Last week, Andy Wilcox ran through a list of insane shows that he was fortunate enough to witness at the might Triple Rock in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After some thought, and texts with Andy, I realized just how many great shows I had witnessed there. I don't think two posts about the best shows at the Triple Rock is too much. Truth be told, it's probably not even close to enough.
I've forgotten a lot of shows and/or bands that I've seen in my life. 15-20 years ago, it seemed obvious that I'd somehow remember each and every one of them. Turns out that with age, distance, and approximately 1,500 bands (totally guessing, but this can't be far off) under my belt, my memory definitely isn't nearly as strong as I trusted it to be. Here's a rough list of the "best" shows I saw at the Triple Rock.
The fun thing about my list and Andy's is that there is almost no overlap of time that we were attending shows there. My first experience at the TROCK was in 2003, my last was 2012. If you're trying to compare, just go read Andy's list. It's awesome and covers more recent events that I totally skipped.
10. After the Burial, Solidarity 2007
I remember a lot of things about this show. It was a big one for Solidarity as they were having someone film their set. It was a big one for After the Burial because they were taking off and this was their hometown throwdown. There was also the point during Solidarity's set when Brent, the singer, yelled at me because it was clear I was about to get into the business with someone. To be fair, I like Steve, and wouldn't want to fight him, but I also don't like when people mule kick my people on purpose so you'll have these kind of flare-ups from time to time. Nothing but love for Steve and my boys in Solidarity who just played a reunion show a few weeks back. The more things change...
9. Terror, Bane, Naysayer, Rotting Out 2012
I used to love Terror. LOVE. And then they existed for like another 12 years and I can't believe that they're still around. Yes, I'm one of those people who only cares about the first 15 or so songs that Terror recorded and everything else I choose to ignore. Still, it's incredibly fun to get ignorant at a Terror show.
I didn't care much about Rotting Out or Naysayer, still don't. People were awfully hyped on Rotting Out, but it never mattered much to me. Bane, well, that's a classic. Basically anytime I had a chance to seem them after Burning Fight in 2009, it seemed like it was all coming to an end. The writing was on the wall long before they actually hung it up. Also, they were easily the best band on this show.
Technically, the show makes my list because of Bane, though it wasn't even one of my two favorite Bane shows at the Triple Rock. More importantly, it makes my list because of two things. First, because it was the last show I can recall seeing at Triple Rock. Second, and more importantly, it was the only show where I laid out two people at the exact same time. They were both fine, so this story has a happy ending. I was the king of the pit in Minnesota and don't let anyone lie and tell you different.
8. Agnostic Front, Death Before Dishonor, Full Blown Chaos 2005
I went to this show for one very specific reason: to see Champion.
Unfortunately, a tragic passing of the sister of a guy who played in some great Canadian hardcore bands happened at that same time. The guys in Champion did the right thing and went to the funeral instead of the show.
Seeing Agnostic Front is always a thing you should do so that you can say you did it. However, you should do it from a distance because the skins and the oi boys need to show their working class pride or whatever.
It was also interesting to spend some time talking to the girlfriend of one of the guys in Death Before Dishonor because she was living to full-on G Unit lifestyle and it was extremely amusing and very much unlike anything we had in the Midwest at the time.
It was a fun show. I hitched a one-way ride to Milwaukee the next week to catch the tour and see Champion. And then ended up in a fight that involved a crew from Chicago, a hothead from Milwaukee and one very unfortunate Nazi and his skinhead buddy that ended up on the losing side against myself and the aforementioned Chicago/Milwaukee group. After the show I ran into a guy I used to be in a band with, he let me ride back with him and crash at his place in Madison, and then Str8 Cait picked me up the next morning and dropped me off back at home after a few hours of making me listen to Chris Isaak.
Moral of the story: Always take one-way trips with no guaranteed return. You'll end up fighting a Nazi with The Killer and seeing ex-bandmates who save your broke butt from sleeping on the streets.
7. Bane, Comeback Kid, With Honor, Silent Drive 2005
I saw Comeback Kid about half a dozen times and this was probably the last one and my least favorite. The crowd went bananas, so it was still a blast, but I had seen them at possibly their first ever show in the US back in the days when Figure Four used to swing down to Minneapolis for shows. Also, they played in the basement of a taco joint a few times and those shows were unreal. Their set opening for Martyr AD at the "On Earth As It Is In Hell" record release show was lit. So yeah, compared to all those shows, this CBK set was not as good.
Bane was amazing. The crowd was all-in on them, which was good. It has to be brought up at this point that Minnesota LOVES Bane, but only half the time they played there. If Bane played twice in a short time span, the first show would sell out and be absolutely epic and the venue would almost feel empty the next time around in comparison. Weird, but happened the entire time that I can remember Bane shows in Minnesota.
With Honor was always a band that I didn't care about. Only slightly better than Have Heart, another band that I do not care about at all. Which, to be clear, is different from hating a band or whatever. I just couldn't get into them. Silent Drive was better than CBK and With Honor on this night. It surprised me.
6. Dillinger Escape Plan, Between the Buried and Me 2005
There were a couple of pre-Bridge Nine messageboards that were huge, and cesspools - just like the B9. One of them was obsessed with BTBAM. Naturally, that means I listened to them a lot, but I don't think I ever saw them live until this show. Early BTBAM is really good, The Silent Circus is fantastic, and I do not care to even acknowledge the existence of anything else after it.
There were other bands on this show, I didn't like them at all and will not mention them here. A simple Google search can give you that information.
Dillinger Escape Plan rules, ruled, will rule. I believe this might have been the only time I saw them live, too. Not too much of a bummer because the only time I would have liked to see them would have been earlier and not later in their existence. Seeing DEP in the late 90s or early 2000s would have been rad, kind of like the Cryptopsy, Poison the Well tour that I never made it to. You know, the great shows that you'll always know happened, but never saw yourself. DEP was immense and I loved every moment of it. I can still recall a fairly vivid memory of that night. Pretty sure a guy named Mike drove me to that show and he had a DEP ringtone.
5. Harvest, Disembodied, Relentless 2011
I got conflicting results about this show on the internet. I'm certain it happened at the Triple Rock. The picture at the top is from that show and features yours truly in a very dope Strongarm shirt and Baltimore Orioles hat. Perhaps the show I'm referencing happened somewhere else and I just attributed it to TROCK, but whatever. Deal with it nerds. Wherever this show happened, it happened and it was awesome.
Relentless are some local rippers that more people should have listened to. Always enjoyed catching them live and it's nice to still know them as people via the internet as we never see each other in real life anymore.
Any Harvest show is going to absolutely go off in Minneapolis. Any Disembodied show is absolutely going to go off in Minneapolis. This show went off.
EDIT: Found video to prove it was at TROCK.
4. Bane, Cursed, Verse, Evergreen Terrace 2004
We've already discussed Bane at length. This show was, like all others that Bane performed, packed with intense energy and amazing.
Cursed. What an amazing band. Absolutely love them. Spoiled to have seen them live.
Verse was a very legit band. Before they broke up. Anything that happened after that related to Verse can go die alone in a basement. But, before that. Well, let me just tell you. Verse was a really fun band to see live and this was before they had picked up steam in this part of the country and they still brought a great set.
Evergreen Terrace is trash. And garbage. And trash. I hope one of them wakes up with a hangover and reads this because they'll laugh and I'll laugh and we'll agree to not like each other and keep living our lives. The singer for this band was the biggest idiot and at one point I was offered $20 to go punch him. I made it half way to the stage. The only thing that stopped me was the possibility of getting kicked out before Bane and Cursed. So yeah, Evergreen Terrace, you sucked. You wrote one good breakdown and everything else you did was garbage.
3. Holding On, Kill Your Idols, Modern Life Is War 2003
Imagine seeing MLIW and it's just that first full-length and they play most of it and the entire set is like just one massive pile on. That's exactly how their set went down.
Kill Your Idols played more songs than like any band ever. It was the longest set of the shortest songs that I have ever seen.
Holding On playing a last show in their own backyard. You know how that went down.
2. Converge, Doomriders 2005
This was such a good show. Doomriders was also epic. I don't know what to tell you. I'm pretty sure that the further back you go, the more violent and more beautiful Converge shows were. So like, imagine seeing them in 2017, then imagine 2014, then imagine 2009, then imagine 2005, then imagine 1999. Well, this wasn't 1999. But let me just say that the fuse was lit and when they launched into "Eagles Become Vultures," it was one of those rare, beautiful, dangerous moments where you found out just how war-like things could get in the Triple Rock.
1. Disembodied, Harvest, Coalesce 2009
This show was like the triumphant return for both Harvest and Disembodied, serving as a warm-up for their sets the following weekend in Chicago at Burning Fight.
I can't even tell you how great it was.
One thing I'll not forget is the Coalesce set. They set up right down in the pit and you weren't even sure the set had started, but suddenly an unmistakable voice was screaming the introduction to "You Can't Kill Us All." Talk about an absolutely insane way to start the first of three sets in a row that featured the very best Midwestern hardcore bands of the 90s.
It was just a moment in time, but the physical manifestation of the things that I had pumped into my ears for over a decade and that had helped shape a lot of my taste and my views and my self-expression. It was an incredible moment.
And just like that show, the Triple Rock ended up being a bigger part of my growth and journey into adulthood than I could have ever imagined.
It's hard to say that I'm going to miss a place that I hadn't visited in probably five years, but as you can see from this list, there was a few years where all the most monumental events were happening in that small space. I won't miss Triple Rock because of recency bias. I will miss Triple Rock because like my youth and "glory days" of being part of the hardcore scene and immersed in it are now another memory etched into my weathered brain that have formed the person I have become as I grew up and out of what I used to be.
by Daniel Coughlin