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Quicksand help Hot Water Music celebrate 30 years of music

Photos and Review by Andy Skinner

When one thinks of bands with 30+ year careers artists like The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Cher, and even Bjork might come to mind, but certainly not post-hardcore bands I fell in love with as a teen? Right? As it turns out, the norm now is for the bands we love to create multi-decade careers that ebb and flow and treat fans to many opportunities to see them live, in all corners of the world - and this is a win for all of us.

Gainesville, Florida's Hot Water Music has embarked on a remarkable journey that spans three decades of creating powerful and resonant music in the punk and post-hardcore genres. The band's enduring presence in the alternative and DIY music scene is a testament to their unwavering passion and dedication to their craft. This summer they have hit the road to commemorate this significant milestone, and fans are being treated to a live experience that encapsulates the essence of Hot Water Music's evolution over the years - bringing along friends (and fellow hardcore veterans) Quicksand and Tim Barry.

The live show at Louisville's Mercury Ballroom on Thursday June 13th served as a nostalgic trip down memory lane for long-time fans, while also introducing a new generation to the enduring appeal of Hot Water Music's songs. Interestingly and obviously missing from the mix was co-founder Chris Wollard, who stepped away from the band last November due to personal health reasons, making a true 30th Anniversary tour slightly incomplete without his signature vocals complementing the gravelly shouts of co-frontman Chuck Ragan. Replacing Wollard was Chris Cresswell, frontman of The Flatliners; however, Cresswell is no hired gun or scab - he has been a member of Hot Water Music since 2017 and since Wollard left has filled in ably. A special treat included opener Tim Barry joining Hot Water Music onstage for a rousing version of "Simple Song," originally by Barry's band AVAIL, closing out the night on a high note and showcasing that the event lineup is also a group of friends.

As Hot Water Music continues to tour and share their music with audiences around the world, their 30th anniversary serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of music to unite, inspire, and uplift. With each performance, the band reaffirms their status as pioneers in the punk rock genre, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry and the hearts of fans everywhere.

Prior to the Hot Water Music set, New York City's Quicksand had the opportunity to play songs from their catalog of music that began in 1990. Performing as a three-piece (guitarist Tom Capone unceremoniously left the band in 2017) and without a touring second guitar player, frontman Walter Schreifels skillfully took on both rhythm and lead guitar duties as the band played hits from their early 1990s albums as well as recent releases - all while appearing to have the best time together on stage as laughs and smiles were shared often between Schreifels and bassist Sergio Vega. Technical difficulties notwithstanding (cables connecting all of Schriefels' pedals and amps kept coming unplugged), the band performed amazingly for the crowd, who helped by singing along with a lot of the songs.

AVAIL lead singer Tim Barry opened the show with a classic set of his most memorable songs he performs as a solo singer-songwriter. Barry has paved his way as a solo artist since AVAIL ceased to perform as a full-time band, and is a folksy acoustic post-hardcore bluesman telling stories in song. One of the most consistent and dependable performers in the business - guaranteed to provide a meaningful, soulful, and sincere performance no matter where or when you see him play.

Quicksand help Hot Water Music celebrate 30 years of music with friend Tim Barry at Mercury Ballroom in Louisville on Thursday June 13, 2024.

Hot Water Music photo gallery by Andy Skinner

Purchase music by Hot Water Music from Indy CD & Vinyl HERE

Quicksand photo gallery by Andy Skinner

Purchase music by Quicksand from Indy CD & Vinyl HERE

Tim Barry photo gallery by Andy Skinner

Purchase music by Tim Barry from Indy CD & Vinyl HERE

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