For anyone into the hard-core/emo-core punk scene, Sno-Core 2003 was the place to be on Thursday, March 7. The tour stopped at Mississippi Nights on its way across the big U.S. of A., showcasing four bands. Three of the four are already well-known to the scene, while newcomers, Dredg, promise never to be forgotten.
Dredg lead off with one of the strangest, yet still strong opening shows ever produced: Trees, paintings and a trumpet cast a strange stillness over the expectant crowd as Dredge took the stage. Not knowing what to think, the crowd became quiet and introspective. After hearing a few songs from this band, you realize that this vibe is what they’re about: haunting melodies and complex technique characterize this innovative band. (Hard to say how they got put on a hard-core tour, but no one was complaining). Their unconventional instruments include a saw wrapped in sand paper that was used to strike a slide guitar; a trumpet that was not played but sung through; and, I swear to Pete, it looked like a duck call! No wonder this band really got the crowd off and made for nice beginning.
When Dredg exited, stage right, Hot Water Music took their turn. Living up to their solid reputation as nothing-less-than-a-damn-good hard-core band, this well-traveled hard-core band, they know where they belong. Capitalizing on the energy left over from Dredg's performance, they got down to their nothing-but-music set (not much talking in between songs). The crowd knew every word to every single song
Next came Glassjaw as the chaser, a band still considered a bit of a freshman act --but there’s no denying that they've made a big impression on the hc/ec punk scene. Despite a somewhat repetitive-sounding set, the crowd was in frenzy, loving every minute of the fast, uppity beat and lyrics that focused on failed romantic relationships and frontman, Daryl Palumbo's, fight with Crohn's disease.
Winding things up (and doing it well), Sparta delivered a wrap-up performance to be proud of.
Loosely categorized as hard-core, (may better be described as "emo-core" or perhaps "screamo") Sparta took over. While touring with bands such as Thursday in the past, they are slated to tour with Queens of the Stone Age right after Sno-core ends. They made it abundantly clear to the Mississippi Nights crowd that it was O.K. to have fun and mosh in the pit, just so long as you take care of each other. But it was their music that really made the crowd listen up. Sparta has a solid show that anyone into the scene could appreciate.
All in all, Sno-core was not a flashy show, just good, strong performances by four rockin’ bands. And keep an eye on Dredg; they’re making tracks.