It seems every band is throwing their hat in the reunion pool. Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, Texas Is the Reason, 108, Grade and the list goes on...
During last year's Save CBGB campaign, posi-core legends Gorilla Biscuits played to a sold-out, well-received audience. Watching it from a live stream, I must admit I was highly envious at the time, though I actually passed on seeing that show to make it up a few weeks later for a weekend of Philadelphia reunion-core.
Much to my delight, Gorilla Biscuits announced a summer 2006 tour, mainly to support the reissue of thier 1989 classic, Start Today. Shows quickly sold out around the country, and I anxiously awaited the tour's stop in my town.
I arrived as Down to Nothing was blasting through their set. I'll honestly admit, I haven't always been a fan, mainly for some very ridiculous reasons. Richmond straight-edge hardcore has a nasty history of violence and intolerance towards those not sharing the same ideals. Dating back to the days of Hate O Four, the conflict between sXe and not has been, well, unpleasant. However, DTN plays a charged brand of hardcore, which obviously in their hometown will get the kids jumping all around. Packed with heavy riffs, well-timed breakdowns and inclusive sing-alongs, I found myself enjoying the set. Afterwards, I briefly spoke with the band's frontman, David, for a few minutes and promised to try to catch another show. I'll definitely keep my word on that one. Great guy, great tunes.
Next came popular hardcore upstarts, Comeback Kid. I've been following these guys since their debut, Turn It Around, yet for one reason or another always ended up missing their shows. They've since replaced their vocalist with now-former guitarist Andrew Neufeld, and I was anxious to see how he handled the material.
Right away, I could tell that the band had made the right personnel choice. Favorites like "Wake the Dead," "Die Tonight" and "Never Fade" seemed flawless, and highly energetic. The crowd's participation was also in full throttle, with plenty of shout-alongs, stage-dives and pile-ons to provide for one great performance. Sadly, my favorite, "Give and Take" wasn't included...
And with trumpets sounding, began the loudest sing-along I may have ever witnessed at a hardcore show. As Gorilla Biscuits briefly introduced themselves, the went full-speed right into "New Direction." The crowd seemed like one interconnected mass, moving in a frenzy and simultaneously shouting every word almost in perfect key. "New Direction" has always been one of my favorite songs PERIOD by any band, and this memory will only further reinforce that thought.
Continuing, the set was heavily focused on material from the previously mentioned, reissued LP Start Today. Fan favorites such as "Stand Still," "Competition," "Time Flies" and of course, "Things We Say" kept every person on the lookout for a constant barrage of crowd surfers coming from every angle and every corner of the club. But having such a great time, most didn't seem to mind.
As for my overall impression of the band's performance? Highly impressed. The band obviously practiced the material to the point of perfection. Every word from Civ's mouth, every note from Walter's guitar sounded like we were back in the early `90s.
This was certainly a reunion warranting fan acceptance, as dated as some may claim Gorilla Biscuit's material is, I couldn't disagree more. A highly influential band that can still capture the energy from a generation ago. Thanks for the great time.