Words + Photos By: Amber James

To steal a line from Every Time I Die themselves, I can assure you that hell is not a myth because that is how warm the Lost Horizon in Syracuse, NY, was for their one off headlining show there. For a bit of background context, one of the main promoters of shows in Syracuse, Matt Dunn, who ran the company Syracuse Shows was throwing one last shindig since he was moving to the Carolinas to teach music business at a college. ETID played the very first show he ever booked, so it was only fitting that they play the last show he ever booked as well.

After This Is Hell and Trail of Lies opened up the pit, literally and figuratively, it was time for those Buffalo boys to take to the stage. It was quite the opposite from the type of venue, stage and crowd they had been playing in front of as they opened for Coheed and Cambria on tour. This was a semi small space, the pit area crammed with fans akin to sardines smushed into a tin waiting for the lid to be taken off. And in this simulation, the lid being taken off was Keith Buckley and company starting off the night with the feedback and distortion filled “Roman Holiday”. The pit started writhing and squirming like a pit of adders as hands reached out towards Keith imitating snake heads poised for attack.

As difficult as these type of shows are for photographers like myself, they are the exact type of atmosphere to experience this band in. The sweat, the noise, the screaming lyrics to “Underwater Bimbos”, “We’rewolf” and “It Remembers”. Because, after all, we want our oblivion and we want it now!! You can’t tell if the sweat that is dripping off of you is yours, the person next to you’s or the dude on the other side of the venue but somehow he ended up over here anyways. Maybe it was the crowdsurfing? You can feel yourself losing your voice as you scream “Which one of you sons of bitches is going to make me feel alive? Which one of you motherfuckers is going to get inside my heart?” and forget that you have to work tomorrow. There is not a single square inch of clothing that isn’t drenched in sweat and moisture. Quite literally, you are the human depiction of the feeling people feel when they hear the word “moist”.

Maybe you last the entire set down in the pit, right down until Jordan Buckley strums the final chord of “Map Change”. (Even though this rendition was not nearly as long as their famed version of it at the very last date of Warped Tour). Or, maybe you didn’t, and you dipped out of the pit right around when Floater went on to take a break and get some fresh air. (However, the word ‘fresh’ is questionable in these circumstances.) Catching your breath and inhaling a bottle of water or two, you make sure to grab some merch from the merch table and, if you’re in luck, you get to snag an exclusive screen printed tour poster drawn up by Jordan Buckley himself.

As the show comes to an end and everyone starts to trickle out of the venue to head home, you’re caught up in the stream of people to go outside. Having freshly donned your new shirt, you can’t help but feel that this huge group of people is comparable to that of a big family. With fans driving from Iowa, Boston and NYC and god knows where else, that’s exactly what it’s like. This wasn’t a show anymore, it was a family reunion.


I should've been born during the era of 80's glam rock. Pikachu whisperer. Live by the pickleback, die by the pickleback. Caffeine runs in my veins.

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