STANHOPE, NJ—Nowadays, it seems like so many bands have forgotten where they come from, or how they got to where they are. Close To Home are one of the bands still out there that appreciates every person who supports the music industry, especially their fans. The post-hardcore band from Cincinnati proved their devotion to a group of close-knit New Jersey locals on Dec. 2.

From the moment Close To Home walked on stage to long after their performance, they made it clear their mission was to have every concertgoer moving, smiling, and feeling appreciated. The crowd was instantly moved by their fast-paced melodies and honest lyrics, and was eager to sing nose-to-nose with the lead vocalist, Andrew DeNeef. After their set, all of the members stuck around to do some good old fashioned hanging with fans, along with cheering on the acts that followed.

This show was the third appearance of the appropriately named Know Your Roots Tour, featuring headliners For All Those Sleeping. At this date, however, some unique local bands got to share the stage with these passionate acts; one of the standouts being That Of A Lion.

Straight out of Hopatcong, NJ, That Of A Lion brings on a sound that separates them from the usual breakdown metal band. Their soulful singer, Charlie Stevens, brings a new element to the band’s heavy yet progressive sound. The group’s intricate guitar riffs and machine-like drum fills tie the whole performance together. However, it’s their passionate energy that makes That Of A Lion an act that stands out and easily draws in the crowd.

It’s great to see bands today that haven’t become aloof about the thrills of being a “rock star,” or lost grasp of their initial motivation to write music. The bands on the Remember Your Roots Tour are keeping it real by spreading love and respect one show at a time.

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