Hostage Calm Dies on Stage
While it's severely unfortunate that my favorite band, Hostage Calm, played their final show Friday, March 6th, after breaking up late last year, I was very fortunate to be in attendance. After a one of my classes got cancelled Friday afternoon, I decided to skip my final one (please don't rat me out) in order to make the trek back to Connecticut to see them play. After listening to their music on repeat all the way home, I was able to make it to Toad's Place just in time to see them literally "die on stage". The second I walked into the venue, I knew the show was going to get wild as there was no barricade set up in front of the stage. As the openers performed and shuffled off stage, the tension continued to build until Hostage Calm finally came on stage. Finally, after what seemed like 1,000 cliché songs alluding to the final performance, Hostage Calm finally mounted the stage and the prepared for the ensuing chaos. I will preface the remainder of this article by mentioning that this is probably one of the, if not the single, best concert I have ever attended.
To begin, Hostage Calm opened with Brokenheartland and immediately the crowd erupted. As I mentioned earlier, there were no barricades at this concert, so there was a constant flow of people running across the stage and stage diving, people crowd surfing, and people simply losing their mind. Additionally, while it may have seem like a good idea initially, the band decided to disperse 27 dozen roses across the stage which essentially made it a slip and slide. At the end of the first song, there was lull in the performance because already some of the equipment had been damaged.
After the opener, Hostage Calm played several more crowd favorites including Jerry Rumspringer, Woke Up Next To a Body, When You Know, On Both Eyes, and A Thousand Miles away From Here. You’d think that after the first few songs people would get bored of jumping off the stage and whatnot, but that simply wasn’t the case. The whole concert was filled with passion, emotion, and a plethora of energy. I’ll be the first to admit I partook in the shenanigans by stage diving at least half a dozen times and crowd surfing quite frequently. By the end of this first portion of the performance, I was pretty winded between avoiding kicks to the head and whatnot.
The next portion of the performance is when the rowdiness was taken to a whole new level. Although Hostage Calm’s most recently album has a primarily pop sound, their old work consists of mostly upbeat, punk tunes. The next 6 songs were all from their earlier albums and the crowd responded accordingly. As the band started to play Audible, a giant circle pit emerged in the middle of crowd and the stage dives increased exponentially. At any given point, there were at least 4-5 people jumping off the stage at once.
After playing a few more songs off their early albums, Hostage Calm pulled a trick out the bag. Before Hostage Calm formed, a few of the members were part of a band, At All Costs. As on homage to their roots, Hostage Calm decided to play their songs. At All Costs was a major component of the Connecticut hardcore scene, so when this song started, the crowd surged once again. The circle pit increased in size and the number of people on stage was absolutely absurd. An original member of AAC joined Hostage Calm for the performance and those on stage essentially attacked him as he started to sing. There was a sizeable pile of people on him to the point where he wasn’t visible. Only after the concert security intervened could you see or hear him once again.
After the hardcore tunes ceased, Hostage Calm returned to playing some crowd pleasers including A Mistrust Earned, Rebel Fatigues, Your Head/Your Heart, Ballots/Stones, and War on a Feeling before playing an encore of The “M” word, Patriot, and Don’t Die on Me Now. The following video of their final performance provides only a glimpse of the insanity that was this performance.
Overall, this concert was simply amazing. There was so much passion, emotion, and energy demonstrated by the band and reciprocated by the crowd. It was surreal to see Hostage Calm take the stage one last time and really didn’t set in for anyone until lead singer, Christopher Martin (CMar), started to get emotional toward the end of the setlist. Between each song, CMar would share his gratitude with the audience and drive home the roots of Hostage Calm’s music: justice, in all forms.
It’s truly sad to see such a promising group of musicians call it quits, but I guess everything has an end at some point. I wouldn’t be surprised if the group decided to play reunion shows in the future or even get back together but I guess only time will tell. For now, I can only hope that their legacy lives on and their politically charged tunes will continue to fuel the activism sweeping the world.
Image from hostagecalm.net