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Review: Hostage Calm @ Santos Party House 2.27.15

"Let him pe. Let him live," proposed Hostage Calm vocalist Chris "Cmar" Martin towards security's attitude against a fan looking to make a big leap from the balcony. While the band delivered a set for the packed house inside Santos Party House, this wasn't a typical headlining tour in support of a new album. This was the end for Hostage Calm, at least for the NYC audience (the band's final show takes place this weekend). While touring in support for their final record ironically titled Die On Stage, Hostage Calm suddenly dropped of the remaining dates on their tour with Citizen and broke up. No explanation. No sudden hints towards a possible disbandment. Fans were obviously heartbroken by the news, especially since the breakup occured a few weeks after their album was released.

With Scranton, Pennsylvania punk rock band Captain, We're Sinking, Rochester, New York melodic hardcore punk act Such Gold, and I Am The Avalanche/The Movielife frontman Vinnie Caruana taking their time to honor the Connecticut punk band, the crowd seemingly grew anxious about seeing one of hardcore punk's most bands for the final time. Over the years, Hostage Calm have managed to metamorphosize their sound to the point where each album almost sounded like a completely different band, but what they stood for remained the same. From their hardcore punk beginnings of Lens to the new wave/'90s alternative rock collision of Die On Stage, Hostage Calm's message stayed intact without having to sacrifice any portion of it.

Asking the NYC crowd to "lay a rose on the casket", Chris and the rest of the band launched into the opening track "Don't Die On Me Now", and the crowdsurfers and stagedivers had wagons full of roses set aside for that particular evening. The band's set mostly contained tracks from the Run From Cover portion of their discography; but the band did manage to dust off "400,000", which was taken from their 2007 demo and their 2008 debut album Lens. The live version of "Patriot" disregared the barbershop quartet vibe from the album and kept the high voltage crowd on its feet, howling lines such as "Oh, say can't you see that they've taken you from me?"

Seeing how this would be the final time performing their new material, the Die On Stage portions of the set had a much more sentimental vibe; the grunge/alternative rocker "Someone Else" had Chris professing that he simply won't be "someone else for someone else" , the bouncy love number "When You Know" featured bassist Tim Casey tossing roses in the crowd, and "A Thousand Miles Away From Here" had fans grabbing for the mic.

For the encore, the band brought some new wave energy in the mix with "Raised", which had Vinnie Caruana on stage delivering the chorus to a soaked crowd. The band's final track "Woke Up Next To A Body" presented a multitude of stagepers attempting to get their last bit of air time during a Hostage Calm performance. Some were rambunctious enough to unintentionally knock Chris down on their way to and from the stage. For the frontman and the rest of Hostage Calm, this was just simply fans thanking them for years of some of the most thought provoking hardcore punk seen in a while, and it honestly couldn't have ended any better. (Terrance Pryor)