Sick of It All / Snapcase - live in New York (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Sick of It All / Snapcase

live in New York (2011)

live show

Merauder was well into the swing of things when I'd finally arrived at Webster Hall–and I do mean the swing of things. Puns aside, the band was blasting through their notoriously hard, heavily metal-influenced hardcore that had burly dudes moving in every direction. Their vocalist's shout sounds even more demonic and bellowed than most of their studio recordings, and it makes the band's overall sound come off even more like an aural threat. Maybe I'm just too frail for Merauder, but I did catch myself bobbing my head at times. And the on-stage moshing by their crew/friends/etc. was certainly entertaining, but it was kind of a "yikes" moment when some shirtless, longhair fellow dove over the first row of people standing on the floor against the stage and belly-flopped down onto the floor, carried out by concerned witnesses.

I'm still paying reparations on not being into Snapcase during the later years of their tenure; this was when I was finally discovering what this punk rock and hardcore thing was about. By then, the band had already ventured into the progressive restraint of 2002's End Transmission, and I was still clamoring for pop-punk. I wouldn't come to appreciate the band for years, and would finally get my chance to see them play a reunion show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in November 2007. Three years and change later, I was still grateful for the opportunity, and it seemed the band was, too; thanks for inviting them, Sick of It All! Snapcase killed it through a 50-minute set of smart and furious hardcore that ranged from the moshy chug of older crowd-movers like "Drain Me" and "Incarnation" to the more melodic, spacier expanse of "Ten a.m." and "New Kata" (which, admittedly, dulled the audience momentum some). They were pretty on no matter what stage of their evolution they were representing, though. It sounded sharp and calculated, but the crowd below provided all the spontaneity needed, stage diving, singing and pointing along, and moving from side to side. All ages.

Set list (8:04-8:54):

  1. Coagulate
  2. Bleeding Orange
  3. Aperture
  4. New Kata
  5. Priceless
  6. Harrison Bergeron
  7. Ten a.m.
  8. Typecast Modulator
  9. Zombie Prescription
  10. Drain Me
  11. Energy Dome
  12. Incarnation
  13. Caboose

A rare appearance from Snapcase was cool enough, but it shouldn't be neglected to mention that Sick of It All was celebrating their 25th anniversary with this sold-out show. (They're as old as I am. Christ.) Impressive, obviously, yet even more so that the band haven't lost a step. Yeah, I imagine their older, less attentive fans are probably less stoked on the last few albums, but no one can really deny that they still bring it live, with Lou Koller's voice an ageless wonder. Stage dives multiplied from Snapcase's set (albeit often sloppier), but the band members weaved in and out of them without missing a beat.

I was disappointed to not see Anthony Civarelli on stage at all, thinking maybe we'd get a random "Can't Wait One Minute More" cover. It's cool; SoIA played plenty of their own choice material, including a few from my favorite LP of theirs, 1997's Built to Last, as well some of the more brutal moments from their recent albums, "Machete" and "Take the Night Off", which the band's more rotund, older fans felt compelled to get somewhat ignorant to. The scrappier take of cuts like "Scratch the Surface" or "Built to Last" certainly felt like the highlights, though, showing off the band's keen, long-cultured sense of punk energy and dynamic melodicism.

The best part? No encore. They shot off some confetti and streamers during closer "Us vs. Them" as a pat on the back, then humbly exited. Good show, and good show.

Set list (9:16-10:20):
  1. Clobberin' Time
  2. Good Lookin' Out
  3. Death or Jail
  4. Uprising Nation
  5. The Divide
  6. America
  7. Built to Last
  8. Just Look Around
  9. Friends Like You
  10. We Stand Alone
  11. Step Down
  12. A Month of Sundays
  13. Shut Me Out
  14. Sanctuary
  15. Busted
  16. My Life
  17. Take the Night Off
  18. Injustice System
  19. Machete
  20. Scratch the Surface
  21. Us vs. Them