At the Mercury Ballroom this past Friday, the energy in the crowd before local band Knocked Loose went on stage could’ve powered the city.
The three opener bands –– Gates to Hell, 200 Stab Wounds, and Nothing –– had all played their sets without a hitch. Now, the anticipatory energy for the headliner, Louisville-area metalcore band Knocked Loose, was overwhelming.
But only a few songs in, around 10:30 p.m., someone on stage suddenly called for everyone to halt the music. Techs went to work immediately. For the next 45 minutes, the fate of the show would hang in suspense.
Before Friday night’s show, Knocked Loose hadn’t played in their hometown since Louder Than Life in September.
Yet even before their set started, there was trouble brewing: one of the cryo jets onstage was malfunctioning, sending off sparks, and it had to be scrapped from the show entirely after some attempts to fix it.
But not long after, a large white curtain went up –– a setpiece for their concept album “A Tear in the Fabric of Life” –– and so did the audience. Hundreds of phones came out, and the show began.
It was interrupted after a handful of songs.
During the break, the audience chanted for the band. They sang one round of “Jingle Bells.” They helped reunite a pair of missing glasses with its owner. Someone on the upper level threw beers down to people on the first floor until staff apparently asked him to stop.
But there were also periods of quiet. As the time ticked on, some fans began to slump against the barricade in boredom. They began to worry and whisper with photographers –– will Knocked Loose be able to finish the show before the all-ages curfew? When is that, anyway? Will they have to cancel?
Thankfully, their worries ended up unfounded. When the band returned to the stage around 11:15 to a swell of cheers, Bryan Garris told the crowd:
“You all were going so fuckin’ crazy you broke the sound.”
The crowd instantly roared again, and Garris explained that everything had been fixed; the show would go on; they would make up for lost time.
“Even though we’ve never had technical difficulties like this, sometimes this stuff happens, and it’s always kind of weird. It started off so amazing –– we started off up here,” he said, gesturing up high, “and I knew that throughout the set, you all were just getting warmed up. I just need to make sure that you guys are still fuckin’ ready.”
They restarted the show by playing “Billy No Mates,” and the audience’s energy once again surged. Fans crowd-surfed, raged, headbanged, moshed, slam-danced –– it was, once again, a Louisville metal show as a Louisville metal show should be.
When the show ended just after midnight under bursts of red and blue confetti, the fans, the band members, the staff, and everyone at Mercury Ballroom knew: Knocked Loose had not been knocked down.| Photos by Carolyn Brown