Punk bands don't receive the critical acclaim that they deserve. Punk has had such a heavy influence on rock, metal, and alternative music, yet for as long as punk has been around it still needs more mainstream recognition. Face to Face and it's supporting acts Daymare and Move Home provided a place where it's audience could release their frustration with society and unite with one another as a family. I didn't feel threatened by the atmosphere that I was in while rocking out to the bands that graced the stage at the Basement in Columbus, Ohio. Punk has often been criticized for causing its audience to "riot" over the topics of discussion that bands associated with punk music have written about, and not a single moment during the night that Face to Face headlined at the Basement did I see any such responses from the audience. At no point did any of the bands incite any destructive behavior from the audience. Even with the mosh pit that formed during Face to Face, I felt safe and free to feel the vibe of the music that was played that night.
Move Home was the first band to take the stage. Move Home hails from Columbus, Ohio. From the first note to the last, they commanded the stage like they had been dominating the music scene for decades. Their instrumentalists were some of the most talented musicians I've ever watched live, and their vocalist was able to dance with passion while bringing his vocal prowess to the mic. Every song touched me in a way that I felt like I was amongst a bigger crowd and connecting with the members of the band. The night started off with an unforgettable feeling of belonging, which was settling into my soul.
Daymare hit the stage next. Daymare is one of those bands that make you wonder why they haven't hit the big time yet. Their sound quality was crystal clear from the front row, and that is usually a harder goal to accomplish simply because of how far away the sound booth usually is from the front row. Every song they played brought you into their mindset from when they wrote each one. You could tell that they felt the energy in the venue that was coming from the audience as much as it was being poured out into the audience. The connection between the band and the audience was undeniably positive.
When Face to Face came on, the crowd really started to move like nobody was watching. For being around since 1991, the guys still had the ability to put out a unique energy that demanded respect and an equally unique kind of energy from the audience. Having already become spiritually engaged throughout the night, I felt like my soul had reached the peak of its existence as Face to Face continued to play their set. The punk vibe was in its purest form, that night. My soul had the freedom to speak out. Every song was a form of release of disappointment, frustration, and angst that so many people bottle up due to societal oppression of the outcast and nonconformist. Face to Face played with passion and heart, showing the audience their own form of release of those very things.
The night was about being a community of people with a voice and using that voice to say what was in our hearts and minds. The energy and the connection made me feel at home with myself and everyone else who was in attendance, as well as the musicians who played on stage. Punk is meant to be a movement that allows the individuals who live according to its beliefs of freedom of expression and self-awareness to utilize those beliefs to bring awareness of individuality and the need to come together to bring a positive change in this world. I hope that bands like Face to Face don't fall into societal oblivion. They and their supporting acts brought the audience a chance to come together and express themselves in a life-changing way. I can't wait for Face to Face to come back to Columbus, Ohio.