The Business-War Zone-Blanks 77-Cause For Alarm-Blood For Blood @ Wetlands In New York City NY 3-2-97

This was, I think, the first time I went to a show in New York City. I went with a few of the local skinheads, this girl Jessica and her boyfriend Chris, and I think someone else tagged along. They wanted to see The Business; I really wanted to see War Zone. After the hour and a half or so drive from the shore, we met up with some of their friends and a few of mine, who informed us that War Zone were filiming a video at the show (see above). I remember standing on line for a long time but eventually getting into the show.

Something hilarious happened a few minutes later. I had a Gorilla Biscuits shirt on and a few punks came up to me. One of them, who must have been my age, told me that a Gorilla Biscuit was a drug. I had no idea and kind of shrugged at him. I thought it was pretty funny. He gave me this look and kind of scowled at me for being a dumb straight edge kid or whatever. People used to do shit like that all the time in the nineties.

I don’t remember much about The Truants or Urban Riot. The Anti-Heroes definitely did not play this show. The band that floored us was Blood For Blood, who none of us had even heard of before this show. They tore through their set and slowly I remember us moving closer to the front to check them out. They straight up sounded like Sheer Terror, which was a bit of an anamoly at the time. I made a mental note to look up their records. A few years later they were huge. That band got so goofy as they went along though.

I was really excited to see Cause For Alarm. They are one of my favorite bands and I wanted to meet Keith because their lyrics meant, and still do, a lot to me. Local heroes Fists Of Fury used to cover United Races. Cause For Alarm mostly played newer songs from their Victory records, but did play one or two from the seven inch. I remember diving during one song and a skinhead straight up slugging me in the face. Wow, what a tough guy!

Actually, there was some kind of weird tension with some people in the room at this show. I don’t remember the specifics, but it was weird. What a bunch of super tough adults.

Blanks 77 are a band I don’t really like, but whenever I saw them the crowd went absolutely apeshit. This show was no different and I bummed out some punks with some stage diving. I think you are constitutionally mandated to just “pogo,” at least at this show.

All of this was just warmup for War Zone. I was so excited to see them and I packed it in up front. Ray came out and announced they were filming a video and they busted into a few Minor Threat covers to get the crowd going. Then they played all the hits and I spent their set piling on Ray screaming along to one of my favorite bands. By the end of their set I was absolutely exhausted and a bit dead from getting crushed under a big pile of people, including Ray, near the end of their set. The next day I had some awful pain in my ribs.

I chilled in the back with Jessica for a lot of The Business’ set, but went up front and dove a few times during Saturday’s Heroes. I’m not a big fan outside of some of their “hit” songs, but they were good.

Afterwards we bailed for the long drive home, but got stuck somewhere on the parkway with a blown tire. My parents had made me bring their hilariously big 1990’s cell phone, but it wasn’t charged! Thanks, dad. We flagged down a cop after like twenty minutes and he helped put the donut tire on the car and we were on our way.

I got home at around 2am and my mother made me go to school. I had made a real habit of skipping Mondays at school after shows and she wanted me to not miss as many days my senior year. I was so dead all day, but I remember in gym class either second or third period chatting with this dude who was a fringe hardcore kid and he was super impressed I went to New York City to see War Zone. The same thing happened at lunch with this popular surfer girl I ate lunch with who, again, was kind of on the fringes of hardcore (she mostly liked shit like h2o and zomg she totes met Bad Religion BACK STAGE). There were three or four cliques of people into punk and hardcore at my high school and, of course, there was drama between them too.

I saw War Zone once more before Ray died. I was supposed to interview him, but I have told the story before about what happened with that.