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Gideon @ Once Ballroom (Somerville, MA) on December 7, 2017 [Photos & Show Review]

- Dec 12, 2017 at 08:33AM
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Gideon, the Alabama-based hardcore band, hit the road to join Wage War, Oceans Ate Alaska, Varials, and Loathe for the "Deadweight Tour Part Two". The short run kicked off the day after Thanksgiving and will wrap up on December 16th.

When the first round of the tour came through the area this past fall, it sold out the Palladium Upstairs. With less than ten tickets still available for the December 7th show by the late afternoon, the stop at Once Ballroom in Somerville, MA (just outside Boston) was posed to sell out as well. Many people were posting in the show’s Facebook Event that evening with last-ditch efforts to grab tickets. Unfortunately many were out of luck, as the show officially sold out minutes after the doors opened.

It took the length of Loathe’s set plus a chunk of Varials in order for me to get into the venue. Once I stepped foot in the event space, I could not believe it had taken so long to get through the line -- it felt empty. Thankfully that didn’t last long. By the time Gideon was finished setting up and took to the stage, the venue floor had filled in quickly and it truly felt sold out as people began to jostle for space. As soon as the first notes came over the speakers the pit burst open, pushing everyone to the rim of the venue. Comically, the crowd was pushed so tightly together around the edge of the floor due to the pit opening up so far, it almost felt empty again. Though the venue notes that crowd surfing is not allowed (since there’s no barrier with security to catch people), there is no limit on moshing - there was no shortage and the crowd did not hold back.

Earlier this year, Gideon released their fourth album, Cold. Pulling many songs from it for the setlist, it appeared that everyone that made it to the front of the stage at one point or another new every word to sing along. I get excited to see bands play at smaller venues because the intimate environment really lets them shine and interact with the crowd - which is an experience you miss when the band and audience are separated by tall stages and barriers. Stage right held a sea of drums and cymbals, stage left filled with guitars, basses, and other sound gear. Though the stage offered very little space to work with, Gideon used it well and put on an explosive set.

Next up was Oceans Ate Alaska. Though I’m sure they were better received at other dates, they didn’t seem to have the largest following from this area’s crowd. As the set started, no one moved. The second song kicked in and again, no one was moving. Having seen the energy the crowd was capable of already that night, it felt very strange not to have a mosh pit break out until the third song. I walked outside to get some fresh air shortly after and noticed a lot of people had as well. Maybe it was just that Gideon had worn people out so much that everyone needed a break to get ready for Wage War? When Wage War took the stage at 10:30 pm, the excitement in the room resumed. Touring in support of the release of their latest album, Deadweight, the setlist was mainly comprised of songs from it. From the title track to "Johnny Cash" to closing the night with "Stitch", the band delivered a solid performance.

In my opinion, the order of the bill might have better matched the energy the crowd had to offer if Gideon and Oceans Ate Alaska switched slots before Wage War finished off the night. Though the tour is nearing its end, I’m sure we’ll see Gideon coming back through soon. If you missed out on this run, be sure not to miss the next!

Remaining Tour Dates:

12/12 - Greensboro, NC @ The Blind Tiger
12/13 - West Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
12/14 - Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
12/16 - Jacksonville, FL@ 1904 Music Hall

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