La Dispute’s Sold Out Emotional Hardcore Show at Union Transfer


Pianos Become the Teeth

Michigan post-hardcore band La Dispute stopped by Union Transfer this past Friday 4/11 with Baltimore’s Pianos Become The Teeth and Seattle’s Mansions. It was a stacked show, and every band deserved to be playing in front of the sold out crowd at this venue. Three-piece Mansions played heavily off their latest album Doom Loop, which is a loud mix of emo and punk. Pianos Become The Teeth played hardcore music that shifted between beautiful moments and more gruesome ones. The resulting sound is tear-jerking, especially with the honest, quivering, yet powerful voice of Kyle Durfey. With crowd surfers and a stage dive from Durfey himself, Pianos’ set definitely got the crowd ready for La Dispute.

The Michigan five-piece opened by tearing through the first two songs off their latest release Rooms of the House as the crowd was immediately overtaken with moshers, stage divers, and crowd surfers. The band seriously sounded enormous, and Adam Vass on bass was notably driving and forceful during the entire set. Drummer Brad Vander Lugt was also interesting to watch. The amount of different things this guy does on the drums is just insane. Guitarists Chad Sterenberg and Kevin Whittemore write riffs that don’t even take genres into consideration. It’s a mix of hardcore and blues that they pull off live with the amazing precision. The guitar work is one of the identifying factors of this band-its always changing and can be absolutely eruptive during almost every song. Vocalist Jordan Dreyer’s performance was impressive to say the least. I am not sure how he remembers so many words, but when they’re all so deeply intertwined with complex themes and stories that he has constructed, it must be second nature. He is able to serenade the crowd on numbers like “Woman (in mirror)” as well as humbling them to their knees with deafening screams on songs like “Said the King to The River”. The setlist was flawless, and they ended with the gut-wrenching “King Park”. Ending the show by having the entire band and passionate crowd screaming along to the narrative of a regretful 20-year-old who accidentally killed a boy, is powerful and goose bump-inducing:

‘Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself? / Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself? / Can I ever be forgiven cause I killed that kid? / It was an accident I swear it wasn’t meant for him! / And if I turn it on me, if I even it out, can I still get in or will they send me to hell? / Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself?’ / I left the hotel behind, don’t want to know how it ends

La Dispute is one of my favorite bands, and their live show sounds even better than their records. The fact that you can see the gritty details in Dreyer’s voice as he screams, and the sweat dripping off of everyone’s drenched heads makes the music all the more powerful and real. Make it out to see La Dispute live. They do not disappoint.

Read our review of La Dispute’s Rooms of the House here, and stream it on Spotify.


First Reactions After Falling Through The Ice
The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit
Stay Happy There
St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church Blues
Woman (In Mirror)
a Letter
For Mayor in Splitsville
All Our Bruised Bodies and the Whole Heart Shrinks
a Poem
New Storms for Older Lovers
Said the King to the River
Woman (Reading)
You and I in Unison
a Broken Jar
King Park

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