On June 12, Cerce and I Kill Giants dual headlined at The Sinclair and invited their friends Pink Navel and Dump Him along. At 4 acts total, the night was a long and loud one. But there was good fun, good people to see, and a jovial, friendly atmosphere in the venue. I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m not into screamo/emo/hardcore music. “Sugar We’re Goin Down”? That’s some good shit. But beyond that, I’m quite clueless and don’t have a real ear for its tradition or landmark groups. So, I’d like to forfeit over any implied authority I may have and say I think I went because it was an option to see Pink Navel at the Sinclair – and I jumped on it.
Navel is a Boston favorite, a local rapper who is one of the few hip-hop artists who has truly coalesced with the hardcore/punk/basement scene in Boston. My friend tapped me on the shoulder about a year and a half ago: “You ever hear of Pink Navel? I think you’d like them”. I’ve seen them a few times now, and every time is a true pleasure. I love the beats, I love the attitude, I love the lyrics, I love the contrast that their sets usually provide to a generally rock focused show. And boy, was this one where Navel especially contrasted. They even joked playfully at the end of their set how the show would really begin now “and the rapper would get off the stage”… or something like that.
To my own fault, Dump Him and Cerce’s sets were sort of a blur to me. It’s nothing against their music – I can only remember guitar distortion, a man shouting about blood and bruises onstage, thumping, and a spirited moshpit during Cerce’s set. Besides that, I can’t really report on much else in this section. Maybe I just needed a snack.
My favorite band of the night was the final group I Kill Giants. They blended more recognizable pop elements and covered a greater length of songwriting territory than any of the other rock groups. They looked like a relatively happy troop of people too, sharing the time singing lead vocals and playing around each other to provide space for everyone to have their moment. Primarily, I felt this was a democratic group of folks who had a fairly good set of songs under their belt. If there’s one thing I can really use to identify with emo, its how the songs can reach a…well…“heightened emotional moment”. I think people just call it the breakdown. You know that part when the drums clear away, everything gets kind of quiet, there’s a clean-spacious guitar, a singer screaming a somewhat vague and thus relatable lyric? “I wanted you to stayyyyyy!! but you weren’t there for me!!!! I needed you there for me!!!!” Yeah something like that. I’m being a little silly here, but I Kill Giants hit a good few of these moments and I think I felt mine and a few of the other folks in the room’s hearts jump up a little bit.