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Open Fire!

Fighting the good fight

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Hardcore and the all-ages scene in the South Sound seem to go hand-in-hand: from the local bands that keep the energy alive to the touring bands that bring their own breed of brutality to the venues that keep their doors open so that music lovers of all ages are able to catch a show. Open Fire! has been around for many of the ups and downs of the all-ages scene and will hopefully be around for many more. With a couple of EPs in their repertoire and a new full length, I Am the Curse, in the works, Open Fire! continues to gain momentum and fans.

After playing last month’s Rainfest III, the guys of Open Fire! got the news that their drummer, Wilson, was leaving the band due to the hectic challenge of juggling commitments. A three-week long Midwest tour was already in the works for this summer, but had to be canceled now that there was a rhythmic hole in the lineup of the hardcore outfit. But, while the tour may have been nixed, there are no plans of stopping at this point in the game for Open Fire! True — the loss of a musical family member slows things down as far as playing shows, but in the larger scheme of band life, it’s just a minor setback.

Steve Jackson, the front man of the group, finds himself influenced not only by such bands as Shai Hulud, Comeback Kid, Most Precious Blood, and other mosh-worthy greats, but also from the less pleasant aspects of life, as in “the oppression of people and the human condition.”

These truths are one of the reasons why Open Fire! doesn’t just play music; they play music with heart. During their live show, Jackson finds those moments on stage an effective way to relieve his own claustrophobia: almost like “an exorcism” of sorts, he says.

“Playing live sheds me of all that bullshit and makes me feel like, for at least a few minutes, everything is going to be OK.”

But where does this band play with the all-ages scene somewhat divided throughout the Sound?

According to Jackson, “The all-ages scene in the South Sound needs a kick in the ass. The Viaduct is easily the focal point and the best thing Tacoma has going for it. Kids need to get more involved. Everyone needs to be telling their friends, flyering everywhere, bringing extra people to shows, etc.”

Open Fire! is fighting to save the scene and infuse it with life. Can you say the same? You should start making an effort and head out to the show June 13 at the faithful Viaduct venue.

[The Viaduct, Open Fire!, Dr. Acula, Bully, Autumn Black, Monster Monster, These Endless Skies, Saturday, June 13, 7 p.m., $7, 5412 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.472.1948]

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