WOW TALES: Apex Predator, GAG, Adipocere, Breakneck Flow, Tolls, Solution Honey

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Apex Predator, GAG, Adipocere, Breakneck Flow, Tolls, Solution Honey


Do you like volume? Like, ear-splitting, wall vibrating, headache inducing, head still pounding three days later, measuring on the Richter scale volume? Then boy oh boy did we have a show for you!!!
The WOW Hall opened its doors earlier than usual on a Sunday despite it being a three-day holiday weekend, a necessity with six bands scheduled to perform. Set times were shortened and our crew worked as quickly as possible to quickly changeover the stage for each group; but with that many amps, instruments, and pedal setups despite using the same backline it takes time to get set up.

The event was a showcase of regional hardcore groups, a mix of Eugene bands and several groups making the trek down from Washington to perform for the Eugene audience.

An enthused crowd took the breaks between bands to get fresh air outside of the venue, causing a bit of a stampede outside to the sidewalk and then a rush back in once the next band started. The first performer, Breakneck Flow, set the tone for the night with a hardcore set that could be heard vibrating beyond the WOW Hall’s walls from several blocks away. Even with a large crowd the center of the dance floor was largely empty for much of the night as a very active mosh pit consumed most of the space, not overly intentionally violent but intent on wild arm swings and kicks that inevitably led to a few unintended punches and injuries — thankfully nothing a couple ice packs couldn’t fix though. Perhaps also because of this the WOW Hall office saw a much larger volume of lost & found items come our way. Keys and phones in particular kept getting turned in more than what we typically see, but happily nearly everything was eventually returned to its respective owners.

Next up were Adipocere, continuing the guttural hardcore vocals matched with a cacophonous barrage of audio that shook the walls and assaulted eardrums. Following a quick changeover Solution Honey took the stage, a more melodic group that leaned more emo/indie rock than the other hardcore bands on the bill with a sound closer to Silverstein than Hatebreed. Honestly this was a nice palate cleanser to get a slightly different sound in the mix, and it gave the crowd a chance to catch their breath a bit from the otherwise relentless mosh pit and hardcore assault.

Tolls took the stage next, a local Eugene band that was utilizing the show as an album release party. There were quite a few people in the crowd wearing Tolls merch, and even a few of the other bands, and as expected the crowd got very hyped for their set. As a fun little nod to their hometown Tolls between songs let a snippet of Dolly Parton’s deep-deep cut “Eugene, Oregon” play over the P.A. play for a few seconds, which provided some levity from the otherwise heavy sounds of the night. Our WOW Hall crew got in on that clash of genres as well, playfully blasting dance pop and classic 80s pop during breaks between bands. Not sure if all of the audience picked up on it, but many of us on staff were laughing when Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” would start playing after the latest low end thud from a hardcore band was muted and the audience began their migration to the sidewalk outside.

Apex Predator, a band from Everett, Wash., seemed to get the biggest crowd reaction, with their infectious energy consuming every inch of the stage as most of the band seemed to defy the laws of gravity for much of their action-packed set. Their sound also brought a slightly more anthemic melodic approach to the hardcore sound, think just a little dash of Deftones sprinkled into the sound for a slightly wider appeal beyond the hardcore structure.

Capping the night was GAG, a Seattle hardcore band that also brought a tremendous amount of energy to the stage. By this point the mosh pit had expanded out to a few stage divers as well starting with Apex Predator’s set, and from what I can tell thankfully everyone made it safely down — I’ve seen far too many people take nasty face-first spills to the floor diving into crowds that chose to dodge out of the way rather than catch people. While we don’t want to temper enthusiasm at shows, none of the WOW staff like to see injuries happen during our shows, so vent your energy but please don’t harm yourself or others in the course of enjoying the music. Ok, enough old-man-shakes-fist-at-cloud energy, back to your hardcore scene.

With ear drums sufficiently shattered across six bands, the crowd shuffled out and we called it a night. Thank you to all who came out to the show, and we’ll see you again soon! For now, check out some of the photos and a video highlight below.



WOW Hall Marketing Director


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