Hardcore Holiday

"We played a small show on a cold, snowy winter evening in Flint, Michigan," writes Brian Sheerin, vocalist for Mower, a San Diego hardcore band that's now on tour. "It was at a really cool club called the Machine Shop.

"The road conditions were horrible, and it was a small turnout, about 50 people, so we stepped it up a notch. At one point we invited the crowd to join us on stage and the next thing you know just about everybody in the crowd came up with us. It was great. A mosh pit even formed on the stage. We were dumping bottles of wine over our heads and just partying really hard because it was a winter night and an intimate setting."

After the set, the club owners, who had been impressed by a Mower performance several months earlier, invited them back to the club to hang out over the weekend.

"They said if we were still going to be in town, we should come back and have a drink with them because Taproot [from Ann Arbor, Michigan] was playing both Friday and Saturday night. As it turned out, the next town we were supposed to play [Creve Coeur, Illinois] got blasted with freezing rain and snow and we had to cancel...so we took them up on their offer.

"We had played with Taproot once before in San Diego at Cox Arena with Disturbed and Papa Roach. We arrived at the Machine Shop with some booze as a gift for the band, all of whom were really down to earth and cool.

"So, that Friday night we watched Taproot rock a packed house, and after the set we told them that we were snowed in in the Flint area and asked if we could play with them Saturday night. There were a number of local bands on the bill, but we told them we'd open up early in the night if they wanted and that we would play for free. We figured, what the hell, it can't hurt to ask.

"The Taproot camp was so generous; they not only let us play on their sold-out hometown show, they put us in the direct-support slot right before them.... We went from having nothing to do in Michigan to playing for a sold-out crowd."

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