90s straight-edge hardcore legends By the Grace of God will play their final show Sunday, September 6th at the Boot n’ Saddle in Philadelphia joined by regional talents Pulling Punches. The band is promising to play a select few Endpoint songs in their set. This show will wrap up 3 US dates following New York and Kentucky.
Known as a sincere, radical, and politically outspoken band of the straight-edge and hardcore revival scenes of the mid-’90s, By the Grace of God distinguished themselves from the pack with their uplifting, politically charged, high-energy version of hardcore. The band was originally formed by singer Rob Pennington and guitarist Duncan Barlow, two friends that previously cut their teeth fronting the critically acclaimed emotional Louisville hardcore band Endpoint. The duo assembled a veritable “Who’s Who” lineup from the Midwest hardcore scene that originally included Thommy Browne (Enkindels) on drums, Jay Palumbo (Empathy/Elliott) on guitar, and Benny (Elliott) on bass, all of whom would join in shouting their anti-corporate, local-business-supporting message at audiences between songs.
The band issued two releases via Victory: the For the Love of Indie Rock EP and the more polished Perspective LP, produced by Steve Evetts (Lifetime, Saves The Day, Every Time I Die), as well as a final EP, Three Steps to a Better Democracy via Three Little Girls Records.
Despite a rabid following, Barlow’s dissatisfaction with small but violent right-wing factions within the national hardcore community caused him to announce his “retiring” from the scene altogether, effectively ending By the Grace of God after a few short years.
Luckily for fans, the band has briefly reunited this summer, touring Europe this past month with Trial. BTGOG will play just three shows in the U.S., including one final show in Philadelphia.
These are the only shows planned “for the foreseeable future” per Barlow, and if that isn’t incentive enough, the band has promised to play a select few Endpoint songs as well.
Philadelphia’s Pulling Punches, who released their Lighten Up, Burn It Down EP on Universal Warning Records in 2014, will open the show their own brand of sincere and melodic hardcore. The band has a reputation for raucous performances, playing each show like it might be their last, sometimes breaking instruments and/or each other mid-set. They have a new EP titled The Old Colors Are Dead, scheduled for release before the end of the year.
9/4 New Vintage Louisville, KY
9/5 St. Vitus Brooklyn, NY
9/6 Boot & Saddle Philadelphia, PA
Top Photo by Christopher Higdon