Words and photos by Joe Calixto
On its 11th year of being a festival, Sound and Fury return to the heart of downtown Los Angeles, bringing what seems to be its biggest, and in my opinion, the best, year to date.
Through the years, this festival brought some of the biggest finales and returns in hardcore. From Sinking Ships’ final West Coast stint to a stop on Basement’s farewell run to the return of TUI, Guns Up!, Cold World, and Rotting Out, Sound and Fury has always brought something to the table when it comes to doing it big. But in 2019, the S&F brought one of the biggest, if not the biggest, cats out of the bag: the return of Boston hardcore legends Have Heart.
Since the announcement, the festival sold out almost instantaneously and, due to high demand, both the Have Heart camp and Sound and Fury decided to add another show the day before the fest proper. And, you guessed it, that also sold out as quick as you can say “bruh.”
The pre-show consisted of Have Heart, along with Abuse of Power and Anxious (who are all in the reunion tour) and enlisting Southern California’s finest Rotting Out and Initiate to complete one hell of a “kickoff show.”
Coming into the first day of the fest, the excitement level is always high. Seeing friends from all over the world, meeting new people, and the anticipation of the day’s events definitely bumped up the anxiety level, but in a good way. And when the first band went on, it was just game time.
Antagonize, Protester, Three Knee Deep, Firewalker, No Warning, and Basement came from all over the world to hit that main stage, and Glitterer and One Step Closer lit up the intimate stage with pure energy. But California hardcore was well represented as well, with Initiate, Like It Or Not, Diztort, Dare, and Dead Heat showing what the Golden State is about.
For the second night in a row, Have Heart headlined the Belasco and for the second night in a row, the crowd went completely nuts. Songs were sung, bodies were flying, the floor was packed, the stage was packed. The hearts of every single person in that room was definitely full.
There has never been a better time for the band Have Heart to make a comeback, and they still sound very relevant today. Even if this show, according to them, is the last Have Heart show in the United States, I am 100 percent sure no one will forget this night for years and years to come.
Yeah, sure day two didn’t have a band as big as Have Heart, but you’re dead-ass wrong if you were thinking after HH, that was a wrap. The second day brought some of my favorite moments in S&F history. Year of the Knife, Inclination, and Never Ending Game all held it down. Mindforce and Fiddlehead were an actual treat; Incendiary always is incredible, but the cherry on the top was California’s very fucking own, DRAIN! Let the photos speak for themselves; Drain takes the frickin’ cake for sure!
Everything about this festival was massive and that’s what years and years of hard work and support does to something that people put their heart into. Shoutout to Riley, Martin, Madison, Nate, Erin, Triple B, Run For Cover, and everyone else who made this festival an overwhelming success. And the biggest thank you to Have Heart for making it happen, for reminding a lot of us that there’s more to hardcore than just being a hard ass; that hardcore can be a platform for us to be heard, and for always reminding us that hardcore is not (and never was) a boys club.
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