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
photo 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.

More Converge
Convergent Chaos
Convergent Chaos
Metalcore innovators Converge shred micro-set for Chaos in Tejas

Richard Whittaker, June 9, 2011

More by Raoul Hernandez
SXSW List No. 7
SXSW List No. 7
Music fest drafts Dion, Børns, Sun Kil Moon, Faust and 143 more

Feb. 12, 2016

Texas Platters
Love Notes From the Bear
Austin's big brown bear of a singer-songwriter-Stratocaster, Jon Dee Graham, doodles his wife, real-life concerns, and ardor

Feb. 12, 2016


Converge, Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012, Jacob Bannen, Kurt Ballou, Nate Newton, Ben Koller, X, John Doe, Tia Carrera, Burning Love

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, SXSW Daily Edition

Our latest from SXSW 2016, delivered March 11-20

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways