I heard about Agnostic Front getting back together sometime the previous summer. I had at a gig and someone I knew just randomly threw it into a conversation. I was online by the summer of 96, but besides a few websites and IRC, was more engaged in dorky fan culture and anime stuff while I was online back then, so news had not reached me about this. They played a few shows that winter and then more in the spring, which included a show in DC and then this one in New Jersey. So while a ton of people went to see Ignite in New Brunswick, we headed up to Asbury Park
A few odds and ends about this show: This was the show we got approached at to be in that hilarious straight edge commercial! I think they talked to me and then to the younger crew with us. I was suspect about these guys because they only seemed to know a few hardcore bands and tried to name drop Fugazi and Shelter. I told them I thought both of those groups of people sucked and they moved on to our younger friends and a few ended up in the commercial. None of them are straight edge anymore.
The flyer for this show, which I seem to have never scanned, advertised this as being Better Than A Thousand’s first show. I guess at some point they ended up canceling and played their first show a few weeks later in DC (and headlined over bands like Floorpunch, which was such comical bullshit).
A bunch of local NJ bands like Corrupt and NJ Bloodline played this show I think plus maybe Fury of V? There was a lot of hard dancing and some fights broke out. Some skinheads were there too and I got assaulted by two after trying to help break up a fight. One said “this is not your concern! Oh, so fucking sorry to step into SKINHEAD BUSINESS: Carry on, sir! Every fight was five on one because of course they were.
Crown of Thronz were awesome but sadly did not bust out their Outburst cover. 25 Ta Life played and Rick wore a ski mask or something like that. Okay.
The bands we all wanted to see were Madball and Agnostic Front of course. Madball were on fire when they played live around this time. A very diverse crowd of people liked them and people went off hard. After the fight earlier, I hung out on the side of the stage with a friend who was taking pictures, but busted out a couple of dives at various points.
I packed it up front of Agnostic Front and they were great. They played all the hits and maybe one or two new songs. This was before all their dodgy new records that seem to alternate between metal and pop punk. I am glad I got to see them before their sound kept changing.