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Monday, September 26, 2011

Sign of the Times- Show review for the Cro Mags, Feb. 2011-Atlanta

I know that February 2011 is a little too far back to be considered a "new" feature, but how often does the south get a band like this to play? Rarely. Needless to say, their show was of great significance to anybody in the south who likes hardcore. I don't remember why I couldn't make it, probably something stupid in retrospect. A couple people from here did make it down, and fortunately Kevin Roberts (formerly of Coping Methods and False Sense of Hope) was able to write a thorough review. If you were there, consider yourself lucky and maybe in reading this it'll bring back some good memories; also know that those of us who weren't able to make it missed something rare and special.

by Kevin Roberts...

Cro-mags, Primate, Kids Like Us, & Nightwolf

The Cro-mags are hands down my favorite NYHC band. (that period should be bolded). So, when I heard they were playing in Atlanta, I immediately made my way to the oracle of knowledge known as the worldwide web for answers. I couldn’t find anything…. I told my friend John and he found it within minutes. And within minutes of that, I ordered tix!

The show was listed as Cro-mags with special guests; which didn’t matter to me because seeing the Cro-mags with John Joseph on vox was gonna be well-worth the trip.

On the day of the show, Adam, Dylan, John, and I loaded up and headed to the capital of the dirty south to see the legends. We were all sooooo stoked and the intensity of anticipation, at least for me, definitely matched the feeling of adolescents when I first heard “The Age of Quarrel” and “Best Wishes”; because at that point in my life I was obsessed with metal- particularly thrash metal (circa 1991)- but I was growing increasingly bored with the staleness of a lot of thrash because thrash was becoming more about the flashiness of the guitar players and less about the intensity of the song, and at 13 all I wanted to do was rage!!! In other words, I credit The Cro-mags for building my bridge to hardcore and punk rock (along with The Misfits and The Ramones- yes, that’s how special those Cro-Mags albums are to me).
As we made our way into the club, John and I found our way towards the back, in the senior citizen section. Honestly, my thinking was: I’m sure the other bands’ll be good, but I’m saving ‘it’ for the Cro-mags. As the first band’s set got underway, I realized how much I missed coming to hardcore shows in Atlanta. The first band was Nightwolf who did a split set with their friends. Both bands were great and brought the right amount of style to hang with the rest of the show. Next up was Kids Like Us. I had never heard of Kids Like Us before they played. I’m sure some of you are puzzled by that; that I’d never heard of them. I thought they were great! In fact, they are the best band that I’ve ever seen that I first heard about at the show. After I was pleasantly surprised by Kids Like Us, Primate played. I was curious about Primate because I knew that Bill from Mastodon and Kevin from Brutal Truth were in the band. Primate was great, too! They play the Discharge style of hardcore, which I love, but it was a little out of place for this particular show!

FINALLY, The Cro-mags took the stage! I guess most people were as anxious (or more anxious) than me to see the Cro-mags, because people began stage diving to the intro music; which, sounded like some kinda Krishna spiritual music—nothing that remotely resemble the Cro-mags’s music. The Cro-mags opened with “World Peace” and the place exploded—bodies flying everywhere! John Joseph’s intensity and passion did not let up the entire set; which, he credits to 30 years of being a vegetarian and exercising. Regardless, of what fuels his stamina (I believe that it is because he takes such good care of his physical and mental health), I hope I can look like he does when I’m his age! The show continued with the entire ‘Age of Quarrel’ album a few songs from “Best Wishes” and a couple of Bad Brains covers. And before I knew it, their set was over! It’s crazy sometimes when you think about seeing something that has been a part of your vocabulary (so-to-speak) for some many years is over in less than an hour! But, so are most of life’s greatest pleasures!

If you have not had a chance to see The Cro-mags, find a way to do it!
-Kevin Methods

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