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“Free” is good. “Free” is even better when it involves great bands putting on awesome performances to a packed up Glasshouse. Saturday was filled with heavy music and kids of all ages enjoying an early show and escaping the latest SoCal heatwave. I overheard some of the Scion folks say that this show was the most that they’ve ever had RSVPs for online. With the bands on the bill, you can’t really say you’re surprised.

Opening up the show was Expire. They wasted no time lighting the crowd up! Even with the barricade, the audience wasn’t shy about trying to pile up and get a scream in on the microphone. Expire took advantage of the large stage, moving around with urgency, but never once disconnected with the fans that came out to watch them play.

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Soul Control came on next. Although it seemed like the reception wasn’t quite as warm as for Expire, they still put on a great performance. They were very humble between songs, but let all energy explode as the music flowed.

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Verse, hot off the release of their comeback record Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace, was greeted with a very excited crowd. Many people (myself included) who didn’t get a chance to see Verse before they decided to break up were rammed up against the barricade as the band barely began to walk on stage. Vocalist Sean Murphy started off with a plea to refrain from violence during their set before jumping down to the barricade where he would remain for the duration of the Verse set. The audience reaction to the calm intro of “the New Fury” surprisingly set the tone for the rest of their set as Verse pumped out heavy songs layered with emotionally charged lyrics. Stage dives, crowd sing-alongs, and excited faces brought Verse’s performance full circle.

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Closing out the show was H2O. These hardcore veterans were extremely comfortable in front of the audience. Conversations between the band and their fans were a regular thing throughout the set, solidifying the feeling of togetherness and positivity you’d expect at an H2O show. Given their long running career, H2O’s audience was made up of a wide range of age groups all coming together to have a good time. A special moment for everyone came when the audience was introduced to H2O’s friend from New York who had overcome extreme medical hardships. After some inspiring and encouraging words, he joined H2O in singing “One Life, One Chance” and the audience went wild. This was a truly fun set and a great way to close out the day.

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Thanks to Stephanie and Chris for working with Scion to pull this show off.  Thanks to Sean from Verse for being so generous! Shout out to the Sheds and all the friends that braved the heat!

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