Naysayer was more of a thrashy metal band, with gruff growling semi-death metal-esque vocals, but still heavy and fast enough to get a crowd moving. Unfortunately, all that those in the pit seemed to want to do is swing their arms and legs in a sporadic manner, also known as slam-dancing. Now, I wouldn’t mind it if there was some good old-fashioned body clashing thrown in the mix, but whenever my friend and I tried to get a real mosh pit started, the slam-dancers persisted, making the whole point futile. For those of you who think I’m a pussy for looking down on it the way I do, realize this: I have balls, and personally do not enjoy being kicked in them. That’s just me. I’m not into all that kinky stuff. Sorry, sadists.
When encouraged by the band to get a circle pit going, my friend and I happily obliged and were joined by just one other person. We ran around several times, pushing off the walls of people, while the slam dancers remained practically motionless. It was a disappointment.
The Mongoloids had more of a preferred vocal style when it comes to the metal/punk genre, reminding me of Sick of it All’s Lou Koller. Again, though the music was fast and thrashy enough to mosh, the crowd was reluctant to mosh, even when I ran into them. Afterwards, disappointed again, my friend and I had our fingers crossed that the crowd wouldn’t be so lame for Agnostic Front, and I was optimistic—I knew it was about to get wild and intense.
My prediction was right—as soon as NYC hardcore veterans Agnostic Front took the stage, the place went nuts! Everyone was thrashing about and flailing around with their fists raised proudly in the air. The drums were fast, the guitars were shredding, and the bass seemed heavy enough to simulate a mini-earthquake, making everyone upstairs in the room above us stumble and fall all over each other! “Are y’all ready for some REAL hardcore!?” lead vocalist Roger Miret shouted, to which the crowd responded, “F*** YEAH!”. The band performed upbeat, moshy songs spanning the length of their 30-year career, from their debut LP, Victim in Pain to this year’s My Life My Way, never letting up or slowing down, constantly keeping the energy of the room thriving. The crowd chanted along most of the time, especially when AF broke into the anthemic fan favorite, “Gotta Go”. The live sound was great, and it was awesome seeing a local musician actually supporting and enjoying the scene as Robert from H.R.A. thrashed along with us on the front lines of the pit.
After the concert was over, I was drained and aching, covered in battle scars—sign of a kick-ass show and one hell of a night. I weakly limped back to my car with a smile on my face and ringing in my ears, reminiscing of the awesome evening that I had, with a newfound respect for Agnostic Front.