Show Me the Body played the Paradise – 3/21

The aptly-named World War Tour swept into town last week with headliners Show Me the Body and support from Jesus Piece, Scowl, Zulu and TrippJones.


Off the top, there was simply no way this was going to be a chill Tuesday night. NYC industrial-banjo-hardcore troublemakers Show Me the Body stacked up a five-band rager for their tour in support of last fall’s Trouble the Water, and the sold-out crowd that rolled up came to play. Reception was polite for TrippJones’ opening set of cloud rap/slow-jams/weight-lifting, but tension was clearly ratcheting up just in time to go off for L.A. powerviolence crew Zulu. The band’s trademark fusion of soul samples and blistering hardcore naturally highlighted the latter on stage, and they made the most of their ~18 minutes there.

Much-buzzed-about fellow Californians Scowl were on next. By this point in the evening, the Paradise security crew had pushed the barricade that’s typically trying to keep folks off the stage right up to it, inviting the sort of gleeful stage-diving chaos rarely encouraged (or tolerated) in a room like this one. Scowl took that as an invitation to rile up the now-totally-packed crowd with an energized set commanded by vocalist Kat Moss. I didn’t necessarily expect to hear them cover “Attitude,” but unfortunately I’m never mad about hearing “Attitude.”

Following a tackling and a couple of near-missed shoes to the face during Scowl’s set, I gave up trying to hang onto my spot in the crowd prior to Jesus Piece, which certainly looked like the right choice from side stage. The Philly metalcore quintet played the most straight-up brutalizing music of the night, and the floor had turned to total pandemonium. The set ripped, and watching security essentially play air traffic controllers in trying to wave people off from diving directly into those infamous Paradise poles was a pretty amusing backdrop to it all. Things didn’t get quite as, uh, heated as the indoor fire-breathing incident that nearly shut down the NYC show a few nights later, but it was an unhinged time nonetheless.

With their unusual bass/drums/noise/banjo instrumental lineup and breadth of influences, hip-hop to industrial and beyond, Show Me the Body were the most unconventional band on this bill of their own making. They’re also one of the most unconventional in the realm of hardcore generally speaking. That omnivorous sound and an unwavering intensity has garnered them something of a cult following, which showed out in full force during their closing set. Following a string of five-piece bands swarming the stage, the trio of Julian Pratt, Harlan Steed and newish drummer Jack McDermott gave off an air of minimalism up there at the start. Unsurprisingly though, another stream of stage-divers was immediately keen to keep them company. And the three of them sounded massive, tearing through a furious set focused on the new LP (which is their best yet, for my money).

So yeah, in short, it was a wild one – surely one of the most lawless I’ve seen at the ‘Dise in recent memory. Check out a gallery from all the mayhem below.