Planes Mistaken for Stars | photo by Matthew Shaver

The late 90’s / early aughties were a transitional time, in more ways than one.  Grunge rock was waning, punk was rising to a peak, again, giving way to a multitude of multi-hyphenated sub genres, and kids that would normally be stuck playing in their garages suddenly found themselves thrust in to a DIY spotlight amid a bevy of homegrown festivals.  The internet was a thing, but not the information bull in a china shop it is now.  These events, these bands, lived by word of mouth and plugs at the local record shop (and let’s be real, Tower Records).

Planes Mistaken For Stars found a degree of success in the post-hardcore scene that was one of the hyphenated results.  The band’s 2001 release, Fuck With Fire, brought them as close as a lot of those bands got to mainstream success.  But success, while maybe always desirable no matter how much posturing a band does, wasn’t the whole point. It was about “the scene.”

So, for a couple of magical hours, fans old and new, took the old road to a dark room filled with loud music.  For whatever being a musician takes out of a person, I would think it takes so much more from those whom aren’t making millions.  Planes Mistaken for Stars have gotten older, we all have, but they retain the fire and fury that made them a fan favorite.  Boot and Saddle isn’t the first venue I’d think of for a hardcore show, but they made it work.  Angst and ire blasted off of the walls at deafening levels, while the crowd, respectful of the small space, saw fit to nod heads instead of throwing fists (a mosh pit would have ruined it).

Hells, a hardcore band from Philly, preceded Planes and brought back some warm and fuzzy feelings of northeastern bands of yore.  Grimy bass lines and blessedly unprocessed vocals raged across the floor.  The first openers VVeed VVolf nailed their sound.  Keeping with the throwback sounds here, they would not have been out of place on a Lovitt Records sampler circa 2002.  Masterful guitar took precedence over the woefully hidden vocals, however.  If they can get over a being shy on stage, there is some legit skill in there, deserving of an album.