Evelynn Rose/Portlit Cove
Sometimes it doesn't matter how well a booking agent does their job. Shows get screwed up. Usually, it has to do with upper management not fully following through with confirmed requests or some kind of emergency. Regardless, it happens, and on this night, the sampler of grindcore we were supposed to have heard echoing throughout the Milestone was taken away from us. Thanks to slack management, the show was nearly canceled and full-time Milestone booking agent, Buck Boswell was at his wit's end with the frustration just as someone came to the rescue.
Headliners ERRA's management's snafu led to the great Evelynn Rose taking the place of the cancellations (after ERRA canceled, most of the bill dropped). So a night of grindcore turned into a night of poppy indie along with openers, who were now headliners, Portlit Cove.
The show didn't get started until a little later than planned because of the lack of bands on the bill. Evelynn Rose opened up with a set to a small audience that, for the majority, were not prepared for the quite different genre they were experiencing. They were a well-executed alternative battle - hardcore vs. indie vs. Creed. A long set took hold of the beginning of the night and they played around 12 songs to fill up the gaps that had been created by the negligence of those who canceled. Their overtly emotional ballads and catchy beats did manage to captivate a great portion of the venue and brought the majority in the room to see what they were hearing. For what they do, they do it well, and it was very kind of them to step in at the last minute to ensure the night wouldn't be a bust. It was evident they were simply enjoying themselves, playing their music.
Portlit Cove, the determined musicians that kept the night going by staying on the bill, brought us a little closer to what our expectations were for the night. Their experimental, melodic hardcore was fluid and worthy of the headlining performance that was laid in their lap. With their new vocalist, it was a new sound, but only subtly different from what the world has heard from these boys before. However, with TJ left solely to his guitar without the pressure of vocals as well, he tears it up with more confidence and focus. It was kind of confusing as to how he managed to shred while maintaining the vocals in the first place and although he held it down every show, one can't blame him for not wanting to continue this feat. It looked complicated as hell and now he exerts himself in new ways, along with the rest of the band.
Although the sensible, straightforward line-up turned into a strange hybrid bill, it was nice to see the determination in those who had put their heart into this night make sure it still went down. Both of the bands gave it their all to a tiny crowd that was stoked to be there regardless of the day's setbacks. It made one thing apparent: Charlotte has a large handful of those that love and nurture our scene with utter dedication. From Buck Boswell's devotion to proceed with something worthwhile despite shitty circumstances to Milestone owner Jonathan Hughes thanking the boys from Portlit Cove for not dropping off and their reply of, “We just want to play music,” there is a passion here that seldom exists elsewhere. Despite what was thrown at them at the last minute, they remained true, committed artists and the still enjoyable night was a testament to this fact.