"Holy fucking shit."
Cursing is prohibited here at Extreme Thing, but you have to forgive Escape the Fate frontman Craig Mabbitt for the slip. This hometown audience is giving the hardcore act a response like no other. It is almost bursting at the seams.
Only a few songs in and the act must stop the set. The barricade separating the audience from the stage is giving way under the power of thousands of rabid fans. "Everyone needs to take 10 steps back," an organizer says repeatedly, reminding the crowd of the safety issues at stake. Audience compliance is slow. Seems nobody wants to give an inch, though everyone must before these hometown heroes can resume their set.
Finally, when they re-establish the barricade and the heavy guitars and shrieks begin again, there is no time for a collective sigh of relief. Instead, the energy explodes outward and upward. The pit reforms instantly. Hands fly up. Legs kick out. Girls and children are hoisted back onto shoulders. Words are shouted along with. Bodies begin to surf. It's rage on, and cursing can't be helped.