Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, January 11, 2006


Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

The year was 2003 and the tour was Ozzfest. Almost 20 up-and-coming bands played the second stage that year; most were major-label bands with major-label money. But one band seemed to be a bit different. On that line-up was a hardcore band named Sworn Enemy. This band could be seen playing the Al Rosa Vila with other New Yorkers such as E-Town Concrete. This was a band that was paying dues, hard dues, but somehow managed to find themselves on one of the most commercial tours of all. Looking back at that lineup, bands such as Memento, Grade 8, Endo, Hotwire and Twisted Method were just some of the names that had more money and support, but are now just memories, while Sworn Enemy seemed to fight through that commercial muck and still managed to land on their feet.

Sure, they are not on a bus drinking imported beer, they are swilling Budweiser in an RV and eating McDonalds in between stops. But the bands perseverance, led by singer Sal Lococo landed this band an opening slot of Anthrax to support its new record, The Beginning of the End.

 

As the band took stage, an allegiance of fans, which have supported the band for years, made them vocal from the get go. Although the set was only 30 minutes long, the blistering pave in which the band plays and Lococo moves gives the fans more than most bands can put together in 45. Aside from being the face of continuing hardcore metal that never seems to die, Lococo and the band played salesmen continuously giving the date of January 24, the date of the release of The Beginning of the End. And it must have worked as it made its way into the review.

 

Although the band was suffering from numerous sound problems from the Newport, Lococo and guitarist Lorenzo Antonucci fought through their vocal frustrations and put on a show that not only got the loyal fans working on a small, but effective mosh pit, those there just to check out Anthrax could be seen by the end of the set bobbing their metal hairdos along to the strict New York hardcore scene music.

 

Songs off the new record such as We Hate and the title track were received with great reaction to the band, and this may be the year that makes or breaks how far Sworn Enemy can make it in the world of music. There is a fine line in the hardcore scene of supporting yourself through music and having to starve and play or get a real job. Since the departure from Elektra records, Sworn Enemy has decided that a little starvation now will pay off to at least paying for rent and food in the future. Hardcore is very rarely a lifestyle that will put a band on MTV Cribs, but for Lococo and the rest of Sworn Enemy, it's about survival. And from the sound of the new record and with the fan support Sworn Enemy can make from this Anthrax tour, maybe drinking an occasional import beer isn't too farfetched.

Sid
Sal Lococ
Jerad Buckwalter
Lorenzo Antonucci
Sal Lococ
Jamin Hunt