Ike’s Place hosts hardcore rock concert

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Milo Hopkins of Rogue Squadron performing at Ike’s. Photo credit: Angel Ortega

Ike’s Place, usually a tranquil sandwich shop by day, was filled with loud, heavy instrumentals, mosh pits and high energy Tuesday night.

The concert showcased Chico bands Rogue Squadron, END // GAME and The Choice. Also featured were Dying For It from Redding (who are currently on tour) and With War from Portland.

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Rikki Vanderpol performing with Dying For It, a hardcore band from Redding, California. Photo credit: Angel Ortega

Sean Mellon, who plays bass for both END // GAME and The Choice, organized the concert which was his first big booking at Ike’s Place.

“I’ve booked a couple of shows here before, but this is definitely the biggest one that I’ve done,” Mellon said. “We’re all really grateful to have [Ike’s Place] as a space to hold shows because that’s something that’s always been a struggle here in Chico.”

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Sean Mellon, the organizer of the concert hosted at Ike's Place, getting ready to perform with The Choice. Photo credit: Angel Ortega

The concert was put on partly in celebration of Mellon’s 20th birthday.

The subject matter of many of the songs performed by all five bands included socially and politically fueled lyricism, criticism of the status quo and exemplified, true counter-culture with heavy rock.

The heavy instrumentals and aggressive atmosphere may seem intimidating, but the attitudes of both the crowd and the musicians are extremely welcoming.

The concert, as well as the musicians, encouraged anyone, regardless of one’s race, gender or sexual orientation, to partake in attending the show because if there’s one thing that has influenced punk rock to thrive, it is its hatred toward discrimination.

Even the mosh pits were nothing to be intimidated by, despite all the pushing and shoving. If someone falls or almost injures themselves, the entire pit almost stops in unison to help their fallen comrade before continuing to mosh.

The evening began with Rogue Squadron and Dying For It as opening acts.

With War followed afterward. Though their music may not have felt as high-tempo as the prior bands, their music was all the heavier. Many of their songs were influenced by the mistreatment of Native Americans and the injustices they have and continue to endure in the United States.

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With War members Conner Summerbell-Burggraf (drums) and Daniela Hansen (guitar) performing during their set. Photo credit: Angel Ortega

END // GAME and The Choice closed the evening with intense, stellar performances.

The energy in Ike’s Place escalated as the evening progressed. The music would get louder and the mosh pits would get crazier, creating an almost euphoric experience for any fan of live music.

Once the evening came to an end, sweat was protruding from almost every spectator and musician. There wasn’t a dull face in sight as everyone was visibly ecstatic and overjoyed from the concert.

Angel Ortega can be reached at [email protected] and @AngelOrtegaNews on Twitter.