The metalcore mainstays come to one of London's smallest venues and deliver the good when everything seems lost.
Evergreen Terrace, live in London
Venue: Boston Music Hall, London
Evergreen Terrace live at Boston Music Hall
Circumstances aren’t ideal for Evergreen Terrace’s London show
What was in theory meant to be a highlight in Evergreen Terrace's 52-date tour, it doesn’t pan out all too well. Their show in the nation’s capital takes part in Kentish Town’s Boston Music Hall, which sits somewhere between a small-scale bingo hall and the setting for Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights in terms of venues. Furthermore the support band have pulled out, allegedly stating they didn’t think the show was worth the drive. In their defence they may have had a point. On Facebook, 105,174 people ‘like’ Evergreen Terrace but only about 30 of those people have bothered to show up.
In some respects the poor turn out isn’t the biggest surprise
Time hasn’t been kind to a lot of the world’s metalcore/hardcore crossover bands. The Jacksonville five-piece haven’t matched the sort of meteoric rise of bands like Parkway Drive and don’t have the sort of respected heritage of a band like Comeback Kid. With them matching their peers in terms of sound and genre traits, without adding much unique to the mix, it’s perhaps to be expected many have forgotten about them. Even moreso when you look at the five average looking, normal dudes on stage playing tonight. It’s safe to assume that none of Evergreen Terrace’s names are going to replace the 'I <3 Oli Sykes' doodles on 15-year-old’s textbooks. In a world where bands have to bring a bloke dressed as a goblin onstage or pretend to be kidnapped to get noticed, this band’s earnest approach may be lost on some of metal’s more fickle followers.
That’s not to say they deserve such a small crowd
Because they certainly don’t. While they may not reinvent the genre wheel, they are masters of their craft. They sound ferocious tonight, and there are definitely more successful metalcore acts out there who couldn’t dream of matching these songs. Old favourites like New Friend Request still remain staples of the scene. While far from being a nostalgia act material off last year’s Dead Horses provide some of the show’s highlights, in particular the album’s defiant title track.
They still give it their all
Given the circumstances of playing a bizarre, tiny, barely full room they could perhaps be forgiven if they decided to just phone it in. Get the songs played and fuck off ASAP. The reality couldn’t be further away from this scenario. The guys play like this is their shot at Download’s main stage. Frontman Andrew Carey bounces around the stage, passion raining down from every gravelly scream that leaves his lips, while drummer Brad Moxey is constantly doing stick tricks and guitarist Alex Varian recklessly throws himself around the stage. There may not be many people here, but those who are here care a lot, and the band make sure they get the show they deserve.
Evergreen Terrace are definitely the good guys
Let’s make one thing clear kids – being in a band isn’t particularly glamorous or exciting. There is virtually no money in it, you have to travel stupid distances, in shitty conditions spending most of your time away from friends and family. You may get to party a bit or get laid every now and then, but these are the only perks, and that’s if you’re lucky. The fact that a band like Evergreen Terrace are travelling all over the world to play shows like this proves they’re in it for one reason and one reason only, the love of music. As corny as that sounds seeing these five guys deliver a set like this, it’s hard to imagine them doing anything else and you get the real feeling that they are doing this because they have to. There aren’t any contrived secondary reasons, and as they deliver a rousing rendition of triumphing in the face of adversity anthem Chaney Can’t Quite Riff Like Helmet’s Page Hamilton that’s exactly what they do, turning what could have been a disaster into a great night for all involved.