Wednesday, April 2, 2008

4/1 - Blacklisted, Verse, The Carrier

This show was at the Knitting Factory, in The Tap Bar. I decided to give driving another shot, I hadn't driven to the KF since I got a parking ticket in August for parking in a bus stop. I got a sweet spot around the corner and we got in around 7ish.

The first band was Probable Cause, I hadn't heard them before this show but had read somewhere that they were straight up NYHC or something. They started and immediatly dumb mosh started. The music wasn't anything that hadn't been done already. After the singer called whoever wasn't moshing "faggots" and kids starting moshing w/ intention to hurt people, we went outside.

Reclaim the Crowd played second, but I really don't like them, so I didn't bother going in to watch. However, big ups to them to being probably the only kids booking shows in Brooklyn right now.

Next were the Carrier, who just signed with Deathwish. They are awesome because they are heavy, with out being just all mosh parts. I enjoyed watching them play, but at times I found myself losing attention and focusing on other random things. Maybe it was because I still haven't fully recovered from United Blood. They played a new song off their upcoming 7", and it was really fucking good.

So, I just want to say that Verse rules. Simple as that, but for some reason everytime I see Verse I forget the fucking words. Anyway, they played great as always. I really liked the singers(Sean) speech about how bands have to push the limits of hardcore and make new music. Otherwise we will be just listening to the same thing over and over and it will get old, causing nobody to care. He used the new Blacklisted record as an example. This was the 3rd time seeing Verse play new songs, if the rest of the album is like that, fuck its going to rule so much. There was some kind of scuffle during their set, which i didnt notice until i saw Sean almost stop singing and staring into the crowd. I think it was between 2 girls, but it got broken up quick.

Headlining were BLACKLISTED, whose new record "Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God" came out today. They played a bunch of stuff off of it, and since I really haven't listened to it yet I didn't know them. But I can say I really liked what I heard. The did play Eye for and Eye though. George opened the song by talking about how the song wasn't about violence. And then, ironically, a fight broke out just before george screams "EYE FOR AN EYE". I don't know what it was about or who was involved, but Blacklisted stopped playing and everyone turned around to watch. It ended pretty fast, and Blacklisted continued the song from where they had left off. Guest vox by Greg of the Mongoloids in the song also, good shit. They closed with 2 songs off POEWOS, which is probably one of my favorite Blacklisted releases.

Overall it was a good show, worth the traffic-less drive into the city.

3/28 - 3/29 - UNITED BLOOD FEST

there is so much to write about, i will do this when i have more time.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

3/5 -Thieves and Assassins, Call it Fire, Nautical Mile, Everything Sucks, Stay Alive

Tonight's show was at the "new and improved" Village Pub South. Apparently there used to be shows here pretty often, and for whatever reason everybody absolutely hated the place. I don't know why, this was my second time at the VPS and while it is pretty small, I don't think its terrible. One bad thing about it is that just east of the venue (which is located in Amityville) is a really bad neighborhood that you don't want to walk around in alone. Oh yea, the Amityville Horror house is pretty much down the road, and guess what IT IS NOT SCARY AT ALL AND PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIVE THERE.

Opening the show was a band from Brooklyn called STAY ALIVE. This was my first time seeing them, and I think one of their first shows, and they were not bad at all. The singer, Frank, was jumping around all over the small stage and was definitely really into what he was doing. It always good to have an energetic vocalist, keeps things fun to watch. They played for about 20 minutes and they are definitely worth checking out. I got a melodic punk hardcorish feel. says if you like AVAIL, AGAINST ME, STRIKE ANYWHERE then you will like STAY ALIVE, and I guess thats about right. After they played Chris and I went to pick up a demo, and Frank ended up giving us demos plus a bunch of other free cds/tape, really nice dude.

From here on in were all Long Island bands, starting with EVERYTHING SUCKS. Obviously they are influenced by the Descendents, among others. EVERYTHING SUCKS are really fun to watch, Matt's dancing while he is singing is great. And the music is good too. I am almost positive that they opened with a FUGAZI cover, and it sounded pretty well done to me. If you have the chance, you should catch EVERYTHING SUCKS because they are good and I believe their demo is free.

Taking the mid-show spot were NAUTICAL MILE which has members of SILENT MAJORITY, CAPITAL and more that I can't remember. This was maybe my third time seeing them and the most I have enjoyed them by far. They play some awesome hardcore punk, and do it with drunken style. At one point the singer tripped and fell into a roll down the ramp off stage, and made it look good. They even covered CAPITAL "Live Damnit Live" because they had to drop the show for unknown reasons. They have a demo, so you need to go check that out immediately.

Next were CALL IT FIRE. This band is seriously awesome, I think if they would play more shows that they could maybe be the next BACKUP PLAN. They are awesome live, and at times remind me of MODERN LIFE IS WAR, AMERICAN NIGHTMARE, and THE BACKUP PLAN. There was some mic trouble during the set, but that did not phase their fast, powerful, and emotional hardcore. They just released a full length record for free on the internet, along with a previously available demo. Both of which are really fucking good, go download them now it doesn't cost you anything and I know you fucks love to get free music.

Picking up the slack for CAPITAL(who had to cancel a few hours prior to the show) were THIEVES AND ASSASSINS who I think are one of the best, if not the best band on Long Island right now. They opened their set with 3 brand new songs, all of which sounded fucking awesome. I can not wait for the new stuff to come out on a hard copy for me to listen to nonstop. They played a bunch of stuff off their full length "Martyr Brigade", and closed with "Swear to God", which got the most reaction out of any of the bands of the night. Duncan(vocals) did not have the sweet mustache that he had last time I saw them, bummer I guess Long Island doesn't do mustache's anymore. THIEVES rule, the lyrics are some of the best written. You need to check them out if you haven't, you are missing out.

whats good:
crucified demo
long island hardcore
grilled cheese

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

3/4 - Bouncing Souls, Envy Arcadia

So today was something special, a BOUNCING SOULS show at Nassau Community College. Pretty cool right? It was also at 11:30...AM, definitely the earliest show I have ever been to. This show was only supposed to be for NCC students, however I was lucky and my friend Sean was partly responsible for this show, and he guestlisted me!! Thanks buddy! Once again I had Rob with me, what a good sport. I'm given this cool laminated guest pass thing after waiting on line and we go in. One major plus about this show is the free pizza and drinks. All shows should have this, seriously.

The opening band was called ENVY ARCADIA. They had won a battle of the bands at NCC at some point and I guess this was their prize. This is the only circumstance that they would get to play with the BOUNCING SOULS, as they are completely different types of music. Oh yea and the Bouncing Souls are awesome and this band blew. They play typical what's popular music, just all those bands on mtv who are trying to be alternative and wear make up and tight clothes and make really shitty unoriginal music. The singer definitely idolizes the singer of GLASSJAW, and likes to sing random high notes that sound fucking stupid. If you like good music, do not check this band out.

Ah, the BOUNCING SOULS, that band that got me into punk and hardcore. I love this band, and I try to never miss a BOUNCING SOULS show. One thing over the years that I've noticed is you can gauge how good they are gonna play based on how drunk they are. They play the best on a buzz. Today was a early show, so I don't think they were drunk yet. Greg (the singer) looked like he could have been drunk already, but I think he was probably just tired. They played a 45 minute set(12-12:45pm) which included: The Gold Song, Leen on Sheena, Lamar Vannoy, That Song, Private Radio, East Coast Fuck You, Hopeless Romantic, Sing Along Forever, Better Things, and closed with True Believers. The Souls were definitely happy to be playing, and were all moving around. However, Greg wasn't too energetic, but he did some dance-shuffling on stage. He has a very laid back style of singing, and it always confused me how he doesn't open his mouth all the way when he's singing, I guess he must have learned how to project his voice. They stopped and talked for a bit about how 2009 is the 20 year anniversary for the BOUNCING SOULS, and that they are going to be doing some cool shit for it. Awesome, if there's 20 year anniversary shows I will not miss them for anything. The crowd was pretty tame, but thats because it was only promoted at NCC, and not everyone at that school is a souls fan. The only bad thing about this show was that there was a barricade about 3 feet from the stage. But Greg made up for that by coming down and singing with us a couple of times. During the closer, True Believers, kids decided to dance around and it was stopped by NCC Security. LAME. But you know what, all in all it was a good show and totally worth me missing my first class.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

3/1 - Paint it Black Double Feature

So I was really excited for this day since the first show got announced, I love PAINT IT BLACK. And when I heard about 2 shows in one day, there was no way I could pass that up! The first show was to be at Generation Records in the village. To get in you had to be one of the first 50 people to buy their new cd at the store a few weeks prior. And the second show was them with STRIKE ANYWHERE and some other bands at the Knitting Factory. With me for this was Rob, Rob is a very good sport with me because I make him go to countless shows, and I constantly talk about reunions and other cool things that would never happen.

We got to Generation Records around 1:45 and after giving our names to the guy w/ the pad, and went downstairs. PAINT IT BLACK was setting up in the t-shirt area, and surprisingly there was enough room, I really didn't know how it was gonna work out before I got there so I was glad to see there was actually room to breathe. There was a decent amount of kids already there, and everyone was browsing the records and used cd's. Eventually they started to play, it wasn't on time of course, but this is hardcore so who the fuck cares. It was obvious that the band was super happy to play, and that at least half the kids there were really excited. They ripped through about 10 songs, making time for jokes and shit. At one point Andy Nelson, the bassist, started saying how much the Knitting Factory stage sucks to play on, and that he wanted everyone to do whatever they could to fuck the place up. I found it funny, but I figured nobody is actually going to do anything. Kids were trying to do the push mosh a few times, and some even crowd climbed, kicking out a light at one point. But thankfully no real damage was done!

After they played, we have a few hours to kill. Which consisted of walking around the village, going to 3 record stores, and eating at 5 guys burgers and fries. That place has the best burgers out of any chain. If I ever do food reviews, expect that to be in there. Eventually we met up with Brian, and the three of us headed to Soho for the Knitting Factory show.

We arrived before any band started playing. And did what we usually do for the first band, hung out in the merch area. They were called PITCH BLACK BLONDE and I didn't really pay attention at all, sorry. Next up were the RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS, I only watched a few songs by them, and by this point Erin had come so I was hanging out with her. They were entertaining to watch though, the singer LOVES to throw the mic in the air, just like the lead singer of TAKING BACK SUNDAY. They played a forgettable kind of rock'n'roll punk I guess. I didn't really like it, you might.

Next were fucking PAINT IT BLACK, they got such a good reaction. Kids were going nuts the entire set. Every time I see them Dan Yemin always has some positive things to say. Tonight he talked about how he hates organised religion, how this was all for us, and he encouraged stagedives and for kids to come on stage. And Dan always looks so mad when he sings, then once the song ends he will immediately have a smile on his face. Tonight's show was EASILY the best reaction I have seen PAINT IT BLACK get. They definitely bring a different crowd of hardcore kids, this was obvious because of the push mosh pit, which is pretty annoying. But that is the only negative thing I have to say. Another funny thing was that Andy called out CHICKEN MAN, who didnt make it because he is broke, then called him a poser for not coming, if you don't know CM then it sucks for you. They didn't close with Memorial Day, but they did play it second to last. And they did a good job of not making both sets the exact same set!(Robs biggest worry). If you missed this show, or don't like PAINT IT BLACK, well then I feel sorry for you.

Headlining were STRIKE ANYWHERE, this was my first time seeing them but I'm not all that familiar with their stuff. We watched from the balcony, and once again all the kids exploded with energy. The singer was full of it too, jumping all over stage with his really fucking long dreadlocks flying everywhere. They sounded pretty tight, but the his voice cracks and squeaks when he is trying to shout his loudest. They played the few songs I know by them and then we decided to leave early.

Plenty of people were taking pictures at both shows, im sure they will surface soon, I just cant find them yet.

Paint it Black @ Generation Records

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2/22 - The Loved Ones, The Gaslight Anthem, The Ergs!, Lagrecia, Higher Giant

So, my friends and I were all really looking forward to this show. And with due reason, because there were so many good things about this show, that even if it sucked it would still be great. We got to the Knitting Factory a little after 6:45, and still no band had played yet. So Joe and I went over to New Fancy Food Deli around the block. Got 2 cliff bars and a Naked smoothie(dinner) and went back to the show. Once inside it was obvious that this was a sold out show, people were everywhere. Surprising, because most sold out Knitting Factory shows dont fill up until the end, but for this one it seemed like everyone was there before the first band played...

So on to the first band, HIGHER GIANT. None of us knew who they were, so we were just hanging out in the bar/merch area. Eventually I mentioned to someone "hey this kinda sounds like GREY AREA", and not too shortly after that I went into the main area and low and behold, Ernie Parada (TOKEN ENTRY, GREY AREA, KID DYNAMITE) was on handling lead guitar/vox. And then i saw that Dave Wagenschutz (LIFETIME, KID DYNAMITE, PAINT IT BLACK) was on the drums! And apparently somebody who had filled in or was in KILL YOUR IDOLS. Well, thats pretty promising. So I watched them for the last of their songs, and they were not bad at all. They definatley gave me a GREY AREA vibe, but that could be just because of Ernie's voice. They were a little more poppy than that, but still very good. Ernie was hittin all his signature high notes and not missing a chord, and the rest of the band looked like they were all having a great time. They had no demos for sale, but this is a band to check out.

Now, at the Knitting Factory they set a half hour between bands for them to set up(on the main stage). But pretty much for any punk/hardcore, this is too much time. 15 minutes is more than enough, this lead to bands kinda standing on stage trying to make it look like they were doing something all night. I find this really fucking annoying. I dont want to watch you dilly dally on stage, and wait for you to start, the venue needs to stop doing this.

On next were LAGRECIA, which is KID DYNAMITE frontman Jason Shevchuk's new band. I was very excited for them, because I love'd NONE MORE BLACK, and KID DYNAMITE and basically Jason Shevchuk cant make bad music. So the three of them took the stage and well, were fucking awesome. They are like NONE MORE BLACK, but maybe with a little more of the western feel. They played extremely tight, and they were definatley having a blast. I think this was about their 4th show, and it was obvious people were definatley there for them, I had never heard such a loud applause after the first song of a openeing band. LAGRECIA is great, and they are from Brooklyn so expect to be seeing them play a lot soon!

Dead center of the show were THE ERGS!. It took me a while to get into THE ERGS!, but I am glad I did because they put on a great show. The first time i saw them I was so surprised that the lead vocals were done by the drummer! That takes some serious skill to be able to drum and sing at the same time. Very impressing. They played a great set and kids were jumping around and havin fun for them. It was my third time seeing them and I was hoping for more MINOR THREAT covers. I think ive seen them cover THE DESCENDENTS also, but I cant remember. They play pop-punk the way it should be, and they are always on point, so dont be lame like I was and think "pop punk sucks" because this band proves it does not suck. I still cant stand the ramones though.

Next up were my most anticipated band of the night, THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM. This band sounds as if BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN started a melodic punk band. Once again, I cant remember what songs they played, sorry. I can say that there was a lot of energy during their set, from the band and the kids. Kids were dancing around and jumping and crowdsurfing for them. Generally just having a blast. It was obvious that THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM were surprised that so many kids were into them, and they were definitely happy about it, you could tell by the huge smiles on the singers face. At one point they started to talk about how it was some girl's birthday, and then went into a cover of TOM PETTY's "American Girl". Holy shit it sounded perfect, just like the original. Actually, their entire set sounded just like the LP, perhaps even better. They are definatley a great live band, if you have the chance to see them go for it, you will have a great fucking time.

Last up were THE LOVED ONES, touring supporting their new LP "Build and Burn". I dont know much by them, but they were definitely well received by the crowd. They have come a long way from when i saw them in Bellmore, to about 20 kids. And that show wasnt even a full band, just Dave Hause playing because the rest of them couldnt make it. They played very solid, besides the fact that Dave looked really drunk, there were some mic troubles later in the set but it fixed itself somehow. At one point Dave said they had a surprise, and then started talking about Ernie Parada. This of course made me think they were going to do some kind of GREY AREA or TOKEN ENTRY cover. No luck tho, the surprise was some guy from the hold steady playing guitar during "Louisiana", also during that song Dave jumped out and sang with the crowd a few times. I like that. They played for almost a hour, if not a full hour. By the end of it I got bored and tried to buy tickets to Blacklisted on April 1st, but the box office was already closed, oh well. Oh yea, during their set kids kept on ending up on stage, and then not knowing what to do. This led to them just standing there, one girl grabbing the mic and singing along(which is cool). But they all overstayed their welcome and Dave kept yelling DIVE. Seriously kids, when you end up on stage, you FUCKING DIVE. Nobody wants to see you up there, and you look like an idiot. dont end up on stage if you are too afraid to stagedive.
"I want to see 17 stagedives during this song, no more no less"- Scott Vogel.

On the subway back to penn, there was a homeless dude sleepin on the train. so everyone on the subway car was on the opposite side of him. seeing homeless people always reminds me how lucky I am, but it always makes me feel bad for them. Once back in Penn we got some pizza from Rose's and caught the 11:45 train home.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

2/16 - VERSE 5 Year Anniversary Show

So this was the day I had been looking forward to for a while. As I hadn't seen VERSE since the summer in Brooklyn, and I hold a special place in my heart for HAVE HEART and DOWN TO NOTHING. I started the day by rounding up the crew which consisted of Rob, Gw and Chris. We got some breakfast at the local bagel place and we were off to Providence, Rhode Island. I had a cup of coffee to start the ride and it was shaping up to be a great day.

So as we are driving along I-95, we pass the NY/CT border and of course I get into a fucking car accident and total my car. Great fucking job. I hit some Buick suv/van thing, and to make matters worse she hit the person in front of her. So the cops and the fire department come and everything gets sorted out. My parents pick us up, my car gets taken away to get junked. We arrive back on LI and decide we can still make the show, so off we go in Rob's car. About 3 and a half hour later we get to Providence, but not after getting lost because our exit was closed, good job dickbags of the road for doing construction when I go to your city.

We find a spot real quick, and run to the venue, Club Hell. SOUL CONTROL is in the middle of their set. This means we missed RAMPAGE, MELTDOWN and ST. JUDE. Which sucks because i wanted to see RAMPAGE and MELTDOWN, but I was told later on that RAMPAGE weren't that good, and that MELTDOWN was great. Back to SOUL CONTROL, they played very tight, as I would expect them to since Providence is their home-town. I couldn't really see from where I was standing but I'm pretty sure kids were into them. Which is great because the band is awesome, do yourself a favor and get Involution and read those lyrics, fuck so good. The only problem i have with seeing SOUL CONTROL is that the singer, Mattdude, doesn't always sing the words into the mic. So it makes it kinda hard to follow. But nonetheless he has a great stage presence and is fun to watch him get really into it.

Following SC were SHIPWRECK(ad), for those of you living under a rock, SHIPWRECK had some trouble with some shitty band who had the name before them, so to avoid being sued they had to add an AD to their name. So they came on and JD started talking about some type of historical event before playing their blistering set. Kids were doing their thing for the wreck the entire set, and if you have been to a SHIPWRECK show before, you know theres a high chance you could get hurt. But this is hardcore right, so deal with it if you do. The new songs off Abyss were fairly well received by the kids, but some more than others. Everyone went nuts for the both of the 7" stuff of course. They closed with Miasma, which surprised me because most bands play their biggest song or a song that they know kids will go nuts for, to close their set. Mostly everyone stood there catching their breath from the previous song, which I cant remember what the fuck it was. (this is a problem I have at every show, I can never remember what songs the bands played, even if I was singing along). So SHIPWRECK had a kind of anti-climatic end, but you know what I give them a lot of credit for it. Give it a few more months and soon everyone will go off for every SHIPWRECK song.

After checking out some merch we walked to the middle and THE FIRST STEP came on. If you aren't familiar they play hardcore in the vein of a youth crew revival type deal. I had only seen them once and kids didnt really care. This time though, kids were going nuts! I was glad, because while im not that into THE FIRST STEP, I do like them and they put on a great set. Every song was introduced by the singer screaming the name of the song, then the band following with the opening chords, which pumps kids up but gets old after a few times. They had their new 7" but I chose to save my money, as I have to buy a new car now.

Up next were Richmond's DOWN TO NOTHING. First of all, I love DOWN TO NOTHING, so I was super excited for this. They came on and David Wood was wearing the Straightedge letterman jacket, nice touch. There was not a dull moment during the set, they play great every time and kids go off for them. And it is well deserved because they always look like they are having so much fun playing and that just makes me want to go nuts and have fun. One of their friends did guest vox during Unbreakable, I dug that.(cant wait to see MURDER WEAPON at UNITED BLOOD). Kids were trying to dive but it wasn't easy, because of the low stage, so you really had to go for it if you wanted a good dive. One thing Sean from VERSE said was that you always know when DOW TO NOTHING is in the room/playing, because they come with a entourage and are usually being loud and hilarious. So true. They gave shout outs to the Jersey Shore and Long Island, maybe more but I cant remember.

Boston's HAVE HEART was up next, and Pat Flynn was sporting a full fucking beard. God damn, beards rule. So they came on and you could tell that their popularity has really grown over the last year and a half, as the front was fucking packed. They started and of course, kids went nuts, pile ons, headwalks, dives, everything. A Long Island native got to do guest vox for part of a song, pretty sick! HAVE HEART even played a new song off "Songs to Scream at the Sun" everyone bobbed their heads along, it sounded great and it just make me even more excited to hear that record. July 1st is the date, mark your calender. They played a extremely tight set and it was obvious that everyone enjoyed it.

After they played, is when i decided to hit up the merch tables and buy shit. On the way to the show I was thinking that it would be cool if HAVE HEART made the Boston Straightedge hoodie into a crewneck, and wouldn't you know it, they did and I fucking bought one with a huge smile on my face. All the bands had good merch, but I only got from HAVE HEART, VERSE and SOUL CONTROL because, well I have to fucking buy a new car.

Lastly were VERSE, this was their show, celebrating their 5 years in existence as a band. Although, they did point out that both DOWN TO NOTHING and HAVE HEART have been around for longer. But this show was going to help them get out of debt from a tour mishap early on. Both VERSE brother bands had good things to say and reminisce about VERSE, and they reciprocated. They started their set with a great song, and I cant remember which one it was. I really need to try harder to remember these things. Anyway, VERSE played a great set, and played 2 new songs off their B9 debut "Aggression", both were awesome and I cant fucking wait to hear that LP. They only fucked up once, I think it had something to do with the drummer, who I think was from HAVE HEART and filling in, or maybe he is in VERSE now. Either way no big deal, they played a different song and then went back to that one. I like that bands can admit when they fuck up, its funny and makes light of the situation. Anyway, even though some moronic kids definatley left before them, VERSE got a great reaction, and were on stage for maybe 45 minutes. Great fucking set. Everyone went nuts and had a great time.

After the show we went back to Rob's car to discover I had left the ceiling light on. Pretty stupid of me, but luckily the battery didn't die. We drove and found a pizza place and had to drive around for 15 minutes until we found somewhere to park. We ate then i got some coffee at 7-11. Finally, were were on the way back home, and made the trek in about 3 hours.