If you were a hardcore fan anytime during the late 90s/early 00s, you more than likely listen to Bane. These Massachusetts hardcore dudes have been a staple for as long as I’ve been listening, and it’s with a heavy heart I walked into the sweaty sold out church basement knowing that it was their final shows.
I got to the basement a few songs into Boysetsfire’s set. The place was incredibly packed, but I was able to make my way closer up.
Hailing from Newark Delaware, Boysetsfire has been one of the more influential post-hardcore bands. Mixing a blend of emo with hardcore, Boysetsfire inspired countless east coast bands, and definitely has a solid following.
I got to the church about halfway into their set, and they had plenty of the packed basement singing along. Of course, with it being a hardcore show, their heavier songs got a much bigger reaction with the set completely going off on closers “After The Eulogy” and “Rookies”.
Maybe it was the fact that Bane was playing the following night as well, but even though this was one of Bane’s final Philly shows as an active touring band, it didn’t really feel like one of their final shows. Taking the stage and announcing “Philadelphia, we’re Bane, let’s fucking do this” before erupting into “All The Way Through”. The place opened up and turned into a flurry of two stepping, stage dives, with vocalist Aaron jumping into the crowd a few times.
Launching straight into arguably their biggest song “Can We Start Again”, it’s this moment that separates Bane shows from countless other shows and makes them so special. The entire place was immediately shouting along, to the point where the band was drowned out by the singing crowd.
Bane played an incredibly solid set as usual, and all things considered, it didn’t feel like much of a goodbye show as much as a regular Bane show. Of course, there was the thought in the back of my mind that this could very well be the last time I hear these songs live again. An incredible show, I was lucky enough to get tickets the following night as well to their actual final Philly show as an active touring band.
All The Way Through
Can We Start Again
Some Came Running
Final Backward Glance
Both Guns Blazing
Ali Vs. Frazier I
Count Me Out
I’m not going to lie, I was sore as all hell from the night before, but this was Bane’s final Philly show as a touring band so there was no way I was missing this. I got to the church at the start of Boysetsfire set, and while still sold out, there were definitely less people the 2nd night than the first.
Boysetsfire more or less played a similar set as the night before, but I definitely think they sounded tighter and more energetic the 2nd night. After their opening song, they declared “Hey, if you like us we’re Boysetsfire. If you don’t, we’re sorry… we’re kind of at fault for all those shitty sing-songy,screamy bands these days… sorry about that to all you hardcore fans. We didn’t expect it to turn into that. I guess we can blame Braid.”
Taking some light-hearted jabs at Bane and themselves essentially saying “Bane is on their last tour, but trust us, you should never say you’re breaking up. Taking a break or hiatus maybe, but not breaking up. But that’s how you make money. Oops, did I say that out loud?” Then had the drummer from Bane come out and do a song with them. A solid set (again), I definitely think they were tighter the second night.
There was a weird air about the church right before Bane’s set, and no, I’m not talking about the oh-so-lovely aroma of a bunch of sweaty punk kids crammed together in a sweltering basement. No, there was definitely a mix of sadness and excitement in the air as Bane played their final Philly show as an active touring band.
Bane has always been one of those bands that have always been there since I’ve started listening to hardcore many years ago, and at the risk of getting all sappy, their angry yet positive message music got me through some really tough times in my life. I know most people in that room felt the same way.
Before the band started, Joe Hardcore gave a little goodbye speech talking about how they have been a staple in the scene. The second they started playing, I was immediately covered in silly string as the place turned into a complete party, with people throwing beach balls around and water balloons were dousing the crowd.
Bane ripped through their set, which was mostly different from the night before minus the obvious fan favorites. The whole night was a blur and the show was over as soon as it started as they closed with “Can We Start Again”, which we chanted well after Bane left the stage. It was the perfect two nights to end their legacy.
In a world where the fucking Misfits reunite with Danzig, I don’t think many punk bands really breakup these days. I’m sure, or at the very least sure as hell hope that Bane will continue to play more shows in the future and do the occasional spin-off reunion show.
However, even if they reunite in the future and as excited as I will be for it, I think it will be very different than it is now. Probably reuniting to do a few spinoff hardcore fests here or there, I doubt I’ll get to see them in the confines of a sweaty basement anymore or the dingy stages of a tiny venue. I left the church with mixed emotions, happy I was able to be a part of this and see them both nights one final time, but with a heavy heart knowing that it was an end of an era.
Setlist (from what I remember, not in order or complete):
Final Backwards Glance
Sunflowers and Sunsets
Can We Start Again