Being a hardcore fan growing up in NJ, Vision has been one of my staples for years now. While they never broke up or anything, shows from them these days are very occasional, and I missed them the last time they were in town over the summer. When I saw that they were playing at Underground Arts, I knew I had to go. When I saw that they were opening for fucking H2O who was celebrating their 20 year anniversary by playing their Self Titled in it’s entirety… well there was no way I was missing this show, even if I felt like shit, concussion symptoms be damned.
I originally though that the show would take place in the smaller back room of Philly’s Underground Arts, but the main room was pretty packed with people.
I got there right in time for Vision, and while the majority of people who were there were for H2O obviously, once Vision took the stage and opened with the title track off their 1989 release “In The Blink Of An Eye” it became apparent that NJ was clearly in the building with people shouting along.
With this being their final show on the 4 day stretch with H2O, vocalist Dave sounded a little bit hoarse, but it didn’t matter with the amount of gang vocals and energy from the crowd and band. Constantly in the crowd with the microphone, Dave had a barrage of people piling on and singing along.
A fun show as usual, Vision has remained one of my favorites over the years for a reason. If you dig 80s style hardcore, definitely give Vision a listen.
In The Blink Of An Eye
The Kids Still Have A Lot To Say
Wipe The Slate Clean
Again and Again
One And The Same
Suspect Device (Stiff Little Fingers cover)
I had to take a brain break (again, fucking concussions…) and sat out during Wisdom In Chains because I wanted to be able to stay for all of H2O’s set. H2O has become one of the more influential and well known NYC hardcore bands with their melodic songs about unity and life, and I was really stoked to see them play their Self Titled in it’s entirety… and with the way I’ve been sidelined for 4 months now with this injury, I really was in some dire need of some PMA.
If I had to sum up the show and H2O in one moment, it would easily be them taking the stage and the energy that rang throughout the room as everyone chanted the intro of 5 Year Plan “My friends look out for me like family, my mom’s been struggling since I was three.” The band ripped through their album, stopping only to break for the album interludes, and giving a shout out before they played “Hi-Lo”.
While some bands these days seem to go through the motions when they’re on stage, H2O is one of those bands that you can tell love what they do. Toby was all over the place and the band was incredibly energetic. When finally wrapping up the final track on the album “My Curse”, the band without a pause kicked into “EverReady”. Continuing with that energy, they ripped through a few more of their classic songs off of Thicker Than Water, F.T.T.W and Nothing To Prove. Toby had his son come up and do drums during “Nothing To Prove” and the little kid completely killed it.
Walking off to the Rocky theme, the band was beckoned back with chants of “we’re not leaving!”, although a few in the audience though the show was over. They came back and played “Thicker Than Water” to an incredibly enthusiastic crowd. Closing with “Still Here”, H2O proved over the course of the night that over 20 years later, they still have as much stage presence and energy as ever.
Completely killed it, and easily one of the best sets I’ve seen this year.
5 Year Plan
Spirit Of 84
I Know Why
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Guilty By Association
Nothing To Prove
Thicker Than Water