Hot Water Music just released their new album, Exister, and recently spent a couple nights in So-Cal to warm up the new songs before they head out to Europe this . Scene Point Blank caught their show in Pomona with Touche Amore where they demonstrated that they have no intentions of slowing down.
I walked into The Glasshouse just in time to catch So-Cal natives, Joyce Manor. One thing's for sure, no matter where they play--basements, living rooms, or venues--they get the crowd going. Next up were Touche Amore. They ripped through their set with immense intensity. Having so many fans there only fueled the flames. The band debuted a new song to the So-Cal crowd while even throwing in stuff from their La Dispute split. It was a warm welcome and it was clear they had a foot in attracting a younger audience that likely have never heard a Hot Water Music album before. This reviewer can only hope those Touche Amore fans stuck around to appreciate the power of Hot Water Music.
Hot Water Music stepped out and opened up with their ten year old, "Remedy." The passion was still there. If there's one thing Hot Water Music have going for their live show, it's that they have a grizzly bear rocking his heart out on stage. Chuck Ragan still stomps around the stage like an excited kid who just unwrapped a Tickle-Me-Elmo on Christmas morning. Ragan retained control as they went into their new album opener, "Mainline." As much as I like the studio recording, seeing it live was a whole new ball game--adding a whole new level of force to the track.
The band jumped back and forth between older tracks from A Flight and a Crash and newer songs like "State of Grace" and the rhythmic title-track, "Exister." It's always a joy when Jason Black gets his moments to take the reins. "Exister" was another new song that translated really well live. The older crowd that had taken over the dance floor were ecstatic when they jumped back to No Division's classic, "Rooftops."
One of my only gripes about their performance was they only played one track from The New What Next--"Giver." As they reached the end of their set they broke out fan favorites, "Wayfarer" and "Turnstile." It was clear the crowd had been hoping and waiting for the moment to yell out, "I must always remember: there's no point to surrender," and they did not take it for granted.
Fans wait for Hot Water Music to come back out and satisfy their thirst for more. Their arrive back on stage and begin playing the anthemic, "It's Hard to Know," to remind everyone to "live your heart and never follow," before ending the night with Forever and Counting's. "Manual."
Hot Water Music can still give a better performance than many of the younger punk bands going today. If you haven't had a chance to see their show, I urge you to. The dueling dynamic of Ragan and Wollard is enough to shake the walls, while Jason Black and Rebelo's rhythmic chemistry is something you won't find anywhere else.
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