This show was mostly an average 1998 NJHC show except for the opener…who absolutely blew our minds…
After a long day at work some friends met up with me at my house. I took a quick shower and we got on the road to Manville, which was like 80 minutes away or so. The night before I had a conversation with a friend who said to make we got to the show on time because the opener was incredible. Fit For Abuse absolutely blew our minds. Not too many bands were more influenced by the 82 style, yet, at the time so their mix of The FU’s, Negative FX, and SSD had us and some others moving even though we didn’t know the songs at all. I remember driving home so quickly so we could all huddle around my record player to hear this record. By this time in 1998 the “88 in 96” thing had definitely gotten stale (this was the show I picked up really bad demos of a few bands who would go on to be huge who shall remain nameless) so they were quite refreshing.
I remember Purpose covered Skewbald at this show, which was pretty cool. We had been talking about that record on the car ride, so it was pretty funny it got covered.
I do not remember a lot about Fastbreak or Rain On The Parade other than they got really good reactions from the local crowd. Fastbreak came down to play NJ a bunch of times that year.
By the time Ensign went on it was pretty late. I think they had just gotten back from tour too and it was a pretty low key set. There was this MASSIVE car fire on 287 we passed on the way home. The whole car was engulfed in flames that kept getting higher and higher as we drove past it.