Caged Heat

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Caged Heat

After the Tournament of Rock went terribly sour, area bands and music fans are understandably gun-shy about any event that stages competitions among groups. But there's nothing to fear from El Torreon's Cage Match, which pits punk and hardcore acts against each other in playful, if brutally noisy, mock combat. Tanka Ray, Sister Mary Rotten Crotch (pictured) and Rock Over London represent the punks, while hardcore squads Punchline, State of Grace and Torn Within Arms weigh in as their respective opponents. The participants will share the stage -- which will be split down the center by a metal fence -- and hurl riffs at each other in an attempt to court the approval of referee Richie Restivo (a member of Tournament of Rock-victims The Sloppy Popsicles). There might be some heated musical exchanges as these teams duke it out (look for the aptly named Punchline to land some mean jabs against the street[punk]-fightin' men of Tanka Ray), but it's all for pride -- no cash prizes await the victors, and no judges will be present to measure crowd-reaction. "The real winners will be the fans," offers event organizer/El Torreon manager Brian Saunders, and for once, the cliché fits. Hardcore fans don't always make it out to punk shows and vice versa, but by bringing some of the leading lights in both categories together in one bill, Cage Match forces each side to observe the other's hard-hitting approach. The local delegates from these closely related but often rigidly separated genres might seem to be at odds on Saturday night, but all involved hope the end result is a new sense of understanding and respect.

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