A band’s classification within a specific genre is always an integral part of their self-identification as who they are as an artist. The concept of genre classification is a topic that holds an extreme amount of ambiguity, and frankly it’s one that really unnecessarily pisses a lot of people off. But regardless of the controversy that surrounds the methods by which we classify bands, it is extremely important to recognize the importance bands whose music falls within that gray area between genres.
Knocked Loose is one of those bands. Their music incorporates elements of both hardcore punk and metalcore, two very different, yet similar genres which often borrow both rhythmical and tonal elements from one another. I was fortunate enough to catch them play in San Francisco with a powerhouse lineup including Every Time I Die, Harms Way, and Eternal Sleep, on ETID’s Low Teens tour. Knocked Loose released their debut LP entitled Laugh Tracks (2016) on Pure Noise Records back in September of last year; it was an album that showcased the band’s creative, innovative take towards song structure and composition, accompanied by a strong improvement in both lyrical content and thematic songwriting. And this album’s success was seen transparently through the impressive crowd reaction they were able to elicit on stage. Knocked Loose previously commented on how they fall in this divide between genres. In an interview with killyourstereo.com, Frontman Bryan Garris commented, “People ask me sometimes like ‘What would you consider your band?’ and I just tell them to call us whatever they want.” They’re a band who writes what they want to write, regardless of the labels placed on the type of music they write.
The primary thing that was running through my mind during the entirety of that show was my observation of how extremely diverse the crowd was. Tour lineups that are constructed from bands spanning a wide variety of genres always aggregate unique groups of individuals into a singular room. But the most interesting aspect of this tour was just how drastically different the fan bases for each band on the bill were despite that fact that each band was fairly similar to each other in terms of genre classifications. And although the diversity of tour lineups isn’t a subject that is routinely talked about, it is important to bring light to some of both the positive and negative externalities than can come from a diversified tour lineup.
Diverse tour lineups provide artists with opportunities to expose individuals to their music that are normally outliers to their typical fan base. They provide listeners with auditory refreshment, preventing the monotony that often results when you have 4-5 bands that all sound the same playing in a row. But it is important to recognize some of the bad things that can arise from diverse lineups as well. Especially when it comes to hardcore, a genre that is fueled by aggression and perpetual violent motion, individuals that don’t know what they’re getting into can unintentionally place themselves in a position of harm. When we mix fanbases from different genres, we occasionally get negative interactions between multiple fanbases spawning from a mutual lack of a cultural understanding of the crowd dynamics that these different genres bring. Diverse tour lineups such as the Low Teens tour are beneficial in the way that they expose individuals to different styles and different genres, but it is important to always be conscious of the fact that each individual artist’s music will always elicit a different crowd reaction.
Included below is a gallery of images from Knocked Loose’s sets from the San Francisco and Santa Ana dates of their tour. Special thanks to my good friend Octavio Orduno for contributing his photos to this article and for continuing to crank out some of the coolest concert photography content down in Southern California. Please continue to support him in his development as an artist.
Harms Way & Every Time I Die
Article and photos by Sam Jameson & Octavio Orduno