All We Love We Leave at Auditorium Shores

Converge's scorching best-in-show at Fun Fun Fun Friday

Skeletor: Converge frontman Jacob Bannen at Fun Fun Fun Fest Friday, 11.2.12
Skeletor: Converge frontman Jacob Bannen at Fun Fun Fun Fest Friday, 11.2.12 (by Gary Miller)

Just finished editing the live reviews from Fun Fun Fun Fest's first-class Friday, which will be online shortly – including Luke Winkie's dust-up of Massachusetts' metalcore crew, Converge. The best set out of the 21 acts I caught yesterday moved me to pen my own remembrance of the band's fire and brimstone heart attack.

At the end of a long and dusty day at FFFF's Black (metal) stage, from Tia Carrera’s opening tribal trounce and Burning Love’s bonhomie bludgeon, through Napalm Death’s free metal convulsions and Against Me!’s sexy Clash bang, X bassist and vocal balsamic John Doe thanked everyone who’d played that stage. Little did he know that Converge had won the day.

The double-decade quartet’s eighth studio LP, last month’s rabid All We Love We Leave Behind, leaves behind music virus Auto-Tune for a live conflagration gushing lava on fusillades like “Trespasses,” and the kick drum/hammer-on avalanche of “Sadness Comes Home.” On Auditorium Shores, both the album and band went off like Mount Vesuvius.

“Having fun in the dust bowl?” wondered skeletal frontman Jacob Bannon, a waterfall of boxed water between songs.

Always a good sign when your festival booker stops to take in a band, and FFFF’s Graham Williams paused for a good long moment to witness Converge’s astounding punk-metal air raid, a masterfully fluid eruption of Eighties hardcore rage, metallic whiplash, and sheer charisma – axe wielder Kurt Ballou and bassist Nate Newton shouting anthems alongside Bannon, with beat demon Ben Koller in the bombardier seat.

“On My Shield,” “Axe To Fall,” “Empty on the Inside” sealed the set like a cremation. Better tell John Doe.

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Converge, Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012, Jacob Bannen, Kurt Ballou, Nate Newton, Ben Koller, X, John Doe, Tia Carrera, Burning Love, Napalm Death, Against Me!, Greham Williams

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