Archive for hardcore

Limp Wrist Live in Philly (8/9/15)

Limp Wrist

The other Sunday evening, I headed down to one of my favorite venues in Philly, The First Unitarian Church to catch a rare show from queercore legends Limp Wrist.  While not sold out, the church basement was pretty full of punks from all colors of the spectrum: straight, gay, trans, lesbian, etc.  Shorts were definitely shorter (as is Limp Wrist’s trademark) and there was plenty of pink.

I was pretty excited for this show, not just because I fucking love these guys, but also due to the recent victory in the Supreme Court making marriage legal nationwide for all people, regardless of sex.  I got to the incredibly hot basement right as Limp Wrist was setting up, and once Limp Wrist took the stage they got the party started with “Just Like You” off their Want Us Dead EP. 

Breaking out into pits and stage dives, we raged throughout their set of classics, but also some new songs coming off a new album that should be coming out some time next year.

The band kept stage banter to a minimum, and shit got weird as one dude got naked in the pit (which, by the way turns out will kill a pit with lightning fast speed).  Martin kept things rowdy by jumping into the crowd and onto the floor as he did “Limp Wrist” and was bombarded with pile ons and sing-alongs.

Limp Wrist is one of rowdiest and fun hardcore bands around, and I’m stoked to hear some the new album. If you’re lucky enough to have them play a rare show near you, fucking do yourself a favor and go.

Setlist:
Just Like You
Back In The Day
Bought Out
Fake Fags
Smear The Fear
S.T.A
What’s Up With The Kids
To The Grave
Man To Man
Fucks With My Head
All Gone Grey
Spun
Complex
Want Us Dead
Collapse
Dead Weight
Limp Wrist
Ode
I Love Hardcore Boys

MP3:
Limp Wrist – Smear The Fear

More:
Limp Wrist – Self Titled LP
Ceremony – Violence Violence

American Nightmare, The Suicide File Live In Philly (7/24/15)

I headed out to Philly’s Electric Factory in order to catch American Nightmare and The Suicide File play night one of This Is Hardcore. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I was arriving really late in time for The Suicide File, but the all day fest had been going on for hours earlier.  The place was decently packed although plenty of room to move around.

The Suicide File

suicidefile

I’ve never had a chance to see The Suicide File before, so I was pretty stoked to catch Boston’s rock and roll infused hardcore band.  Before their set, someone took the stage and stated that the band asked him to talk about one of the biggest problems plaguing the country these days, rumors of Tom Brady cheating.

With that, the band took the stage and blasted into The Purple Dawn while a pit, stage dives, and a can of party string was immediately let loose.  Suicide File put on a killer reunion set, and seemed in pretty high spirits, often taking light hearted jabs at each other, the crowd and Philadelphia in general (“If I knew 15 years ago that we’d be playing in front of a crowd this big in Philadelphia?  I’d say couldn’t we play a better city?”)

Playing a bunch off both Twilight and their compilation Some Mistakes You Never Stop Paying For, they played two of my favorites (“Atchung Landmine!” and “Now Lie In It”) but the biggest reaction was definitely closer “Song For Tonight” which had one of the biggest pile-ons I’ve seen at recent shows.  Holy shit.

Setlist (not in order, might not be complete)
The Purple Dawn
Twilight
Laramie
Things Fall Apart
Atchung! Landmine!
Ashcroft
I Hate You
Song For Katy
Now Lie In It

American Nightmare:American Nightmare

I’m a huge American Nightmare fan, and they have been my favorite hardcore band ever since I’ve seen them back in 2003 when they were touring under the name Give Up The Ghost (due to another American Nightmare threatening legal action).  Since they’ve broken up, I’ve seen them a number of times, flying up to Boston to see their first reunion show which was mind blowing, and heading up to NYC to catch them a few times as well.

After a while setting up, Wes and crew took the stage and broke out into “There’s A Black Hole In The Shadow Of The Pru”.  Two stepping and stage diving abound, the band played a set heavily from Background Music and their earlier EPs, playing for a solid half hour with very minimal banter.

In true hardcore form, Wes left most of the shouting up to the crowd as he jumped around the stage and stage divers accidentally ripped out cords.  It seemed like their set was plagued with some sound issues, but Wes seems to have a hard time hitting the screams this show.  Still, it’s American Nightmare and I definitely lost my shit and was in the pit the majority of theire set.  I really want to see them in a smaller venue again (I missed their NYC show at Saint Vitus, but footage looks like some of the most solid yet).
Setlist:
There’s A Black Hole In The Shadow Of The Pru
Hearts
I’ve Shared Your And Lips Now They Sicken Me
Love American
(We Are)
AM/PM
Shoplifting In A Ghost Town
I Saved Latin
Postmark My Compass
Crime Scene
Fuck What Fireworks Stand For
Calculation Nation
Protest Song #00
Please Die!
Your Arsonist
Farewell

MP3:
American Nightmare – The Ice Age Is Coming!
The Suicide File – Now Lie In It

More:
American Nightmare – Year One
American Nightmare – Background Music
Scenester 101: How To Be An Old School Hardcore Kid In 10 Easy Steps!

Shitty Friends – Crime Line 7″ (For fans of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Western Addiction)

shitty friends crime line

A punk 7-inch should leave a listener wanting more, and that’s exactly what Lancaster PA’s Shitty Friends Crime Line does.  With four songs finishing just around 5 minutes, you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into with the title opener: no frills or bullshit, just late 70s early 80s style hardcore punk.

Very reminiscent of early Circle Jerks and Western Addiction, with “Last Call” even reminding me a bit of later Exploited when they went more hardcore.  You’re not going to find anything ground breaking or new with Shitty Friends, and that’s exactly what I love about this 7-inch.  It’s refreshingly simple face smashing punk rock, and you should definitely pick this one up over at their bandcamp.

MP3:
Shitty Friends – Crime Line

More:
OFF! – First Four EPS
Western Addiction – Cognicide
Government Warning – No Moderation

 

Good Riddance – Peace In Our Time (Rise Against, Bad Religion, 7 Seconds)

good-riddance-peace-in-our-time

Life’s busy man.  It’s been months since I’ve had a chance to post a proper* review of an album, and I’ve been sitting on Peace In Our Time for a little bit now.  Released at the end of April, Good Riddance is back with their 8th full length, and their first one in nine years.

Santa Cruz’s Good Riddance has been at it for a while now.  After calling it a day back in 2007, only to reunite five years later, these guys continue to produce incredibly energetic fast paced melodic hardcore.

From the very beginning of opener “Disputatio” with it’s heavy chugging bass and instant guitar assault, it’s clear that even though it’s been nine years, Good Riddance haven’t missed a beat.  Russ is still on point with his aggressive yet cleanly delivered vocals tackling both socio-political and personal issues.

Songs like “Dry Season” and “Year Zero” are up there with Good Riddance’s heaviest songs, while “Running On Fumes” and “Washed Away” lean more towards the melodic sides of things with the chorus even bordering straight pop-punk.

Definitely will please any Good Riddance fan, while so many bands change their style and “grow”, Good Riddance has proven once again you can grow a bit without changing up the music much.

MP3:
Good Riddance – Disputatio

More:
Good Riddance Live In Philly Recap
Western Addiction – Cognicide
Nofx – Ribbed
Bad Religion – Suffer

Bane, Backtrack Live In Philadelphia (4/23/15)

bane flyer

This past Thursday, I headed out to Philadelphia’s small bar Voltage Lounge to see one of my favorite hardcore bands of all time, Bane.  The place was decently packed when I got there, and I got there in time to catch Long Island hardcore dudes Backtrack.

Backtrack:

backtrackband

Backtrack is one of the bigger names in hardcore today, and it definitely showed once they took the stage.  A pit immediately broke out with people raging throughout the entirety of their set and didn’t let up.  7 year running Backtrack play a style of hardcore that takes it’s roots from NYHC bands like Madball, yet blends it with a faster youth-crew era style at times.

Personally, not my type of hardcore (I’m not a fan of the more metal infused breakdown hardcore), but they put on a solid and enjoyable set regardless with tons of stage presence and energy.  If you dig bands like Turnstile or Suburban Scum, you’d dig these guys.

Bane:

bane

I’ve seen Bane a shit load of times, and I’m always still insanely excited every time I see them.  Worcester’s Bane is one of the few bands who seem to truly love what they do, and play every show with a lot of heart and passion.  For a band that has been at it for 20 years now, this is beyond fucking impressive.

As Bane was setting up and mic checking, they started to sing along with the between sets music track “Lean On Me”, getting the entire crowd to sing along and having lighters thrown in the air waving back and forth: not your usual site at a Bane show.  That didn’t last long though, once they opened their set with “My Therapy”, we erupted into a frenzy of two steps, stage dives, and sing alongs, which only intensified as they segued straight into “Ali Vs Frazier”.

Usually when bands play songs off later albums, they don’t often get a big reaction (especially if you’ve been cranking out songs as long as Bane has), but everything off Don’t Wait Up was met with enthusiasm.  Of course, the song that got the biggest reaction was “Can We Start Again”, and people were jumping off speakers at this point.

Little side note: vocalist Aaron took some time to talk about how nothing on tour (and life) is certain, where they’ve played places they expected to be dead to be insane, and places the reaction are usually good to be low key, but that Philadelphia always goes off and is insane.  Usually I would think a band says that at every show, but I’ve seen Bane elsewhere, and there always is a good reaction in Philly compared to other places I’ve seen them.

Setlist:
My Therapy
Ali Vs Frazier
All The Way Through
Count Me Out
Non-Negotiable
Some Came Running
Swan Song
Calling Hours
Can We Start Again
Super Hero
Final Backward Glance

MP3:
Bane – Non-Negotiable

More:
Bane – Don’t Wait Up
Bane – Holding This Moment
American Nightmare – Year One
Chain Of Strength – The One Thing That Still Holds True Today

Los Crudos, Pure Disgust, The Stasi Live In Philadelphia (3/30/15)

This past Monday, I headed to Philadelphia’s infamous First Unitarian Church basement to catch recently reunited Chicago latino hardcore legends Los Crudos.  Los Crudos was donating all of the proceeds of the show to The Attic, a Philadelphia LGBT youth center.

I missed openers Latex, but got there in time for Philly’s own The Stasi.

The Stasi:

the stasi

I’ve seen The Stasi a few times, but it’s always been in smaller house shows.  The band took the stage with their banners hanging from the wall, and immediately blasted into a no frills, no bullshit hardcore set.  Playing incredibly fast and aggressive punk rock with lyrics alluding to the oppressive East Germany secret police force of the same name, The Stasi put on an insanely energetic set.

The singer was all over the place, rolling on the ground, jumping into the crowd and generally making good use of the stage.  If you dig hardcore such as Government Warning, definitely give The Stasi a listen.

Pure Disgust

pure disgust

I’ve never heard of DC’s Pure Disgust before, but they had a solid following opening up a pretty big pit and singing along throughout their set.  Pure Disgust played oi influenced hardcore, almost sounding like if Coke Bust and Blitz had a child together and played a pretty tight set.  I’m going to have to give their recorded work a listen.

Los Crudos:

 

los crudos

A Los Crudos show these days are rare and the crowd energy was high as the Chicago punks took the stage.  For those who don’t know, all of Los Crudos songs (minus one) are written in Spanish, and deal with racism, immigration, gay rights, and other political/humanitarian issues.

Once the band broke into their first song the church immediately erupted with punks from all backgrounds stage diving and piling on.  Dedicating songs to women in punk, the nameless immigrants who make this country run, and the LGBT crowd, it was interesting to hear singer Martin go into detail about the backgrounds of the songs and the struggles of growing up in a predominately white straight subculture (Martin is also the singer of queercore Limp Wrist).

Loud, fast, and energetic, Los Crudos is one of those historic bands that completely changed the face of hardcore, and influenced countless of people who were otherwise feeling marginalized.  It was awesome to be able to see them live.

MP3:
Los Crudos – Asesinos
The Stasi – On Standby For Guilt

More Punk Rock:
Limp Wrist – Self Titled LP
Government Warning – No Moderation
Bad Side – Looking For A Bad Time

 

NateFest Day 1: Kill Your Idols, Bigwig, Grade, None More Black Live In NJ (3/21/15)

natefest pic

Every now and then, something will happen in the punk and hardcore community that just reminds me what I love so much about it.  This past Saturday was an excellent example of that.  When Nate Gluck from NJ’s Ensign was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, a bunch of bands and friends decided to throw him a huge benefit show to help pay the cost of the treatment.  The fest (dubbed NateFest) was to take course over two days at GameChanger World in Howell, NJ and the lineup was fucking staaaacked.

When it was announced that Bigwig was to be playing on Saturday, I instantly had to go.  Bigwig has been one of my favorite bands that I’ve been listening to for nearly 15 years now, yet even though I grew up in NJ somehow never got a chance to see live.  Beyond stoked doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling.  The fact that both Kill Your Idols and None More Black were also playing the show were huge bonuses to make for an amazing day.

I got to the venue, and if you’ve never been the layout are two opposing stages, while one band played the other set up so there was barely any wait times between sets.  There was nothing but positive vibes at the show, and while the warehouse doesn’t have the best sound (ok it’s downright awful on the main stage), it was an amazing time.

None More Black:

NoneMoreBlack

I got there right in time for NJ/Philly favorites None More Black.  Jason (ex Kid Dynamite) and crew took the stage and immediately broke into “Banned From Teen Arts”, their love/hate ode to NJ.  None More Black played a no nonsense set, without any stage banter as they ripped through their catalog while plenty in the crowd were shouting along.

Always a solid set, I know they aren’t very active anymore… but a Philly church show again would be beyond fantastic.

Setlist:
Banned From Teen Arts
Sinatra After Dark
My Wallpaper Looks Like Paint
Mr. Artistic
Drop The Pop
Here Comes Devereux
I’m Warning You With Peace and Love
We Dance On The Ruins Of The Stupid Stage
Oh There’s Legwork

Mouthpiece:
mouthpiece_promo_pic_72dpi

Next up were NJ straight hardcore band Mouthpiece.  Often seen as one of the more influential bands of the youth crew era, the band called it a day in 1996, but plays the occasional reunion show.  People were losing their shit to them and while I never got too familiar with their music minus the one album I have, they put on a solid set.

For The Love Of and Strength 691 were up next, but I was waiting by the Bigwig stage since I’ve been waiting nearly 15 years for this show.

Bigwig:
bigwig-members

Maybe it’s the fact I grew up in NJ, but Bigwig has always been one of my favorite bands and have been a constant that I listen to since I was just teen.  To finally get to see them after thinking I would never get to was incredible.  Clearly, I wasn’t the only one excited for them because as soon as they opened up into “Sink Or Swim” they had a pit open with us flailing about for the majority of the set, with plenty of people up front screaming along the words.

Vocalist/guitarist Tom seemed to be legitimately love being able to play New Jersey again, and the band was in all high spirits feeding off the crowd’s energy.  Bigwig played an amazing set, with the majority coming off of their last 3 albums Stay Asleep, Invitation to Tragedy, and Reclamation (and of course Girl In The Green Jacket off of Unmerry Melodies).

How excited was I?  Let me put it like this, when the band played one of my favorites “Flavor Ice”, I accidently came out of my stage dive/crowd surf retirement that I declared 5 years ago ever since I needed 20 screws in my arm due to a mishap at a Bouncing Souls show.  It was like the 16 year old in me came out.

Easily my favorite set of the day, Bigwig needs to play more shows again.  They put on an amazing set still.

Setlist:
Sink Or Swim
Sore Losers
Still
A War Inside
Flavor Ice
Outer Rings
Waste
Mr. Asshole
Numbers
Girl In The Green Jacket
Sell Out
Counting Down
Friends (I think they played this)

I had to grab some food during Indecision’s set, but made it in time to catch Grade.

Grade:
Grade1-300x282

Next up were Canadian emo/hardcore/screamo/whatever Grade who played a very energetic set.  The singer was all over the place, jumping around the stage…not bad for a band that originally called it a day back in 2002.  While I never really was a Grade fan back in the day, I got to say, I really enjoyed their set a lot.

Grade played most of their third and most famous release Under The Radar, and had plenty of people in the crowd singing along and stage diving during their melodic songs.

Setlist:
The Inefficiency of Emotion
Stolen Bikes Ride Faster
Seamless
Conceptualizing Theories in Motion
Termites Hollow
To Illustrate And Design Parameters
A Year In The Past, Forever, And The Future
Triumph and Tragedy
For The Memory Of Love
When Something Goes To Your Head

Sheer Terror:
sheer terror

Next up were 80s NY hardcore legends Sheer Terror who took the stage with a simple “We’re Sheer Terror, fuck you.”  Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of Sheer Terror, but I recognize how influential they were to New York hardcore bands.  They played a unique style of hardcore at the time with heart-felt lyrics (just listen to the album Ugly And Proud) in a scene that was dominated with songs about straight edge, crews, and how great NYHC is, and they definitely had the fanbase there to rage for them.

A giant pit was open up throughout the majority of the set, and after they finished a decent amount of people left.  The singer’s stage banter was cynical yet hilarious, poking fun of friends in other bands, etc.

Setlist:
Here To Stay
I, Spoiler
Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful
Heartburn In GLove Songs For The Unloved
Close My Eyes
Three Year Bitch
Twisting And Turning
Did You Just Meet Me
Roses
Walls
Burning Time
The Revenge Of Mr Jiggs
Ashes, Ashes
Cup O Joe
Just Can’t Hate Enough
Kill Your Idols:
kill your idols

I was pretty stoked for the last band of the night, NY’s Kill Your Idols.  I’ve been a fan of them for a while now, but only getting to see them once at This Is Hardcore a few years back, and I had no idea how popular they were.  The second these melodic hardcore legends came out and blasted into an intro straight into Falling, the place completely erupted and didn’t really let up for the rest of the night.  With constant stage dives, pile ons, and flips over singer Andy West, he took it all in good stride even when he declared “someone just spit into my mouth.”

Playing a long and energetic set, the band played songs off most their releases with a heavy majority coming from This Is Just The Beginning and No Gimmicks Needed.  Throwing in a few Minor Threat covers “to keep you interested”, human piles were forming throughout their set with the wildest being the closer “Can’t Take This Away” (although I probably lost it most to my personal favorite “Autumn”).  I know that this could very well be Kill Your Idols last show, but I’m hoping they play again soon… even if they aren’t active anymore, they put on a hell of a set and still have us raging.

Setlist:
Intro
Falling
Hardcore Circa 99
What I’ve Become
Stop Comparing Us To Negative Approach
Wake Up Sheep
Enjoy The Show
Funeral For A Feeling
Only Dicks Don’t Like Black Flag
All Those Wasted Calling Cards
The Path
Green
Send In The Clowns
Cousin Fred
Remain
Cast Me Aside
Autumn
Chesterfield And Propagandhi
I Told You So
Right Now
Small Man, Big Mouth (Minor Threat cover)
Straight Edge (Minor Threat cover)
Grey Skies Ahead
Young (At Heart)
Words Without Action
Epilogue
Can’t Take This Away

MP3:
None More Black – Genuine Malaise and Misery
Bigwig – Mr. Asshole
Kill Your Idols – Right Now

More Punk Rock:
None More Black – File Under Black
Bigwig – Stay Asleep (My favorite Bigwig Album)
Kill Your Idols – No Gimmicks Needed

 

Ink & Dagger – Drive This Seven Inch Wooden Stake Through My Philadelphia Heart (For fans of American Nightmare, Paint It Black, Blacklisted)

ink and dagger

Philadelphia’s Ink & Dagger were one of the most influential and strangest bands to ever come out of the city of brotherly shove.  Formed back in 1995 and disbanding in 1999 (and which vocalist Sean McCabe died shortly after at the young age of 27), the band is most famously known for on and off stage theatrics (the vocalist once through yogurt at hardcore vegan hate-edge band Earth Crisis) and horror themes written throughout their music.  Their most famous, and my personal favorite is their Drive This Seven Inch Wooden Stake Through My Philadelphia Heart album which includes the EP of the same name and a previous “Love Is Dead.”  While their later works expanded their style a bit incorporating more elements of prog-rock, their original 10 song compilation is a hardcore masterpiece.

Before Twilight was ever a thing, Ink & Dagger used to take the stage in full face paint and fake blood while vampires were a recurring theme in their music.  The hardcore they played was incredibly dark and ambient, yet remained catchy through plenty of melodies.  Songs like “Full Circle”, “Bloodlust”, and “Shadowtalker” show Ink & Dagger at their finest.

I’ve been listening to this one since I saw Paint It Black cover Full Circle back on Halloween, and it’s easily becoming one of my most played albums.  Check it if you’re a fan of hardcore at all.

Music:
Ink & Dagger – Full Circle

Tonight, we try to die on purpose:
Ceremony – Violence Violence
Paint It Black – Invisible
United Nations – Self Titled

American Nightmare Live in NYC (1/2/14)

american nightmare

American Nightmare is quite frankly, my favorite hardcore band of all time.  I remember a friend giving me the album Background Music, and then seeing them tour with The Hope Conspiracy back in 2003.  I went mostly for Hope Conspiracy, but left an American Nightmare fan.  Soon afterwards they announced their breakup, and I was telling my friends for years all I wanted was another American Nightmare show.  My chance finally came at the end of 2011 where I got to see their reunion show up in Boston.  I thought it was going to be a one off thing, but then I got to see them again in NYC in 2012, and then again last night.

Although I was running on no sleep and was completely exhausted, I made the solo trek from Philadelphia to New York’s sold out Webster Hall.  I got done with work late so I missed all the openers, and actually walked into the venue right as American Nightmare was setting up. Good fucking timing.

For those who don’t know, lead singer Wes now fronts an 80s synth-pop band called Cold Cave and he looks much more like the part for that these days coming out with a shiny goth inspired jacket.  But as a frontman, he still has that hardcore kid in him as he runs around the stage, embracing the pile-ons and mic grabs.

Taking the stage and opening with Background Music opener “(We Are”) the place immediately erupted into a frenzy of stage dives, somersaults, and a huge pit that didn’t really let up for the rest of the night.  In true recent American Nightmare fashion, there wasn’t much stage banter and they kept it going. While their set seemed way too quick, they played a solid chunk off all of their albums.

Wes announced they were going to play some songs they never really do live, doing some of their slower songs (Bluem, Crime Scene, We Killed It, and instrumental Sometimes It’s Like It Will Never End) in the middle of their set which was different to see (and sort of strange to see in the middle of their set, especially when Wes left the stage during the instrumental), but it was cool to hear them do songs I never really saw them do before.

Granted there’s something that’s always been a bit strange to me about seeing them at Webster Hall, and I think it’s just the size/overproduction of the show with it’s constant colored strobe lights and I believe fog machines going.  This is more of a venue thing than an American Nightmare thing, but as one of the rawest hardcore bands around they’ve always seemed a bit out of place to me at Webster Hall.

While no American Nightmare show for me will ever compare to the energy of their first reunion show or the first time I’ve seen them, it’s always a good time to see one of my favorite bands of all time play again.  I know their shows are few and far between, but I’m really hoping they come to Philly soon.  How sick would it be to see them at the First Unitarian Church like they toured back in the day?  Shit would be unreal.

Setlist:
(We Are)
Protest Song #00
There’s A Black Hole In The Shadow Of The Pru
I’ve Shared Your Lips And Now They Sicken Me
Hearts
Crime Scene
Bluem (Calumet Street Light People)
Young Hearts Be Free Tonight
We Killed It
(And Sometimes It’s Like It Will Never End)
AM/PM
Shoplifting In A Ghost Town
I Saved Latin
Postmark My Compass
Calculation Nation
Please Die!
Farewell
Your Arsonist

Encore:
Love American

MP3:
American Nightmare – The Ice Age Is Coming!

And All The Pretty Pretty Kids With Their Tired Tired Eyes:
American Nightmare – Year One
American Nightmare – Background Music
Scenester 101: How To Be An Old School Hardcore Kid In 10 Easy Steps!

Bouncing Souls, Bane, Blanks 77 Home For The Holidays Night 1 (12/26/14)

bouncingsouls-home

Everyone has their holiday traditions, and for me it’s going to Asbury Park after Christmas and seeing my favorite band The Bouncing Souls play with a bunch of solid friends they bring along.  Ever since they started this tradition back in 2014, I’ve gone pretty much every year on one of the three or four nights (the two hour drive back and forth from Philly is a bit rough), but this year I decided to go two nights because the lineups were so stellar.

Blanks 77:
blanks77poster

I got there right as NJ pogo punks Blanks 77 were setting up, and I noticed that lead singer Mike Blanx appeared to be missing, and replacing him were two fill-ins.  I’d be a lot more upset if I didn’t just see them 2 weeks previously in Philadelphia, but I was curious about what happened.  After asking around, unfortunately Mike’s dog died that day, and he wasn’t able to make the show.  Sad and a bummer, but the band pressed on.

While it was a bit strange seeing Blanks 77 with two singers that weren’t Mike, they did a pretty good job of filling in, although no one can truly replace his snarl and snarky voice.  That didn’t stop us from singing along with plenty of people pogoing throughout their set.  While it was fun it was definitely a bit off, almost like seeing a Blanks 77 cover band, but given the circumstances they all did a pretty stellar job.

Highlights:
Up The System
We Are The Punks
Chelsea Girls
Pills
Void
Suburbia
Radio Hits
I Wanna Be A Punk

Bane:
bane

I was surprised to see hardcore legends Bane playing the Home For The Holidays, especially sandwiched between Blanks 77 and The Bouncing Souls, but as a huge Bane fan I was stoked.  I love their latest (and sadly final) album and with this being my third time seeing them this year, I’ve been a bit spoiled lately with Bane.  I wasn’t sure how the crowd was going to react with their being a barricade (something I’ve never seen at one of their shows) or with the majority of people there being Souls fans, but the second the Massachusetts hardcore band took the stage and broke out into “Speechless” the place erupted into a huge pit.

Aaron was constantly right up against the barrier with a constant influx of people crowdsurfing and piling on, trying not letting a stupid thing like a barricade stop any fun while a bunch of us in the pit were two-stepping throughout the set.  They played a solid chunk off most of their releases, with the new songs getting as big as a reaction as their older stuff (with closer “Can We Start Again” getting the biggest reaction).

Easily one of the best bands in hardcore, they threw a hell of a show, barricades be damned.

Setlist (Not in order, from what I remember)
Speechless
Calling Hours
Park St
Some Came Running
My Therapy
Final Backwards Glance
Count Me Out
Superhero
Can We Start Again

Bouncing Souls:
BouncingSouls5

Growing up an angsty teen in New Jersey, The Bouncing Souls were (and still are) my favorite band.  I’ve been going to their Home For The Holidays since they started it, and every year they usually announce a theme.  Past themes included having their friends write the setlist, playing a countdown of what fans voted their most popular songs, using a bingo machine, or playing the albums in full.

No theme was announced beforehand so I wasn’t sure what the Souls had up their sleeves, but the band took the stage to fan chants of Here We Go (which they opened with) and then Greg announced tonight it was going to be all songs prior to the year 2000.  Fuck yes.

With songs coming off of The Good, The Bad And The Argyle, Manical Laughter, Self Titled, Hopeless Romantic, and some earlier songs from the Green Ball Crew EP, the crowd was in a frenzy.  While there wasn’t really much room to dance the first night, that didn’t stop us from trying (to which what ultimately became just a big shove fest) while the Souls blasted through their classics.

Greg seemed more animated than usual running around the stage, jumping down to the barricade and into the crowd some with all smiles.  There’s always something special about the Souls Home For The Holiday shows that is really tough to explain without actually being there.  If you get a chance to go next year, definitely do it.

Setlist (not in order)
Here We Go
Lamar Vannoy
I Like Your Mom
Cracked
Kicked In The Head
Kate Is Great
Joe Lies When He Cries
Say Anything
No Rules
Holiday Cocktail Lounge
East Coast Fuck You
Some Kind Of Wonderful
Hopeless Romantic
Kid
Fight To Live
Lay Em Down Smack Em Yack Em
Toilet Song
The Freaks The Nerds And The Romantics
Moon Over Asbury
Quick Check Girl
Wish Me Well (You Can Go To Hell)
Night On Earth

MP3:
Bouncing Souls – Low Life
Bane – Non-Negotiable
Blanks 77 – Radio Hits

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