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The End of Amity

posted Sep 4, 2011, 6:34 PM by Sarah Brehm
“So now instead of saying ‘Amity is a good band,’ I have to say ‘Amity was a good band,” said Brandon Ray, lead singer of local band Axiom. Axiom, along with Camarilla, Tir Asleen and In This Hour, helped celebrate the end of Amity on September 3 at The Warehouse.

 

Two years ago, bassist JP French and guitarist Andy Goodner started jamming together. With the addition of drummer Luke Hendershott, who also plays for Before There was Rosalyn, and screaming vocalist Jason Dobbs, Amity was born. Originally, Andy wanted the name to be Amityville. “And then I decided that the ‘ville’ was stupid,” said Jason. The name works for these four because Amity means friendship, and the bonds of friendship will keep them together even though the band is no more.

 

They will keep memories of their time in Amity, of traveling through North Carolina and Georgia on tour, of playing at Livestock, and the grand opening of The Warehouse at 412 Market Street. “Probably the best reaction we’ve ever gotten was playing with The Chariot at the old Warehouse,” said Jason.

 

“We all love playing music,” explained Jason. “The first song we ever wrote was ‘Shadows’ and we still play it now. I feel like we still love it, just the same as when we first wrote it. We’ve always been consistent and just did what we loved and not really cared about trends or anything like that. I think that was just a big driving force that we were all just really passionate about what came out of us and sharing that with people.”

 

But all good things must come to an end. “We have some different views on faith and music and things like that and we just decided, you know, we’ll just hang it up and still be friends,” said Jason.

 

“Our relationships as people are more important than this band,” said Luke. “We’d rather still be as close as we are and not argue over petty things in a band.”

 

“We might just miss each other so much,” said Andy.

 

“We’ll just announce another final show!” said Jason

 

“That’s what we talked about,” said JP. “Every five months have another final show!”

 

When asked what to expect for the final show, JP said, “I’ll tell you what to expect tomorrow: bangovers. All day long.”

 

The farewell show kicked off with Camarilla, a post-hardcore band out of Knoxville. They set up on the floor, and though the crowd wasn’t fully into it, guitarists Jeremy Tisdale and Cory Stinnett repeated flung themselves into the crowd. They moshed as they performed.

 

Local Christian band Axiom played next. While their sound is very much centered on hardcore metal, it has a hint of a melodic quality to it. In the hardcore scene, they are certainly a band to watch.

 

Tir Asleen continued the show. Lead singer Jesse Hicks explained how The Warehouse felt like home. He said that this venue has always been about acceptance and love. They performed several of their post-hardcore songs including “Damn Dirty Apes” and “Grizzlies” which featured Jason from Amity.

 

The moshing didn’t really get going until In This Hour took the stage. By far the heaviest hardcore band of the night, the crowd decided it was time to throwdown. Fists flailed and legs kicked and bystanders took cover.

 

And for the last time, JP, Luke, Jason, and Andy walked onto the stage as Amity.

 

“It really means the world to us that you guys are here tonight with us,” said Jason. “All we’ve ever really tried to do with this band is just play what we’re passionate about and write music that comes out of us, and not out of something we’ve heard, something we’ve listened to, or something we’ve seen, but something that just exudes out of Andy’s fingers, or Luke’s hands, or JP’s fingers, or my voice. Thank you so much for being here and being a part of this with us. We really, sincerely love each and every one of you. This is the last you you’re going to have to hear me say this: We are Amity, and we are not a trend.”

 

They started their set with “Shadows” and immediately the crowd started moshing like it had never moshed before. Inflatable beach balls were tossed into the audience, adding to the delightful chaos. Circle pits and stage dives quickly followed. By the end of the night, everyone was drenched in sweat. Their sound is a mixture of fast, in-your-face hardcore and intricate progressive music. Amity played all their songs including “Debtors” and “Wolves,” which are the songs that they’re most proud of. They joked that the crowd couldn’t demand an encore because they had nothing left.

 

Now it’s time for the reunion tour.
 
Words by: Sarah Brehm
Photos by: Jennifer Lynn Photography
Videos by: Sarah Brehm
Amity
 
 
Amity
 
 
Axiom
 
Tir Asleen
 
mosh pit
 
 

Amity "Shadows" live at The Warehouse

 
 

Amity "Liars" live at The Warehouse

 
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