Metal and Hardcore Music Event Comes to Calais

By Lura Jackson


Calais has been steadily growing in its reputation as a hotspot for talented and well-known metal, hard rock, and post-hardcore bands with multiple concerts occurring since March. The movement has been encouraged to flourish in part through the efforts of Nathan Gardner of Calais. Gardner, who is a member of Conscious Cadaver, has been actively recruiting bands to play in the area, often with no cover charge for attendees. As a result of a recently made connection with Meg Shorette, the executive director of Launchpad, Gardner is helping to bring together New Hampshire-based At the Heart of It, Bangor-based Wolves Among Sleep, and Calais-based Concubine and Conscious Cadaver for a free show at Just South of the Border on October 21st. 

Having grown up in the area, Gardner is passionate about increasing Calais’s exposure as a viable music venue for young adults with an interest in edgier music. “I just really want people to have something to do,” Gardner said. “I understand it’s not going to fix any big problems,” he continued, adding that if people had healthy outlets such as music they may be less inclined to turn to other methods of expression or escape. 

Show by show, concert by concert, Gardner has been demonstrating that there is a strong interest and demand in the area for the kind of entertainment he is promoting. The success of the Calais shows led to Shorette contacting Gardner for the purpose of building a relationship in the area to grow the network of venues and shows in Maine and Atlantic Canada. “Basically, by ‘linking the chain’ we were able to have a band from out of state have a three-stop weekend in Maine,” Gardner said, referring to how At the Heart of It was recruited to play in Portland, Bangor, and Calais. 

Shorette formerly ran the Central Gallery in Bangor for three years, and she is now the talent buyer at Port City Music Hall in Portland. “This newly formed business relationship will mean more quality entertainment for the Calais area,” Gardner said.

Saturday’s show promises to be high caliber. The post-hardcore At the Heart of It has toured up and down the entire East Coast, and it has played tirelessly in the Northeast. They have previously played with bands such as Volumes and Sylar. Wolves Among Sleep, also a post-hardcore band, has been playing together since 2006, releasing their first album in 2009. They have played with nationally-known bands including The Devil Wears Prada and Norma Jean. Locally-based Conscious Cadaver released its self-titled EP in 2016 and placed in the top 25 in a national competition earlier this year. Concubine – formerly known as Widowmaker – has been growing steadily in its fanbase and is looking to continue the trend with a strong push with its recent relaunch. 

“I am extremely excited to see what this business relationship holds for the Calais area,” Gardner said. “Anyone interested in having an event, please reach out to me, and we can grow this community together.” Gardner can be reached at

The October 21st show will begin at 9:00 p.m. and run until midnight at Just South of the Border, with David Barnes as MC. There is no door charge. Only those 21 and older will be admitted.