Earth Crisis to headline Gem City Fest

Categories:  Music    Events
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 10:56 PM
Earth Crisis to headline Gem City Fest by Tommy Shannon
Earth Crisis

With the opening of the new Basement Transmissions, owner Bob Jensen promised the independent Erie music community a drastic change for the better in the quality of shows in the local scene.   And wasted no time Jensen did on delivering on that promise, as less than a month after the grand re-opening at the new location, the venue will be hosting one of the biggest hardcore shows to hit Erie in years.

On August 2, the mighty Earth Crisis will once again be taking the stage in Erie as the headliner of the first  Gem City Festival.  For those not familiar with the band, they were extremely influential in spreading the messages of straight edge, veganism, and animal rights all throughout the hardcore scene in the 1990’s, and their heavy metal/punk hybrid sound helped shape modern hardcore music. 

Aside from locals being stoked on shows like this coming back to Erie, this festival is certain to draw attention to Erie from surrounding scenes like, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and more,not only because they all have their own locals on the bill (Buffalo’s Wreckage and Pittsburgh’s Killing Thing), but because Earth Crisis has a fan base that stretches all across the globe. And so far this year, Erie is one of their only shows booked.

“They are a legendary hardcore band that rarely plays shows [anymore], and has a huge following” says Matt and Mark Schang, the promoters of the festival.  “Whether you like them or not, they are a huge part of hardcore history.”

To further exemplify their impact, when I asked a member of a now defunct Erie band what he thought was the best thing to happen to the Erie hardcore scene, he without hesitation shouted “Earth Crisis!” (It should be noted to those not in the know, Earth Crisis is not from Erie, but Syracuse, NY.  He was referring to the impact that they had on shaping the early days of the Erie scene).

But Earth Crisis isn’t the only band to be excited about.  Seventeen other bands including Dead End Path, The Banner, and Soul Control will be playing, as well as Erie locals Smoke and Mirrors, Counterfeit, and regional favorites from Ashtabula, Homewrecker.

“I really expect all different ages to show up, we have something for everyone” Matt Schang  says. “I believe anyone in the extreme music scene will appreciate the lineup. The younger and matured hardcore crowds have plenty to learn from each other. Gem City Fest has a mix of all kinds of extreme music so we will be seeing much of the different scenes uniting for this. We have worked so hard on Gem City Fest.  This is our Mona Lisa.”

It’s unlikely that anyone in Erie or the surrounding areas who has listened to hardcore anytime between the mid 90’s and now will miss out on this festival.  And if anyone is just getting into metal or hardcore music for the first time, now is your chance to see it at its finest.


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