I am going to take on both of the shows because it is just easier…
So suddenly the Cro-Mags were playing shows again, but this time it was with John, Doug, Mackie, and even Harley (and also Rocky George, ex of Suicidal Tendencies, although I don’t think he played on the good record). They played these two shows at CBGB in May of 2001, but I swear they also played the Continental before this. I need to check up on that. Either way, you bet we were going to be there. I love that when I was in college all these big shows used to happen right as the semester wrapped up. I took a few days off from work and off a bunch of us went each afternoon back up to New York City for the gigs. It seems odd to drive back down to the shore and then back up, but dude it’s the fucking Cro-Mags! Even weirder that the shows were on a Tuesday and Wednesday.
I have little recollection of who went with me to these shows besides new crew member Dave Flynn, but I see some friends in the video above, so it must have been them! If the Cro-Mags aren’t enough for you, Breakdown and the newly reunited Burn were opening the shows respectively. Skarhead and this band Crusade, who opened a lot of New York shows around this time, also played on Tuesday night. I have no recollection of either of those bands.
Honestly, I don’t remember a ton about Breakdown either somehow. I seem to think I might have chilled out for them to save myself for later. Later was the Cro-Mags. As you can see from the video, all hell breaks loose when they started playing. This was a time when the scene was really beginning to change for the worse so all of our interest waned and peaked as time went on. The Cro-Mags definitely got us going to gigs. They were great, besides Harley trying to kill anyone who went near his side of the stage. How DARE someone stage dive where not permitted! Anyhow, the band was fantastic, actually a bit shocking how tight and into it they sounded. Everyone went off and I remember being up front with one of the dudes from Merauder, who I dove off of a few times.
Dave Flynn was our newest crew recruit. He was actually still in high school, so I inadvertently took one of my potential students to their first gig. I took over a class for a week a few weeks later and we hung out in the class. At the end of that night when we dropped him off in Beach Haven West, we gave him a little speech about his first show and seeing the Cro-Mags and Breakdown. I said something like “Don’t expect it to get any better than this.”
The next night was again the Cro-Mags, but this time BURN played. Driving up I was freaking out a bit because I was so psyched to see them. Frontline was the Frontline was the eighties and I think we came in just as they played. I do not remember American Nightmare playing this show at all, but I bet they did.
Burn were so good at this show. They were back for some gigs that summer and really tore it up. The crowd went nuts for them and I really did too, which was getting to be a less often occurance as time went on, but it was Burn! A big memory I have from this gig is Burn going into The Last Great Sea and just losing it and going off. I rememeber timing a dive/head walk perfectly to get the mic for the last “…and Shall Be Judged!” too. The shows Burn played later that summer were okay, but often not that crowded for some reason. New York City was the best place to see them and they were so good.
On the way home, something hilarious happened. We were on the PATH train heading back to Hoboken with other people from the show. This young lady we knew from gigs had purple hair and these yuppies started snapping pictures of her, like she was a tourist attraction. She, of course, spit at one of them and suddenly there is a scuffle. I grab one of the dudes and he goes into this I’LL KILL YOU FUCKING FAGGOT kind of roid rage tirade and there was some more shoving. I actually kind of laughed at the dude and pointed out that punks have had purple hair for like, decades and shit. Their stop came up before ours and they left. Ha! Normal people are hilarious.