A lot has been said about this show and how it ended, but more on that in a bit…
I went to this show with my friend Crystal, who sadly died in 2001. Her mother Elizabeth, who was by far the coolest parent in our crew (more on her in a bit too) drove us up to Edison, dropped us off, and went…somewhere? Her sister’s house? Maybe?
A LOT of bands played this show. Middlesex shows were typical five to eight bands, and then a few more added on. I only vaguely remember most of them and spent a lot of the afternoon buying records, merch, and hanging out. I had just gotten on the web a few months before and this was the first show I met friends from IRC or wherever at and the same could be said about Crystal. We got seperated for some parts of the day I remember.
I remember a band that had the dude who did Words Of Honor, one of them, Fanzine in it. The girl I was dating at the time’s best friend was his cousin or something like that. 454 Big Block was another band who played. I remember liking them a lot because they sounded like Breakdown. A few of the XedgeX dudes we hung around with that day weren’t into that, which I remember thinking was pretty funny. There were literally people in the 90’s who only liked straight edge bands I think. What the fuck.
I bought a ton of stuff at this show. I had my school bag with me and bought shirts, records, fanzines, etc. As the day went on, Crystal and I caught up again. I spent a lot of high school crushing pretty hard on her and right around this time she started seeing a boy and I was dating someone too and it was a little awkward for me, which sounds so stupid now. We would actually fall out pretty hard at the beginning of the next school year, but then reconnected near the end of the year, and then again about a year before she died.
We went for a walk around campus during Battery because they were just so bad. All these bands in the 90s tried to be “new school” but also “youth crew” and the results were normally so awful. Battery were probably the most popular of those bands. We got back to the gig near the end of their set. They got a good reaction from what I can remember and busted out a 7 Seconds cover.
I packed it up front for Mouthpiece, who were one of my favorite bands and about to break up (they would play, I think, one more show). As you can see from the video above, all hell broke lose when they started playing. You can see me end up on stage at one point and then just out of lense do my first ever stage dive. Mouthpiece were pretty awesome and played all their songs plus a cover of “Together” by Youth of Today, which I did my second ever dive to!
Hilarious moment: Someone broke a string (Chris?) at one point. While he was tuning, Sean started playing the bass line from “Night Of The Living Rednecks.” I started clapping and all these XXX VEGAN EDGE XXX people around me were so fucking confused. Ha!
Someone else can tell you all about what happened during Earth Crisis’ set. I was actually out in the hall and then came in for a few songs, but went back out in the hall. I was then talking to Rick Ta Life at his distro table and he introduced me to Tim from Mouthpiece. I was this star struck sixteen year old, but it was cool because Tim is so quiet and chill. I was bummed about Mouthpiece ending, but he told me about this new band he was putting together called Hands Tied. As we were talking, all kinds of crazy stuff happened around us.
Like I said, others can tell you all about what happened. We had a long talk on the way home about it. Crystal’s mom asked all the right questions of us and honestly it helped me to further distance myself from the stupid intolerance of a lot of edge people during that time. So much changed for me during the summer of 1996.