This past Saturday, I headed to Philly’s First Unitarian Church’s sweltering basement to catch a pretty diverse and stacked lineup consisting of Heavy Chains, Hub City Stompers, Rude Awakening, Anti-Nowhere League, and the motherfucking Cro-Mags. The place while packed, wasn’t sold out (how it didn’t sell out is beyond me) and I got there in time to catch NJ’s Hub City Stompers.
Hub City Stompers:
I’ve loved Hub City Stompers ever since I saw them back in 2003 at some random NJ ska show, and have caught them MANY, MANY times since then over the years. After a short breakup, this is the first show I was seeing them at again for nearly 3 years and being a ska band on a hardcore bill, well I wasn’t exactly sure how the crowd was going to react. Singer Rev poked fun of the fact: “Joe Hardcore you fucked up this time. Booking a ska band on a hardcore show? What the fuck were you thinking? Don’t worry guys, I know ska is scary… but we’ll get through this.”
To my (and probably the band’s as well) not only did a bunch of us skank and dance through out the entire set, but also sang along to every word. Fun set, I know they disappeared for a while to resurrect Inspecter 7, but I always preferred HCS, glad to finally see them back.
Setlist (From what I remember and not in order)
Where’s My Hooligans?
Johnny Date Rape
Skins Don’t Cry
Hub City Stompers (Inspecter 7)
Ska Ska Black Sheep
I left to go grab some food and missed Rude Awakening (not really my style of hardcore anyway), but made it back in time for Anti-Nowhere League.
The fact Anti-Nowhere League was playing this church basement show was sort of mind blowing. Added on after the fact when Angelic Upstarts dropped from the show, these British 80s punks completely tore shit up and had one of the biggest crowd reactions.
Anti-Nowhere League took the stage and played their irreverent punk rock with a strong enthusiasm that showed even after all these years, these guys still loved what they do. Opening up with their call to arms “We Are The League”, the place quickly turned into a circle pitting, pogoing, stage diving frenzy that didn’t really let up for the entirety of the set.
Setlist (From what I remember):
We Are The League
I Hate People
Let’s Break The Law
Skull & Bones
(We Will Not) Remember You
This Is War
We Will Survive
Somehow I have never seen the Cro-Mags, so the fact I was finally about to see these guys, I was pretty pumped and intended to lose my shit (which I successfully did). I wasn’t quite sure what to expect not seeing them before, but clearly they know what people want to hear, and that’s their incredibly influential Age of Quarrel, which they played in almost it’s entirety.
Opening up with World Peace, the place immediately erupted into a free for all of dancing, pile ons, and dives. They only interrupted the Age Of Quarrel party to play “Crush The Demoniac” and two Bad Brains covers “Right Brigade” and “Attitude” (and honestly I was sort of shocked by the amount of Cro-Mags fans who didn’t know the Bad Brains songs… I thought Bad Brains were one of those bands that EVERY hardcore fan listened to).
A tight set, finally being able to see the Cro-Mags was fucking awesome.
Show You No Mercy
Crush The Demoniac
Signs Of The Times
Seekers Of The Truth
Right Brigade (Bad Brains)
Attitude (Bad Brains)
It’s The Limit
Life Of My Own
Don’t Tread On Me
We Gotta Know