was one of Bridge 9’s newest signings, Energy. They were a last minute addition to the show that put on a great performance. From start to finish, these guys kept their performance level at the top. They reminded me of what AFI used to sound like mixed with a slew of other influences. The crowd wasn’t as receptive as they were for other bands, but that didn’t stop Energy from putting up a good show.

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The first of the main touring acts was Broadway Calls. This pop-punk power trio from Oregon really got the crowd going. With a single call out to the crowd, the band was imediately engulfed by fans. There was never a quiet moment with all of their fans singing or clapping along. Pushing, shoving, and some light moshing in between verses was a given. Even with the tight space everyone had a smile on their face.

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After Broadway Calls, the guys of Polar Bear Club took off their glasses and stood face-to-face with the audience. Just as with Broadway Calls, the crowd surrounded the band quickly showing they were VERY eager to get on the mic and sing along. Without delay the room exploded with people jumping on shoulders, notes blaring, drums pounding… it was rowdy! I eventually found myself behind the band after almost tripping over equipment twice. Seeing what these guys saw was intense! People were climbing over each other, arms shout out to the ceiling, every person’s mouth was open and singing… nothing short of amazing.

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Closing out the night was Crime in Stereo. The audience was tired but they expelled every last bit of energy for the closing band. Plagued by equipment problems (mainly the microphones and PA cutting in and out) the band pressed on and did the closing spot justice. The crowd showed their love by continuing to sing a long and mosh it up. I eventually got stabbed by a makeshift speaker stand pin and pulled to the back of the venue for fear of it happening again. Every night is another story.

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It was a great night and for $6 you can’t say you didn’t get your money’s worth. The bands on tour came long distances to finally settle the question “when are you guys coming to (insert your region here)”. Make sure to check out each band’s myspace to listen to the tunes and check out when they’ll be hitting a city near you. Be nice to their merch guys (often band members themselves) and above all BUY MERCH! They need gas money to keep you cats entertained! It’s worth it.

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Mucho thanks to Chuck from Beartrap and Chris from Polar Bear Club for hooking me up on the guestlist!