Also posted on Webster Hall’s blog here
When you’ve enjoyed a band for over a decade and find their music just as strong as it was years prior, I can think of nothing more fun than watching them perform the album that started it all. Hawthorne Heights delivered a thorough exploration of their most well known songs to a New York crowd that could recite every lyric in passionate chants and wild crowd surfing.
Hawthorne Heights stands consistent with bands like Silverstein in defining a sub-genre of post-hardcore of the early 2000s that would later be termed Emo, for it’s melodic vocals paired with heavier riffs and screams. Their albums also weave in narrative and character development as if the artists have somehow gone through a changed experience from each song’s completion.
My younger sister and I have followed the band for years as they crafted lyrics of young frustration, loneliness and angst among the cornfields and open highways of the Midwest where we grew up. Wielding an updated acoustic version of their first album, “The Silence in Black and White” first released in 2004 and since updated in 2014, the band has gone through many changes to members over the years.
Present members include JT Woodruff (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Matt Ridenour (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Mark McMillon (lead guitar, scream vocals), with Chris Popadak as the band’s touring drummer.
It’s wonderful to see veteran bands continuing to showcase their best work, while also supporting newer bands in the scene. Opening performances by Franchise, In Our Glory and Green Light Theory were fresh and have me thoughtful about the next wave of talent in this genre.