Better Ash Than Dust Tour // Rickshaw Theatre

Sept 9, 2016 - I've been waiting a while to see and photograph Stick to Your Guns since they last came to Vancouver 3 years ago supporting Pennywise - a show I unfortunately missed.  Regardless, the hardcore band hailing from Orange County, CA absolutely slayed the show with extremely high energy, circle pits and sing-alongs.  Jesse Barnett occasionally delivered some speeches ranging from the state of affairs in the world to assisting the addicted around the venue, from keeping an open mind to trading in his passport for a Canadian one.  Despite having a relatively poor turn-out (the middle section of seats were closed off) all the fans have been hardcore followers for a long time and you could definitely see it.

Having seen Stray From the Path three times prior to this show, my expectations were high as they absolutely slayed every other previous visit to Vancouver.  Unfortunately, I felt that the show didn't feel the same with the lack of stage diving (due to the Rickshaw's barrier) and that Drew's vocals weren't mixed well over the speakers.  Regardless, they played an entertaining set and played a variety of songs across all their albums.

Despite having some 90s hardcore vibes, Expire actually formed in 2009 which is surprisingly given their absolutely filthy break-downs and tight riffs.  Expire definitely holds onto the aggressive side of the scene and the crowd definitely followed suit with some of the gnarliest circle pits I've seen at the Rickshaw in a long time.  Despite not having heard them before, I was thoroughly impressed with their set and realized how much I love hardcore and punk shows.

Knocked Loose started the night - despite being fashionably late, they didn't fail to deliver to their fans.  Having talked to a few fans before the show, many were very excited for the opener - sporting their merch.  For those who aren't aware, they're known for a subgenre of hardcore called beatdown, which relies on a slower, heavier style and is extremely mosh friendly.  Knees were high, elbows were up and bodies were flying as Knocked Loose started the night off right.