The Scream The Prayer Tour made its annual stop in Allentown, PA on July 5th. The tour brought plenty of fireworks and energy to this Hardcore Picnic. Sovereign Strength and As Hell Retreats opened up followed up by I The Breather.

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The July sun made the venue blistering, but The Great Commission really heated things up. Their style of heavy worship captivated the crowd and set the bar higher for the next bands. Texas In July made themselves at home, with frontman Alex Good interacting with the fans like they were old friends … which they probably were.

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Next came Close Your Eyes followed by The Chariot. The last time I photographed The Chariot one of the members landed on my back while leaping over the photo pit. This year, while trying to focus my Canon on the stage mayhem, a guitar head was shoved directly into my wide angle lens … twice … like a jackhammer. Dazed, I think it was Brandon. Both photographer and lens were miraculously unharmed. Another intimate Chariot Moment for my treasure box.

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War Of Ages was next at bat, hitting home runs with favorites old and new. The band was obviously having fun with the audience. The highlight was Victor Cota (The Great Commission) joining Leroy Hamp on “Collapse.” Fans asked and received their last song request: “All Consuming Fire.”

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The show wrapped up with Sleeping Giant whipping the crowd into a frothy sing-along and Norma Jean bringing the lights low for a dark conclusion to the evening. While this tour stop was not a sellout crowd, I noticed that bands and fans were doing a lot of connecting both inside and outside of the club. Sweaty band members took time to sit and talk or pose for photos with any kid that asked. This was a great evening for everyone.


Comrades 2020

Becoming Comrades

The trio of Comrades – husband and wife Joe and Laura McElroy alongside drummer John Gaskil – is used to living in a van and touring the country. Now, their new normal has provided them with a moment to "be adults" for once. We recently sat down with the McElroys to talk more about the spiritual reality within life, how soon they'll be able to release new music, and how koalas are their new normal.


Photo by Quinsey Sablan

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My Epic performing their last final show before COVID-19

Between the White Noise

My Epic's last full-length album came out in 2013; despite a number of EPs along the way, the band's dedication to their craft, lyrical approach, and unyielding approach to let the music come naturally has made them critical darlings. Now, they're learning to interact and feed a rabid fanbase in between albums and in a new normal.


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Employed to Serve

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Most of these days, the sun rises and sets on a world that feels like it's dying. Across the pond, where Employed to Serve calls home, they're learning how to support their latest record a year into its release. HM contributor Andrew Voigt recently sat down with Justine Jones to learn more about the band, marrying your bandmates, and their outside shot at touring with Rammstein.


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Tigerwine 2020

A Disparate Vintage

On Tigerwine's latest, 'Nothing is for You,' vocalist and lyricist Trobee departs from the band's last effort as a concept record to write about an array subjects. Notably, Trobee tackles his evolution from rigid belief system to an acceptance and understanding of other ideas: "Through touring and becoming close with those very people I was taught to be afraid of, I realized how untrue it all is."


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