H2O 038

With a small venue like the Echo, you kind of build up an idea of how a show is going to go down before you even step inside. A no stage dive/crowd surf policy, however, was in effect and broke the idea up a bit for me. Still, with three crowd-pleasing bands putting on great performances, you shouldn’t be surprised that people had a pretty good time… and still found a way to jump off stage.

Opening this early show was Joyce Manor. These guys have been on a steady stream of popularity and it’s easy to see why. Most people weren’t too shy to sing along at first, but as their set progressed the entire crowd showed that they were warmed up by dancing along to the catchy songs coming from the stage. The audience wasn’t nearly as wild as I’ve seen at past Joyce Manor shows, but that doesn’t mean people weren’t enjoying the set. Joyce Manor played some new songs from their upcoming release which sounds like another winner.

Joyce Manor 006 Joyce Manor 014 Joyce Manor 020 Joyce Manor 024 Joyce Manor 012 Joyce Manor 027 Joyce Manor 028 Joyce Manor 036 Joyce Manor 002

Rotting Out stepped up next. They were the first ones I thought of when I read all the “No Stage Diving… No Crowd Surfing” signs posted around the venue. Rotting Out vocalist, Wally, took notice as well mentioning “There are all these signs, but I’m pretty illiterate.” The crowd took the open invitation to get crazy and ran with it. It started off innocently enough with mere shoulder hops to get close to the mic. Then someone decided to test security and the floodgates opened: crowd surfing, stage diving, and people grabbing a free mic. It all happened, even if only for a few moments as security quickly jumped up and reestablished a presence. I have to hand it to the Echo staff for only giving out warnings and letting the kids enjoy the show. Rotting Out’s fast and aggressive music, coupled with a high-energy live performance shows why their name is a fixture in the Los Angeles hardcore scene.

Rotting Out 011 Rotting Out 007 Rotting Out 012 Rotting Out 023 Rotting Out 025 Rotting Out 030 Rotting Out 018 Rotting Out 032 Rotting Out 003

H2O literally doesn’t need an introduction. They humbly walked on stage and went right to work. The audience, fully warmed up and ready to go, jumped right into things as well. Voices exploded behind me as a surge toward the stage let me know that the pit was, again, open for business. The audience yelled along to every song H2O could throw out. The personal connection between band and fans was further expanded with Toby Morse explaining songs or just talking to people in the audience. A small, intimate venue like the Echo really allowed for this kind of experience to happen. Some people still dared to stage dive while others decided to jump on stage and take control of a mic. Morse decided to flip the tables for their cover of Warzone’s “Don’t Forget the Struggle, Don’t Forget the Streets” by jumping out into the audience and singing shoulder-to-shoulder with fans. High fives to the crowd were given before H2O walked off stage and ended an incredibly fun (and early) night of music.

H2O 012 H2O 021 H2O 027 H2O 013 H2O 035 H2O 007 H2O 033 H2O 043 H2O 040 H2O 042 H2O 022 H2O 016

Thanks to Stephanie from Bridge 9 for setting me up for the show!