Words and photos by Joe Calixto
Long time no see, people of the internet! You probably don’t wanna hear what has been up with me the past few months, so I’ll cut right to the chase.
Earlier this year, I saw a tour announcement on Instagram and I straight up told myself, “this must be a Hard Times article.” But shortly found out it’s the real shit! It’s one of those announcements where all I can say was, “bruh!”
Turnstile, Touche Amore and Culture Abuse touring across America. 3 of the most hardworking, sought after, who can easily pack venues on their own, and with the wildest fans. That tour was gonna fucking happen.
Fast forward to April 21st. The tour stopped at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA for their only southern California stop of the entire tour (unless you count the secret show Turnstile played the night before with Quicksand. Super bummed I missed it, trust). It was the earlier show for the Observatory that night.
Kicking things off were Denton punks, Razorbumps. I know a lot of people were like “who the heck?” And honestly I was in the same boat but let me tell you something, I became a fan right after they finished the first song. The band just puts out so much energy that it sets the mood for what’s to come. If you’re into all things Turnstile, then you need to head to Pop Wig and check out Razorbumps record that they put out earlier this year.
This tour brings out special guests throughout the trip. So far from what I’ve gathered, they got Odd Man Out to play the Portland date (I think it was supposed to be Primal Rite for the bay area date), and Bib played the Chicago and Detroit shows. For this show, the tour brought in Orange County hardcore heavy hitters, Fury. If you’re familiar with the band or in the hardcore scene, you know this band gets down. Although it was on a huge stage with a barricade – that didn’t stop the crowd from getting some pit action going. I personally was stoked that Fury was on the bill.
Now, onto the main events. Culture Abuse is a band that needs no introduction. You’ve probably seen them at some festival or selling out a venue near you. They opened their set with a single off their upcoming record ‘Bay Dream’ on Epitaph Records called ‘Calm E’ and you could already see that the crowd reaction was great. David is also probably the most charismatic and incredibly entertaining front men around.
Next up, Touche Amore. After playing their 1000th show a couple of months ago, TA doesn’t show any signs of stopping. Bringing their classic high energy performance in front of their home crowd as usual. I cannot even remember how many times I’ve seen/photographed this band and I pretty much know every word to all their songs but there’s just something different about each time I’ve seen them. It just keeps getting better and better and better (or it could be just Clayton’s hair). I love these boys.
Alright – The last band of this goddamn, insane triple-header. A couple of months ago, Turnstile dropped their 3rd album, 1st under Roadrunner called ‘Time & Space’. The album went #1 on the Billboard US Heatseakers chart and peaked at #15 on the US Hard Rock charts. Even with the criticism towards the new album, Turnstile fans keep loyal and set off one crazy show. Still blows my mind that pitchfork gave that record a 5.4.
The band didn’t waste any time hitting Santa Ana with the bangers and it escalated to 50 mins of stage dives, crowd surfing, sing alongs, mic grabs and me dodging every kid falling in the photo pit. It was absolutely mental!
Just like Culture Abuse and Touche Amore, I’ve seen Turnstile perform from small venues to the biggest of stages. And I think that them selling out the Observatory big room is a indication that hard work fersure pays off.
I’m still not over this show. There are still a lot of dates left for the tour and if it’s stopping near you, I suggest you stop playing Fortnite and catch this tour (then you can go back to playing after).
“Push me thru the darkest times, You know I tried”