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H2O, Hostage Calm @ Stevens Institute of Technology 2.25.12 (review, video)

Hostage Calm

This past Saturday night, hundreds of kids packed the Bissinger Room at Stevens Institute of Technology to rock out to some live music and support a good cause. Hailing from Purchase, NY, Lvl Up took the stage first and wowed the crowd with their 90s emo-influenced indie rock. The band's set had a few flaws in it, but those imperfections made their set real. The group will release their album Space Brothers on vinyl this week.

Ensign took the stage next and the crowd went off for the Jersey boys. Vocalist Tim Shaw urged people to mosh their Chris Christie hate away during their set which included a cover of Cro-Mags' "Show You No Mercy". The band is working on new material and will hit the road in the near future.

Hostage Calm's belief in marriage equality is something to be admired. While some bands say that they stand for something, the guys from Connecticut dedicate their time and lives fighting to make a change. One could only hope that young bands can learn from their dedication. The punk outfit opened their set with "Jerry Rumspringer" with kids singing along to every word. While the band have been playing mostly material from their self-titled album lately, that didn't stop them from dishing out "Weighed Down" from their 2007 4-track demo. Vocalist Chris Martin stated that this is the first of many rallies in New Jersey leading up to the fall referendum.

H2O got the crowd into a frenzy during their high energy set. Vocalist Toby Morse shared his frustration that New Jersey doesn't allow same-sex marriage like New York does. The band's set was chock full of fan favorites as well as Gorilla Biscuits & Warzone covers. My Turn To Win guitarist Jess Goldey even joined the band for "Guilty by Association" and "5 Year Plan".

Before H2O took the stage, the crowd was introduced to the Galluccio family. In 1997, Jon & Michael Galluccio filed a class action lawsuit against the state of New Jersey after the court didn't allow them to adopt their now son, Adam. They won the case and became the first gay couple to adopt a child in New Jersey, which gained them worldwide attention. They stood on the stage with their adopted son and daughter and spoke to the crowd about the hardships of being together for 30 years and not being able to get married in New Jersey. This night was another example of the hardcore community coming together to show support for something that matters to us all: human rights.