There was a punk rock show in Tompkins Square Park last weekend, an anniversary of a big riot there in ’86 when the park was full of punk squatters and dealers. That was back when going to a hardcore punk show many times had a strong element of danger and fear; fear of getting stomped, sometimes fear of the police, or just in general, fear of getting hurt.
So seeing reunion shows or bands that are still performing 20 years later is always a dicey proposition. I remember at the tail end of the summer in DC in ’84, everyone was agreeing that hardcore was dead and you could feel the energy of the scene move elsewhere. I kept going to shows but they were not the same. Sometimes these shows are depressing. We’re all old and slow and fat and should know more than three chords by now. Other times, you remember the energy and the reason why you went to every show. Plus seeing the East Village Whole Foods crowd with their little doggies watching the show was funny.
This was a good show. Mongrel Bitch, Urban Waste, Hammerbrain, Nihilistics and Reagan Youth.
When I moved to New York in January, I met Laura of Mongrel Bitch while looking at apartments. She gave me the heads up on the show so thanks, Laura.
The only time I saw Reagan Youth was in 1985 or ’86 at the Rock Against Reagan show on national mall in DC. That was a long time ago, with a massive outdoor crowd, cops driving their cars through the crowd periodically, helicopters overheard. Dave Rubinstein has long since passed.
What would a hardcore punk show be without David Peel. He still looks exactly the fucking same.
And to cap it off, I got my feet puked on and I was only wearing flip flops.