Hawthorne Heights – Tickets – Adelaide Hall – Toronto, ON – June 4th, 2017

Hawthorne Heights

MRG Concerts Presents:

Hawthorne Heights

Selfish Things, First Ghost, Carried Away

Sun, June 4, 2017

8:00 pm

Adelaide Hall

Toronto, ON

$12.50 - $25.00

This event is 19 and over

Hawthorne Heights
Hawthorne Heights
Remember when today's middle-aged working stiffs were once young Generation X-types who were wearing ironic T-shirts reading "FREAK" or "LOSER," words that mirrored their grunge-centric ennui? Then there was one band who made that pervading nihilism even more stylish by rocking black shirts with the word "zero" in silver glitter. But while the z-word has the capacity to taint test scores, bank balances and attempts at self-actualization in ways no other common integer can, it does represent more positive ideals. Consider the terminology used by project managers to herald the beginning of a big project: Year Zero. What's the numerical equivalent used when someone uses the metaphor of "hitting the reset button" on their lives and/or careers? That's right: zero.

For the members of Hawthorne Heights, the word (or number) isn't the providence of losers, nor a bastion of stylish disconnection. Zero, the fifth album from the Dayton, Ohio, outfit, represents a positively incandescent future. Now aligning themselves with Red River Entertainment, Hawthorne Heights—singer/guitarist JT Woodruff, guitarists Micah Carli and Mark McMillion, bassist Matt Ridenour and drummer Eron Bucciarelli—are rising above their post-hardcore roots in ambitious measures. Overseen by producer Brian Virtue, Zero marks a wider breadth of the band's capacity to create compelling work, regardless of the social implications found in certain music subcultures. (Translation: Team HH tossed the punk-rock rulebook into a wood chipper.)

"When people hear Zero, they're going to be hearing a new band," Eron Bucciarelli beams. "What we're trying to accomplish is to reinvent ourselves and not be so attached to our history. I think there are elements of Zero that pay homage to Hawthorne Heights' past, that we should by no means attempt to ignore. To a certain degree, we are the same people that wrote The Silence In Black And White. We're just older now."

While many of the participants in America's post-hardcore sweepstakes have toiled in the underground with a mere modicum of success (if any), Hawthorne Heights achieved much in their 12-year existence. Since their inception in 2001, the band made heads swivel with their brand of melodic post-hardcore heightened by the interplay between frontman Woodruff's "clean vocal" and the late rhythm guitarist Casey Calvert's screaming. Their 2004 debut, The Silence In Black And White was not only a benchmark for the band (the release was certified gold-status), but also for the attendant "screamo" aesthetic both critics and fans credit the group with bringing into the forefront. 2006's If Only You Were Lonely repeated gold-selling success for the band, further establishing them as a dynamic live act.

"I think for a lot of people, Hawthorne Heights were that bridge band that got people into more commercial acts like Green Day and Blink-182 to transition into more underground music," Bucciarelli opines. "For one reason or another, we were people's first introduction to screaming in music. So for better or worse, that's one of the main things people think about our band. Maybe our contribution to the larger canon of underground rock is to be a segue into that underground world."

After the untimely passing of Calvert in 2007, Hawthorne Heights carried on as a quartet, issuing two more full-length albums, Fragile Future (2008) and Skeletons (2010). But after extricating themselves from their last label deal, the band returned to the roll-up-your-sleeves, DIY aesthetic that got them on the post-hardcore radar all those years ago, recording, distributing and marketing two EPs Hate and Hope. "When we made those EPs," Bucciarelli begins, "we had a chip on our shoulder. But all the while that we were angry, we still had a lot of confidence in ourselves and our ability to make music our fans wanted to hear. We were definitely a lot more optimistic for the future."

In addition to marking a significant growth in the band's artistry, Zero also represents the culmination of how Hawthorne Heights conduct themselves as a unit. Knowing full well that today's bands are businesses through and through, each member was assigned a certain aspect of the band's affairs, from recording and mixing, booking tours, merchandising and promotion. After playing with the band live for three years, longtime friend of the band Mark McMillion would become an official member. ("It made sense to have him with us," figures Bucciarelli. "He's a great guitarist, he can sing, and it's nice to have another set of ears in the studio.") The band decided that the follow-up release to their two EPs would be conceptual, with a story arc. "We wanted to make a grand album, something we've never done in our entire career," says the drummer. "We focused on what songs would work toward supporting the story line, as opposed to front-loading the album with all the 'best' songs first. At first, there was some hesitation in the studio. 'This is kinda weird.' 'Is this possible?' We all came together and assured ourselves that we just had to commit to it in order to make it happen."

The backdrop of Zero takes place in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future where a totalitarian government (the Coalition Of Alternate Living Methods, aka CALM) systematically drugs the populace in order to keep them docile. The central protagonist awakes one morning to find his whole life completely decimated, as if he was dropped into the middle of a desolate vista of scorched earth and wasteland. The hero has to battle the government—as well as the constant barrage of memories that haunt him—in order to find answers. While the song-cycle format is an interesting departure for Hawthorne Heights, the songs are still vibrant, even when dissected from the greater concept. Tracks like "Memories Of Misery," "Darkside," "Golden Parachutes" and "Anywhere But Here," contain equal measures of pop sensibility, as well as lyrical heft. But there are also touching and unnerving moments at play: The acoustic melancholy of "Hollow Hearts Unite" is a mix of altruist sentiment and helplessness colliding. The title track sports Woodruff's wounded vocal and a guitar solo that wouldn't sound out of place on a David Gilmour album. "Lost In The Calm" is a deathbed spectator trying to cope, set to a rapid beat that mirrors the song's urgency. When you consider the current controversy surrounding the activities of corporations intersecting with government (stick "Monsanto" or "fracking" in your search engine of choice and see what happens) futures, Zero doesn't sound like contrived fiction. In his role as both recording artist and doting father, Bucciarelli genuinely worries about these constructs.

"Some of the themes [found on Zero] factor into my daily thought processes of things, moments like, 'Should I give my daughter this kind of food to eat,' and on top of that thinking, 'What can we do to stop this from happening?' it's kind of scary to most people, and that's why a lot of these ideas have been branded as conspiracy theory—nobody wants to acknowledge it in a hear-no-evil, see-no-evil kind of thing. If some listeners associate some of the themes from this record to real-life situations and it opens their minds up, I think that's definitely a good thing."

It's also a good thing that Hawthorne Heights are still out there. As one of the founding names in the foundation of post-hardcore/contemporary punk, the quintet are reinvigorated and ready to go where their new vision will take them, from the stage of this year's Warped Tour to the rest of the world. It might sound like a self-deprecating quip, but the truth has a much greater resonance: The sum total of Hawthorne Heights' parts equals Zero. And it's far more valuable than mindless slacker nostalgia.
Selfish Things
Selfish Things
Though taking their name from Jimmy Eat World’s song “23” based on the lyrics “I’m still driving away / And I’m sorry every day / I won’t always love these selfish things / I won’t always live not stopping,” Selfish Things prove they may be a lot of things, but neither of those things are selfish nor self serving. With unmatched determination, the Toronto, Ontario five-piece consisting of Alex Biro (Vocals/Guitar/Piano), Mike Ticar (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Cam Snooks (Rhythm Guitar) and Jordan Trask (drums), aims to bring unabashedly honest music to a world seemingly fueled by false promises and pretenses.

After spending years cultivating and nurturing his raw, natural talent and dedication to musicianship and songwriting, all the while sifting his way through the highs and lows of the behemoth music industry, frontman Alex Biro founded Selfish Things in hopes to shed light on one simple but highly important, yet oftentimes overlooked, concept — honesty.

“It’s just honest,” he explains. “I think it’s the first time in my life that I’ve legitimately told the truth. I think it’s really okay to engage with darkness, to acknowledge it, despite the fact in which people run from it. At a show, the collective feeling you get when everyone is engaged in what’s happening is irrefutably the equalization of our human suffering. I really feel like our words connect to people in every way imaginable. That’s the point of what we do. I got so caught up in trying to be something I wasn’t in my past endeavours that I forgot what was important, and that was nobody’s fault but my own. What we’ve created as this project, I think it’s the first time in my life that I’ve really just been honest with myself, my own suffering and the story I want to tell.”

Having spent September through October 2016 in Florida recording, the band’s debut EP Vertical Love, set to release spring 2017, is the culmination of Biro’s own personal storm; however, ironically enough, the band was experiencing their own literal storm, as Hurricane Matthew began bearing down on them during the recording process.

“I find it strikingly ironic that in the midst of finishing a body of work that was created in my own personal hurricane, we were then anticipating the arrival of a literal, category four hurricane,” Biro admits.

Vertical Love, produced by James Paul Wisner (Dashboard Confessional, Paramore, Underoath), resounds with the passion and wisdom of any seasoned band, yet also holds the unyielding determination of youth and discovery. The band delivers six tracks of pure veracity, while showcasing the personal journey of learning to love yourself despite the mistakes and moments in time when you feel far away from the person you are truly meant to be.
“I strive to find happiness in the truth of the world, regardless of its undying ugliness,” Biro says, reflecting on his past struggles of being within an arm’s length of dreams only to have them taken away by a mixture of luck, fate and human nature. “To truly love yourself and your life, you must learn to love the memories that define you.”
First Ghost
First Ghost
First Ghost is a Canadian indie/alternative rock band formed London, Ontario. The band is composed of Anton DeLost (vocals, guitar) Ryan Sweet (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Danny Foster-Roman (drums, percussion).

First Ghost was formed in 2013 as a duo between Anton DeLost and Ryan Sweet after years of side-projects and covers. Anton and Ryan met in a first-year high school guitar class at the age of fourteen - connecting over similar musical interests and skateboarding, Ryan would join Anton's band UTKF (Under The Killing Floor) the following summer as a vocalist.

The name First Ghost originated after the two went to a showing of the 2013 release of Evil Dead. Having originally intended for the name to be Ghost House after Ghost House Pictures, they discovered bands under the same moniker and instead resorted to brainstorming over previous projects before landing on an old joke and retrofitting it into First Ghost.

Establishing an anything goes writing style, they produced three pre-production tracks in Anton's self-run studio Lost Recording under an early carry-over name of AM. Two of these three tracks would make it to their first six-song release titled Real Eyes, while the rest would be written over a short period of time between touring with their then-primary band UTKF and working. Having no other members at this point, the Real Eyes EP was written, recorded and produced as a duo, mixed individually by Anton and mastered by John Naclerio at Nada Recording Studio in New Windsor, New York.
Venue Information:
Adelaide Hall
250 Adelaide St. West
Toronto, ON, M5H 1X9
http://adelaidehallto.com/