Counterparts: The Private Room 2.0 Closes in Worcester, MA 11/23/19
This past weekend Counterparts and Stray From the Path took to the famed Worcester Palladium as they finished up their North American tour with fellow hardcore champions Chamber, Varials, and END. This loaded tour package supported the releases of two brand new albums; Counterparts’ highly anticipated Nothing Left to Love and Stray from the Path’s groundbreaking Internal Atomics which both dropped on the first of November.
The Palladium upstairs made for an intimate and highly intense atmosphere, especially since every single ticket was sold. Fans were definitely hyped for this one. I could feel the buzz of excitement even as everyone was waiting in line outside the venue, and it only got more and more pronounced as we waited for Nashville hardcore unit Chamber to kick off the night. Though I was initially unfamiliar with the band, I immediately grew fond of them as they carried through their set. The crowd gave them the energy they rightfully deserved, already tearing it up in the pit from the very start. Up next was END, east coast hardcore outfit and side project of Brendan Murphy of Counterparts.
Pennsylvania Hardcore band Varials hit the stage next, and I was beyond hyped for this one. I’ve been a pretty big fan of them for quite awhile now. From everything to their beastly bass tone to their oh-so heavy vocals, I was excited to see what their set had in store. The crowd was already going pretty hard throughout the first couple sets, and this was no different. I could feel the familiar warm fuzzy feeling that I tend to get when dodging various limbs and occasional stage diver, and it was extra special to do so with one of my all time favorites tearing it up on stage in front of me. They put on a spectacular show with their stacked setlist and top tier stage presence.
Stray From the Path followed close behind, and I was pumped to see what they had to offer. Their newest album Internal Atomics was freshly released at the beginning of the month and I could tell that these guys were beyond proud to be showing off their latest work. Fans were pretty stoked about it too, I was almost worried that the floor would bust under the weight of everyone going crazy as they unleashed their latest single "Kickback". Halfway through their set, I headed to the back of the room to get a glimpse of the full scene. With an overhead view on the upper level of the venue, I could see all types of madness taking place in the pits. People were really not holding back at this point in the night, and vocalist Andrew Dijorio took a moment to ensure that everyone was remembering to take care of each other in the pit and pick up their fallen friends. It was a pretty intense set, but I knew that with Counterparts up next that things were about to get even heavier.
Before Counterparts even took to the stage, fans were already starting to get pretty wild. The pit opened up right as the guys were sound checking their gear, which is always fun to witness. The crowd pushed forward with a force like no other, and before I knew it, the guys of Counterparts stormed the stage and their set began with a bang. I know how well loved this band was by fans, but I was not expecting the insanity that ensued. Counterparts opened their set with one of their newest releases, "Love Me". There was something so special and heartwarming about hearing hundreds of fans as they screamed every word. I almost teared up a bit as I watched vocalist Brendan Murphy looked out at fans as they recited back to him the lyrics that hold such meaning.
“Will you love me when there’s nothing left to love”
echoed through the venue with the force of hundreds of voices of people that resonate so heavily with the message. As heartwarming as the moment was, fans still maintained the forceful energy from the entire night. Shows without barricades are pretty special. I dodged countless bodies as fans stormed the stage, having a go at screaming into the mic before launching themselves back into the audience. The entire night was packed with fun and crazy memories for all that attended. Worcester hardcore fans never fail to bring an unreal level energy to shows passing through, but this night was no other. The Private Room closed for the second time that night, but not without a bang.