108 / Title Fight / Soul Control - live in New York (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

108 / Title Fight / Soul Control

live in New York (2009)

live show

Although the idea of getting to see the Suicide File play may get me out to This Is Hardcore in August, last weekend in New York City almost eliminated the need to attend any sort of hardcore festival for the rest of the year. Two shows that just happened to be booked in back-to-back days featured outright fantastic lineups: Saturday in lower Manhattan at a very nice new place, Santos Party House, billed 108 with Cold World, Title Fight, Soul Control and I Rise, while the next day at Brooklyn's Club Europa boasted a lineup of Crime in Stereo, Bane, Have Heart, Capital, Agent, Naysayer and Backtrack.

I Rise opened things to a sparse crowd that only seemed passively interested at best. A pretty pity, since the band sounded great -- in fact, it might be one of the best times I've seen them. They sounded massive and intense, rolling through a handful off their For Redemption album and throwing in one from their Down 7" and the fantastic opener from their demo. Seriously underrated band.

Set list (5:40-6:04):

  1. Long Road to Redemption (?)
  2. The Wolf
  3. Status Call
  4. Down
  5. Soul Searching
  6. ...Ellipses
  7. Burn
  8. Pistol Pete
  9. See No Evil
After Soul Control replaced the departed Matt Amore with Rory Vangrol, the fanbase really seemed to split, if messageboards are any indication. Either you like Vangrol's other bands (Achilles, How We Are), so you're into the new stuff, or you've never really heard Vangrol's bands and are no longer too into Soul Control. He really seems like the make or break detail for some people, but for me it's the former. I was wondering how the frontman would use the large stage to move around and he certainly utilized it well, his limbs constantly flailing as if he was a ragdoll. The band sounded a little sloppy on occasion (particularly "Involution"), but they were good enough. They included two new jams, one of which seemed to stake out more straightforward hardcore territory and another that was so short it was hard to really make sense of it; however, they were both certainly promising. As the band's set wound down, I was worried they wouldn't play any songs from The Four Singles Series, but lo and behold, they closed with the second and third installments: "Flux," and the best song from the series (IMO), "Like Spiders." Except for the new songs, they received, easily, the most silent reactions from a crowd that sporadically had a few kids singing along throughout the set. I know the 7"s were limited, but I guess those blog posts passing around MP3s of the series wasn't distributed too well either. I've seen Soul Control play better, but not bad. Maybe they were a little jittery playing a bigger venue and with Walter Schriefels wandering around.

Set list (6:30-6:48):
  1. I Struggle
  2. Dive
  3. new song
  4. On Survival
  5. Involution
  6. new song
  7. Flux
  8. Like Spiders
Title Fight was stuck in traffic, which was insanely backed up all the way from the Williamsburg Bridge, down Delancey and to whatever street the Holland Tunnel leads to. Seems everyone was trying to get into Jersey that afternoon / early evening. And then, they had technical difficulties before the first song. The venue people must've been pretty gracious about it, though, because the band still managed to show up, unload and get a 15-minute set in 50 minutes after Soul Control ended (with a lineup that already had five bands playing). The scrappy pop-punk act had a great reception, with a good dozen kids intermittently packing out the front of the stage for sing-alongs and sloppy stagedives. They opened with "Youreyeah," the song that sounds so much like a Can't Slow Down track that I thought it was a cover the first time I saw them play it live.

Also, they played two new songs which sounded awesome. I was figuring they would improve after Kingston, and it definitely sounds like they're filling that promise. The second song had this slow and grueling pace until a sudden and well-integrated tempo change to pick things up. Definitely looking forward to that collections disc on Run for Cover.

Set list (7:38-7:53):
  1. Youreyeah
  2. new song
  3. Loud and Clear
  4. new song
  5. Evander
  6. Memorial Field
One of the kids in Title Fight has a brother who plays in Cold World, who played next. I just do not and have never gotten this band. I'm not at all into Biohazard or the quasi-hip-hop/hardcore crossover thing and, consequently, not too into Cold World. I would say it's because I didn't get to really experience hardcore in the `90s, but fuck, I was at this show primarily for 108. I gave Cold World the benefit of the doubt for a few minutes of one song and watched the crowd a bit, but still, eh. It did seem like the venue was most packed out for them, though, with a whole lot of pit action, too. Good for them.

I've heard Blacklisted breakup rumors as far back as last year, so seeing them on the lineup for this really relieved me. Naturally, them dropping off bummed me. Hopefully they're still on for that Paint It Black birthday bash next week.

This was somehow my third time seeing 108, all being post-reunion-era of course. Though this show probably wouldn't beat the intimacy of seeing the band play the Knitting Factory's Tap Bar a year or two back, or the huge reaction they got opening the Snapcase reunion (with Geoff Rickly doing guest vox on "Deathbed"), it definitely looked to be a good time. The venue wasn't nearly as packed out as I'd imagined, and the sing-alongs and movement was definitely way more inconsistent than you'd think, but it was fun, at least. They previewed a handful of new songs, all of which sounded like a natural progression for the band, with interesting experimental bends and a serious emphasis on punishing heaviness at some points. Vic DiCara was a madman, spazzing around on stage in Daisy Dukes Tobias Fünke would approve of. Also, they played "Blood," which was awesome, and seemingly one of their most underrated songs, as its response ranged somewhere in the middle if we're ranking songs by that. Rob Fish gave plenty of substance-laced speeches about materialism, religion and living for yourself and such. He also came down into the crowd for "Forever Is Destroyed," howling viciously until he was laid out on the floor panting during the bridge. Original (and future Texas Is the Reason) drummer Chris Daly even came on stage to play "Holyname," the first song the band ever wrote.

I would've liked to hear a couple more from A New Beat and certainly "When Death Closes Your Eyes," but it was a pretty solid set and a fitting finish to a well-rounded show, as shocked as I was that everyone seemed a little tired that pleasantly warm Saturday and that the median age of the crowd must've been in the early 20s for a band whose first stage of existence started in 1991.

Set list (8:56-9:43):
  1. Angel Strike Man
  2. Deathbed
  3. 1861 (new)
  4. Blood
  5. Crescent Moon (new)
  6. Killer of the Soul
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. Reduced (new)
  10. Forever Is Destroyed (new)
  11. Curse of Instinct
  12. ?
  13. Arctic
  14. Holyname [f/ Chris Daly]