John Joseph with the Cro-Mags at Webster Hall, NYC, 5/15/2010, Photo: FutureBreed
I had a handful of friends hit me up for a recap on Saturday night's Black N Blue Bowl, so I figured I'd just as well make a little DCXX entry out of it. Out of all fairness I can't accurately go into details about each and every band because I didn't actually see all of them, but I will try and break down exactly what I did see.
I headed into the city with my wife Traci, my friend Karl and Karl's cousin Matt. The show started at 2:00, but we didn't even get on the road from Jersey until close to 4:00. Out of all honesty I'm not sure if I'd ever been to a show at the Ritz before, but knowing that Webster Hall was indeed the Ritz at one point, I was looking forward to finding myself on the set of the "We Gotta Know" video.
By the time we got into the city, parked, met up with Zusi and got into the show, Trapped Under Ice were on stage. I'd heard these guys before and have their "Stay Cold" 7", but not so sure I'd seen them before. Pretty heavy stuff, lots of mosh, good stage energy, kids were generally losing their minds and flying all over the place.
I ran into both Andy Guida and Mark Ryan (at separate times) from Supertouch and both were excited to be going on next. Mark's always had a super laid back, relaxed, calm demeanor, but when I asked him if he was psyched, his eyes lit up, he gave me a smile and said something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, definitely!"
As Trapped Under Ice finished their set, I made my way up to the front of the stage to grab a perfect spot and line myself up front and center for Supertouch. I ran into a few old friends up there, which made it kind of cool and helped me settle into a comfortable little space.
A balcony shot of Supertouch at Webster Hall, NYC, 5/15/2010, Photo: Iris Abada
Supertouch took the stage and wasted zero time, they tore right into "Searchin' For The Light" and whoever was there and up front for this spectacle surely got slammed with a classic. Mark controlled the mic spending most of the time selfishly spitting all the words into it himself, but occasionally tossing it into the crowd giving us moments to shout along. Following "Searchin'" was another crowd favorite, "Climbin' Aboard". At this point I'm picturing a collage of memories from Supertouch sets of old and how the crowd would unravel for this song, so I got a little extra fire in my stomach hearing this one..."Fight to be accepted, fight not to be X'ed!"...so good.
I was in my own world and really had no concept of what was happening around me or in back of me. There could have been 3 people behind me or there could have been 300 and I wouldn't have known the difference. It was simply all about Supertouch at that moment. Other songs played were "What If", "Better" and "Shame", all of which were equally awesome. At the end of "Shame", Mark threw the mic 50 feet up into the air, walked off stage and let the mic slam to the ground. Biv came up, grabbed the mic and used it to generate some added guitar noise and feedback, more awesomeness.
Mark Ryan with Supertouch at Webster Hall, NYC, 5/15/2010, Photo: Jordan Pontell
My only complaint is that after 5 songs it was over and I was left wanting more. In a way I guess wanting more is not a bad thing. Rumors were floating around that we can expect another chance to Get Down in September.
Following Supertouch, everyone I rolled up to the show with and I decided to head upstairs and check out the merch room. There were whispers about Supertouch shirts, so we thought we'd get a first hand look at what was available. Moving around this place was tough because every staircase, path, and room was packed with wall to wall people. Once we finally got up there though, Supertouch merch was nowhere to be found.
Andy Guida with Supertouch at Webster, NYC, 5/15/2010, Photo: Jordan Pontell
What we did see was a wall of Cro-Mags merch and John Joseph's newly released book, "Meat Is For Pussies". My wife bought the book, I looked over the shirts, then we ran into more old friends. Pete Tabbot from Vision was hanging out and we all ended up rapping with him for awhile. Toby Morse from H20 walked in and popped right into our conversation. Before we knew it we were hearing about Toby going on the road with Insted and Vison in '88 as well as stories of his recent trips to high schools, teaching kids about straight edge and staying off drugs…pretty cool stuff. While this was all going down, Skarhead and Yuppicide sets took place and I failed to catch a minute of either. By the time Toby left the room, H20 was about to play and they would end up being the next band I'd catch since Supertouch.
H20 are one of those bands that have been around for a long, long time and in my opinion, have gotten better and better over the years and have definitely grown on me. Toby is just one of those ultra charismatic front men that the crowd eats up. He's an upbeat, positive, well spoken guy with good things to say and I can do nothing but respect that. Like usual, the crowd packed it up and the energy level rose to an all new height for the night. I watched this set go down from the safety of balcony.
Madball were up next and in the aftermath of our interview with Matt Henderson, I've taken a bit of a new interest in them. We all made our way back downstairs to the dance floor area, partly in preparation for the Cro-Mags set to come and partly to soak in more of the Madball set. When the lights came on and the giant Madball logo popped up behind the drum stand, the crowd erupted into pure madness. Freddy and the rest of the band took the stage and all you saw were fists in the air, kids bouncing off the walls and a dance floor that turned into a warzone. Madball blasted through a set of classics as well as some of their newer jams and the intensity level stayed high through out. I've always been a huge fan of their first EP, "Ball Of Destruction", but I think I've finally started digging on some their other material as well. All in all an impressive set and I'll be keeping an eye out for their new album due out later this year.
Freddy Madball, Photo: Ronan Thenadey
Finally it was Cro-Magnum time. As I made my way up to the stage front, I ran into DCXX contributor, Winnpeg, Canada's, Agent A. Agent A and I teamed up and took our place up front and you could just feel the electricity flowing throughout the crowd that was anticipating the return of the Cro-Mags to the very same stage that they had filmed the "We Gotta Know" video on 24 years earlier. It had been about a year or more since I had seen this latest JJ fronted incarnation of the Mags and I had been kicking myself for missing them the last 3 chances that I had, so I had been looking forward to this set for awhile now.
As usual they took the stage and instantly started shredding through their set, classic "Age Of Quarrel" tracks one after another. The one song I had been looking forward to and heard had been added to the current set list, "Crush The Demoniac" was a definite stand out for me. Such a killer song, could listen to it on repeat for days. Crowd wise, as many people as were there, it still looked pretty damn dangerous to try diving. That stage is chest high and one wrong move or person dashing out of the way could easily leave you with a broken back. I remember hearing rumors about some one dying or becoming paralyzed at one of those old Ritz Cro-Mags shows, so that thought stuck in my mind and held me back from giving it a go.
Either way, I enjoyed the hell out of the set, the Mags sounded great, the band had energy and the crowd fed off of it all. At the end of the set, the band stepped off the stage, but quickly reappeared for one last encore, "Don't Tread On Me" being that designated jam. The crowd went nuts one last time and I saw nothing but a sea of arms in the air connected to bodies that seemed to shout every word. We had all been Cro-Magnatized.
JJ with the Cro-Mags at Webster Hall, NYC, 5/15/2010, Photo: Jesse Jones
After the show a few of us hit up the vegetarian pizza shop Viva Pizza and that place was mobbed with hardcore kids. JJ and Craig Ahead stopped in for some late night eats as well. I saw a few copies of "Meat Is For Pussies" getting passed around and signed by JJ as well as a few photos being snapped off.
All in all a great finish to a fun night of New York Hardcore. -Tim DCXX
The Webster Hall marquee, 5/15/2010, Photo: Jordan Pontell
Monday, May 17, 2010
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 10:10 PM