If you've been looking for more shred in your life, you would have found it in spades at the Hawthorne Theatre on Tuesday night. The Fall of Troy
, about halfway through its farewell tour, blazed through an incendiary 70+ minute set of guitar wizardry and rock star theatrics. Led by singer and guitarist Thomas Erak
, the Washington state based post-hardcore power trio fed a hungry crowd of worshiping fans exactly what they have been anticipating since they found out the group would break up.
With his black metal hair ever flowing, Erak sped his 10 fingers up and down his six strings with speed and dexterity, displaying the skill that has made him one of the definitive guitar heroes of the modern age. There was much banter in between songs, too, as Erak challenged the audience to take action and attend more shows rather than remain passive in front of computer screens. Portland was the first place the band ever played outside of Washington
, so there was much true emotion from fans who have followed the group over the last nine years. Absent, though, was the usual hand wringing and lighter waving of some goodbyes. Tuesday night's show was more like a wake, with active and thrashing mosh and circle pits, egged on all the while by a visceral and cathartic Erak.
The sheer energy of the crowd was something to behold. This wasn't just another show by a flash in the pan blog buzz band. This was the final episode in a long, hard working saga by a band that is sure to make even more fans after its story is laid to rest. Sure, it's sad to see the band go, but just think—it could have been worse. At one point while bassist Frank Ene tuned, Erak and drummer Andrew Forsman played the opening seconds of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and it struck me: among the bevy of reasons for Kurt Cobain's untimely death was the pressure of the music business. What if Erak, the leader of another influential Washington power trio, had gone the same way?
In an early diatribe from the stage, Erak announced a firm stance against the music business, declaring that there were two words that couldn't make more "un-sense" ("Is that a word? I just made it a word!") and that was "music business."
"Music is art." The Fall of Troy made art. Thanks, guys.
The Fall of TroySpace
Photo courtesy of the Fall of Troy