Capstan and Belmont
with Fort Misery, The Year I Disappear, False Narrative
Will’s Pub, Orlando, FL • August 8, 2017
by Christopher Long
The joint was jumpin’. Hipsters and hotties, along with other hard core enthusiasts – all gathered at one of Orlando’s preeminent live music venues for a final steamy soirée, the last gasp of summer glory before the impending official commencement of the public school system’s fall term – a “D-Day” that seemingly arrives earlier and earlier each year. Tonight’s attraction? A five-band collective boasting a varied array of aural confections.
Each clutching a freshly-opened can of Yuengling brew, the four members of False Narrative hit the stage promptly at 7pm. Comprised completely of crunchy chunks of garage-core, the hometown combo’s concise 15-minute set hit fans with a wall of wonderfully authentic punk-style noise, and shined as one of the night’s bona-fide highlights.
Possessing similar street cred, while leaning more on crisp and punchy, song-based material, Orlando’s The Year I Disappear delivered a solid, albeit brief set. Frontman / guitarist Tony Murphy connected easily with the crowd – a flock that had grown to approximately 100 by the time the Taking Back Sunday-inspired group kicked off at 7:35. The high-energy 25-minute set featured a fistful of tracks from the band’s latest record, Bottom Feeder, including “Inconsistency,” “Qualia” and the turbo-charged show-closer, “Understood.” A simply monstrous player, drummer Mark Willberg II stood out as arguably the band’s MVP.
Given that Capstan guitarist, Harrison Borman, produced their latest release, placing an acoustic act like Fort Misery amid a metallic thunderstorm wasn’t actually all that random. In fact, the unlikely combination worked quite well. “Get ready for World War III, ‘cuz it’s coming,” warned singer / songwriter / guitarist, Justin Ross, with a sly wink, as he and sidekick / guitarist, Christopher Ryan, took over at 8:15. Along the way, the engaging, burly and bearded frontman also joked, “This all sounds better on CD” – pointing to the merch table where fans could score copies of the duo’s acclaimed 2016 record, Like Hell Lately. The ensuing 30-minute crowd sing-along featured several of Fort Misery’s staples, including “Scabs,” “Hollow,” “Monsters” and “Storms” – a gripping story that Ross described as being, “about a failed suicide attempt.”
Simply put, Belmont’s performance was absolutely explosive. Firing off ferocious energy, the onstage version of the five-piece troupe bared little resemblance to the causal characters who were seen posing for pictures with fans outside, just prior to show time. Surfing the crowd from the back of the house to the front of the stage, one tenacious teenage disciple was dropped to the club’s concrete foundation in an epic failed attempt to commandeer frontman Taz Johnson’s mic – while other faithful followers huddled up front, all trying desperately to avoid being smacked in the face by Johnson’s erratic kicks. Announcing day-four of the Capstan tour, co-founding Belmont guitarist, Sam Patt led the Chicago-bred brigade through a 30-plus-minute showcase that included such signature sing-alongs as “731” and “Overstepping,” as well as the soon-to-be-released seven-inch combo, “Water Weight” and “Step Aside.”
For as rabid as Belmont fans were, Capstan’s followers were brimming with equal enthusiasm. “Orlando! How the fuck is everybody doing?” inquired bassist, Andrew Bozymowski, posthaste. In fact, the crowd had grown into the hundreds by the time frontman Anthony DeMario led the Orlando-based progressive, post-hardcore crew onto Will’s stage. In short order, a solid wall of bodies, several rows deep were jammed up, well within spitting distance of the bone-crushing, ear-splitting, sweat-soaked ensemble. And the crowd goes wild!