The question I was asked most at One Unit last night was “What are you doing here?”. I’m not exactly a staple at hardcore shows, and for the last two months I haven’t been attending that many shows at all. Being away, I realize that it’s not the live music that I miss the most.
One Unit has bounced around from space to space since the idea for the venue flowered from the local DIY hardcore scene about two years ago. The new venue at 810 South Edisto Street off Rosewood in Columbia, SC has the potential to be the best space yet. The unassuming cinder block building where One Unit is now housed sits across from a relatively new park and in the shadows of Williams Brice Stadium. This was something that I didn’t realize, or took for granted until the drummer from A Silent Age asked me what that stadium was. Look to your left and you’ll see the lights of the nearly 90,000 capacity stadium jut into the sky. It adds to the experience for a touring band, not so much for the locals.
One thing that the new One Unit space has that the other didn’t is more space. The main concert room, which is only half utilized currently, has two side rooms used for both band storage and potential practice space. The back room, which has a huge garage door, is occupied by a bicycle Co-Op.
Note 1, bring earplugs. The first band was the loudest band I’ve ever heard at a concert and been expected to listen to. So loud I couldn’t stand inside. I didn’t have earplugs for the first band so it was impossible to stand in front of unnecessary full stacks and half stacks. Congrats bros, you reduced the auditory function of 40 18-22 year olds. Apparently you had vocals but no one could tell. I’m not sure if your band has a name, if you do I never heard you say it. Mad respect for hiding your potential talent behind a wall of earsplitting sound.
After the first band, we’ll call them The Muffled Drop D Chords, was a hardcore band who I also didn’t catch the name of. I didn’t get the name of the first two acts, but you have to understand that the lineup on this show changed a handful of times and at least one band dropped off the day of the show. The second band was fine though, they at least had an idea of audio volumes and how to control the volume knobs on their amps. They also seemed to understand the fact that above a certain volume your “music” just sounds like a fighter jet flying 10 feet above your head. This band seemed uncomfortable that they were getting into their music, which they shouldn’t have been bothered by. They seemed like a pretty young band both in stage presence and the cohesiveness of their live show. The biggest crowd response came in the form of a Taking Back Sunday cover. They even had me singing along a little bit.
Third up was I am Carpenter who we filmed an acoustic session with earlier in the evening. Since I’ve seen them last they’ve had a couple of changes in the bands, including the addition of utility musician Taylor Pescatore. Their show Monday was hot, sweaty, and intense, as Cathcart and crew played through the dramatic and emotive songs on their upcoming album My God, Clara.
Following I am Carpenter was Richmond, Virginia rock band A Silent Age. Their setup involved hanging a 28 star American flag as a backdrop while Waka Flocka Flame blasted in the background. A Silent age is led by former Bury Your Dead front-man Myke Terry, who wasn’t a bit uncomfortable playing for a crowd more interested in hardcore than modern rock. The Virginians played a high energy live show topped off with industrial lights casting shadows on the ceiling as smoke from a fog machine made everything feel ethereal.