The night began with people loitering outside the bar, most of whom where clad in black with some form of body modification and all of whom were difficult to distinguish between band member and audience member. Boxes containing instruments were rolled through with casual frequency, occasionally trailed by someone carrying a crash symbol, and soon after the parade ended the loiterers made their way inside with mounting excitement. The first bands played and revved the audience with gravelly unclean vocals and guitar that filled the room with a thrumming sense of static, scraping violently against the air and fueling the dramatic thrashing of bodies that circled in front of the stage. What stood out was that the energy knew no age limit—the youngest audience member had to be less than three feet tall and still in his single digits (that kid is going places), with the oldest being somewhere in the thirties and forties. (“I’m thirty one!” Yelled a guy after a particularly wild spin in the mosh pit.) The bands were successful in vamping the growing crowd, and I found myself head banging along with them.
Something to know before I talk next about Aurin’s performance. Aurin are a band that grabs listeners first with their communicated sense of empathy, their personal histories and subsequently music filled with things many can relate to, like mental health and bullying and disabilities. That in itself captures the listener. But you don’t even have to know this to hear it in their performance: You know something is there, driving the passionate clean vocals that fizzle with smooth and channeled energy, thrumming with electrified silver and black when lead singer Sarah Andersen screams. I knew they’d done it right when I was filled with that familiar rush of uncontainable adrenaline as I snapped photos up front. Guitarist Andrew Wayne played a strong melody with everything from wild, kicking chords with rolling colors to gentle, cooler ones (but still just as impassioned), and was supported by a detectable bass (Joe Palamara) that buzzed with thick, solid lines of sound. It was equally mesmerizing to watch drummer Linda Medina as she pounded out unrelenting rhythms, and it all came together to give a feel described perfectly in the one word title of their debut album: “Catharsis.”
Remember that adrenaline I mentioned earlier? When The Bunny The Bear took the stage, they managed to notch it up times six. Their energy was contagious as they owned the stage, lead vocalist Matt “The Bunny” Tybor sharing the microphone with fans while Haley “The Bear 4.0” Roback rocked the air with clean vocals that rolled throughout the room. The crowd went wild when everyone onstage jumped in sync (and the words “hardcore yoga” came to mind) and the drummer seemed like he was in his own personal mosh pit back there, arms swinging wildly in a hurricane of a rhythm. I was overtaken by the powerful backdrop of guitar and bass, shrieking out fizzling lines of purple and often blue that served to magnify the sound. I’ve found quite often that the color of the sound matches the colors of the letters in the band name or song title, and seeing as “Bunny” stands out as light purple (the letters all have different colors but the word itself is purple) and “Bear” is blue, the performance that night was like a successful game of Tetris: Everything fit, the words with the colors and the colors with the sound.
Overall, the show was fantastic. The energy breaks the meter and the sound quality packs a punch. If you haven’t already seen Aurin or The Bunny The Bear, I suggest you change that and pick up a couple tickets.