Last updated: February 19. 2014 1:34AM - 580 Views
By Ned Russin Weekender Correspondent



Photo by Clark Van Orden | Times LeaderThe seemingly unending winter weather didn't stop commuters in Wilkes-Barre, and it couldn't stop several bands from playing NEPA last week, along with a dedicated crowd.
Photo by Clark Van Orden | Times LeaderThe seemingly unending winter weather didn't stop commuters in Wilkes-Barre, and it couldn't stop several bands from playing NEPA last week, along with a dedicated crowd.
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This winter couldn’t be any harsher. With constant comparisons to winters past and Barrow, Alaska present, we are reminded that the inches of snow we have accumulated are painfully impressive and seemingly ceaseless. Plans are foiled, roads are salted, and lives are changed accordingly. No matter how powerful I find music to be, nothing could make it possible for Turnstile, Angel Du$t, Diamond Youth, and Blind Justice to travel to our quaint winter village this past Thursday.


These bands were all part of a tour that was stopping through our area for one night only on the day that was viewed by many as a sort of snow-apocalypse, and due to the impending weather, the show was canceled. Months of energy had been put into the show, but after a few phone calls, it was called off.


Somehow within minutes of deciding that it would be nearly impossible for the majority of people to travel to a show Thursday night, Matt Wren, local promoter, was able to keep almost every single part of the show intact with one change: the date. The show was pushed back to Sunday and all show-goers were alerted immediately thanks to the wonders of the World Wide Web.


Shows have been moved before, and storms of course will come and go again, but to be able to get three bands to brave the weather to come and play a small fire hall in Northeast Pennsylvania on two days notice is impressive. The fact that these bands and attendees still had this desire to make this show happen proves the importance of our area to the music community. This was not the biggest city the bands were hitting on their trip; it was the fact that we had a show booked and eager people awaiting its arrival that motivated them to return. The show Sunday night was yet again impacted by weather, but bands and people endured the snow just to hear three and a half hours of music.


My views on music will always be evolving, but this week I am happy to see others care enough to make an event like last Sunday’s happen. While the people at the show all had their own reasons for being there, it was still important enough for each and every one to make the trip despite the changes and the weather. This resilience made it possible for out-of-town bands to share their music with us.


While you can often find me reflecting on how aspects of underground music are neglected, it is clear that punk and hardcore in this area are important enough to the wide range of people who all made this show a possibility despite the odds being greatly stacked against it. Our local music scene will always be changing, but thanks in part to people who will not let obstacles stand in their way, we are able to bring bands to the area and continue to redefine our ideas of what music can be. Come out and see for yourself as Backtrack, Xibalba, Downpresser, Not Til Death, and Haze play at West Side Park in Nanticoke on Feb. 24 – weather permitting.


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