Title Fight, Balance and Composure - Nile Theater, Mesa - 9/23/2013
Whatever the transcendent and revelatory moment that happened during Balance and Composure's set, it was only a lead-up to the full-blown catharsis experienced during Title Fight. People went crazy to the point of bouncers giving up on policing stage divers and instead just letting things unfold naturally.
There's a line that Title Fight either straddles or crosses leisurely between being a hardcore band and being an alt-rock band. Their song "Shed" is as good an anti-sellout/poser/phony anthem as any similar work from the hardcore canon, and people rage hard to it, but they can just as easily play a shoegaze jam like "Head in a Ceiling Fan" and compel people to slo-mo, back-first stagedive in a way that, before last night, I only thought happened in movies.
Whether they are righteously angry or contemplating their feelings, the band has an easy-going, slacker demeanor when they play. It's not as if they are sloppy, they just seem very relaxed and approachable and I think people connect with them partly because of this aspect.
Last night's show attracted a pretty good cross-section of every punk and hardcore subculture stereotype you could think of into a space where those kinds of petty identity politics don't matter. It was like a vacation from everyone's respective scenes. It probably doesn't fit anyone's textbook definition, but I feel like that kind of environment, in which everyone is united on a sentimental level, is pretty emo, and given that hundreds of people were present, I think that it has a pretty broad appeal.