Four Year Strong

support Chances
author PP date 25/07/17 venue Bar Loretta, Santiago, CHL

Yours truly is currently vacationing in South America, and as luck would have it, Four Year Strong's tour plans coincided with my stay in Santiago, Chile. Better yet, this is the 10-year anniversary tour of their sophomore album "Rise Or Die Trying", which means the band is performing the album from front to back and topping it off with a few select cuts from the rest of their discography.

The nondescript entrance to Bar Loretta

The shindig takes place at Bar Loretta, a small, nondescript venue with capacity probably around 150 people at the very most. From the outside, you wouldn't even know there was a venue here. It's by a small, suburban type road with closed garage doors in all directions and a tiny door opening with no sign indicating this is Bar Loretta - almost Speakeasy style. "Is this Loretta 435 - Bar Loretta?", we ask at the door, and we're quickly waved into a doorway where we present our tickets. Inside, the place looks much better: a fully equipped bar that takes credit card and a small room with plenty of space for mosh pits.

Originally it was our intention to cover both Chilean support bands, but due to a pro-abortion demonstration near the centre of the city (Abortion is still illegal in Chile, apparently), our transportation back from Valparaiso was stuck in an epic traffic jam due to blocked streets that prevented us from reaching the venue on time.


Hailing from Santiago, Chances are a small Chilean melodic hardcore band that takes its cues from the likes of Stick To Your Guns, The Ghost Inside, and even Shai Hulud in places. Their expression tonight varies significantly throughout the set from straight up hardcore punk to more experimental rhythms and some attempts at atmospheric breakdowns. The vocalist sports a particularly gnarly yell in Spanish that underlines the uncompromising nature of their music, but on occasion, he is supported by a clean backing singer. Unfortunately, those parts are entirely off-tune live and leave much to be desired. On stage, the band dutifully headbang during their breakdowns but otherwise look rather static, which is not helped by the many awkward silences in between songs that make the whole performance feel a little bit amateurish. It's a shame because they have a few good, very melodic ideas in between, it's just that the execution is lacking, leaving the songs sounding rather anonymous. Thumbs up for a female guitarist in a male-dominated scene, however!


Four Year Strong playing "Rise Or Die Trying"

It's a Tuesday night and holy crap what a crowd response - Denmark sure could learn some enthusiasm from these Chilean fans. The moment that the curtain moves aside unveiling Four Year Strong on stage to the tune of "The Take Over", the packed crowd swarms forward and begins a chaotic mixture of bouncing, moshing, and vociferous sing alongs that don't cease at any point during their set. People are chanting back lyrics and participating with the kind of passion that suggests the fans have been waiting for a decade for Four Year Strong's arrival, and given how seldom bands of this caliber visit Chile in the first place, the crowd is fully energized and ready to give it 110% despite a weekday performance.

The pits are mental: constant movement is guaranteed with the floor doubling as a trampoline as the crowd gives it their all whilst delivering back-chilling sing alongs to "Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die" and other pop-hardcore classics. Speaking of which, on record, the songs are accompanied by synth melodies and near auto-tuned vocals, but the band is having none of that tonight. The synths, for instance, are not an audible part of the set. Instead, we're treated to a raw punk rock expression where the vocals are scratchy and screamy, and the tempo has been upped by a significant factor with few pauses in between. The additional speed gives the breakdowns extra flair and has me jotting down a line into my notes that applies to the whole set: pop-hardcore breakdowns are just as fun today as they were ten years ago. It also gives the show a truly high-energy feel of urgency and immediacy where circle pits occur naturally and a few stage dives take place, too.

It's been a long while since I last listened to "Rise Or Die Trying" but the album set is a timely reminder that the album is still among the best, if not the best, that Four Year Strong have recorded. The volume and quantity of sing alongs suggest as much as well - one of the best Tuesday night crowd's I've witnessed to date. And so when the band tops things off with "Enemy Of The World" material and "Who Cares" from their self-titled album, it rounds up a set of awesome pop punk that sounds even better in its live, raw punk rock format than the original polished and pop-driven material on record.


  • 1. The Take Over
  • 2. Prepare To Be Digitally Manipulated
  • 3. Abandon Ship Or Abandon All Hope
  • 4. Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die
  • 5. Wrecked 'Em? Damn Near Killed 'Em
  • 6. Catastrophe
  • 7. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Hell
  • 8. Bada Bing! Wit' A Pipe!
  • 9. Beatdown In The Key Of Happy
  • 10. If He's Here, Who's Running Hell?
  • 11. Maniac (R.O.D.)
  • 12. We All Float Down Here
  • 13. Find My Way Back
  • 14. What The Hell Is A Gigawatt?
  • 15. Who Cares?
  • 16. It Must Really Suck To Be In Four Year Strong Right Now
  • --Encore--
  • 17. Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)

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