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Hawthorne Heights’ debut album, The Silence In Black and White, was released 14 years ago and served as the prototype for alternative records that also came out during that era. It was infused with tumultuous melodies, dizzying buildups, and roaring vocals that exemplified both tribulation and triumph. Over a decade later, it still holds power, significance, and relevance.
Frontman JT Woodruff faced his innermost struggles with refreshing detail and more importantly–raw emotion. He has managed to retain such poignant sentiment throughout the band’s career and their latest creation, Bad Frequencies–which is out today–is a testament to this. The new record is an audible manifestation of hope, despite the frustrations of still dealing with adversity (which is underscored by songs such as “Just Another Ghost,” “The Suicide Mile” and “Pills”).
Hawthorne Heights have come together yet again (their last studio album was 2013’s Zero) to not only tell their story but to ease the burden of devoted listeners who are experiencing similar turmoil. Last Thursday (April 19), Boston’s Brighton Music Hall was only the second stop of their Bad Frequencies tour and its importance was not lost on the band. From the very beginning of their set, Woodruff delighted in both the excitement of everyone who came out and music’s ability to somehow bring everyone together in such a moving way.
Newer tunes such as “Bad Frequencies,” “Pink Hearts,” Push Me Away” and the aforementioned “Just Another Ghost” found their footing with an audience still working their way through fresh material. 2006’s If Only You Were Lonely struck a nerve with feverish listeners desperate to recite the words to songs like “This Is Who We Are,” “Pens and Needles” and “Saying Sorry.” Hawthorne Heights bravely tackled the Bush classic “Glycerine” as a cover before Woodruff became overcome with appreciation.
He thanked openers Heavy Things, Sienna Skies and Hotel Books for coming on the road with them. Woodruff also relished in the different style of each facet that performed that night, the diversity of Boston and went on to explicitly express the need for Hawthorne Heights fans to support new material if they want to be able to hear them play older favorites. As they revealed “Ohio is for Lovers” as their final song of the evening and everyone screamed along, it was clear that we had no problem holding up our end of the bargain.