On the chilly night of January 9th, Pensacola decided to dig deep into their closets to find their winter jackets as they braved the cold, all in the name of welcoming back the emo post-hardcore champs, Capstan. The Handlebar, which had taken a break since their New Year's bash, swung its doors wide open, and it was as if Pensacola collectively declared, "We're ready to party and sing our hearts out, but only if we can do it with the heater on!"
The lineup for the night was a mix of talent, featuring Slow Degrade, the heavy gaze band from Mobile, AL, who's basically collecting fans faster than you can say "hot potato." Local metalcore favorites Afterdusk brought the thunder, setting the stage for a night that promised more energy than a squirrel on an espresso bender. Wrapping things up was Capstan, the post-hardcore maestros from Orlando, FL, ready to make Pensacola forget about the cold and remember how to rock.
Now, the original lineup? Well, it had a plot twist better than a telenovela. One band pulled a disappearing act thanks to a positive COVID test, and another faced a dramatic injury. But fear not! Slow Degrade and Afterdusk swooped in like musical superheroes, ensuring that Pensacola could flex its Gulf Coast music scene muscles for the visiting Orlando crew.
When Slow Degrade hit the stage to kick off the night, the atmosphere at The Handlebar did a triple backflip into a world of heavy shoegaze bliss. Hailing from Mobile, this up-and-coming band didn't just take the stage – they practically drop-kicked it into another dimension. The audience, already wrapped in jackets tighter than burritos, found themselves in a whirlwind of atmospheric grungy melodies and heavy undertones.
Their unique fusion of heavy shoegaze and grunge elements wasn't just a blend; it was the secret sauce that marked them as the emerging powerhouse of the night. The crowd, despite the cold temperatures outside making them wish they had brought hot cocoa instead of beer, was swept away on a sonic journey crafted by Slow Degrade. Brace yourselves, because this band is one to watch in the scene. Just last year they obtained almost 5500 streams from 47 different countries and they only recently formed in 2022.
Right after Slow Degrade took us on a cosmic journey, Afterdusk barged in like a metalcore hurricane from Mobile, AL, ready to leave an indelible mark on our eardrums! They didn't just play music; they orchestrated a symphony of technical precision, heavy riffs, and a stage presence that screamed, "We're throwing down tonight."
It was like Afterdusk decided to challenge the laws of physics with the intricacy of their instrumentals, paired with a raw intensity that hit the audience like a double shot of espresso straight to the soul. The crowd, bundled up tighter than mummies against the chilly weather, quickly realized they were in for a fiery performance that would warm them up faster than a bonfire made of Taco Bell hot sauce packets. Afterdusk's set was more than just a musical barrage; it was a declaration – a declaration that they are a force not to be reckoned with in the metalcore scene.
With all that said, I hope you're ready to crank up the volume this week because Afterdusk is dropping their brand-new single, Dig Your Own Grave, on January 26th, and it's an absolute auditory feast! This track is a certified must-listen, heavy AF, and hits all the right notes for anyone with ears and a heartbeat. But wait, there's more! If you're an Afterdusk fan, consider hitching a ride on the hype train by subscribing to their Patreon. It's your golden ticket to early access for updates, a backstage pass to behind-the-scenes action. Who said headbanging can't come with a side of laughter?
As the night reached its zenith, Capstan took the stage, solidifying their status as the main attraction. The packed crowd, brimming with anticipation, witnessed Capstan's unparalleled energy, marked by emotive lyrics, intricate instrumentals, and an undeniable stage presence. The venue was so tightly packed during Capstan's performance that navigating through the audience for closer photos proved to be a near-impossible task.
Capstan unleashed a fury, blending their chart-toppers with some seriously heavy material. The crowd erupted into mosh pits, with fans belting out lyrics, their screams harmonizing with the sonic onslaught. Hits like Wax Poetic, We'll Always Have Paris, Take My Breath Away, and a slew of others turned the venue into a cacophony of passion, as the audience transformed into a sea of ecstatic voices echoing the anthems of the night.
As the curtains close on this unforgettable night, Capstan isn't hitting pause just yet. They're catapulting into the next chapter of their musical journey, embarking on a fresh tour that will carry them through the end of January and the month of February. Joining forces with Holding Absence, Casey, and Acres, they're set to sweep across the US and Canada, creating waves that will undoubtedly leave a trail of fans in their wake.