Token Entry is one of the most influential hardcore bands that you might have never heard of. Hailing from NYC back in the 80s, they helped shape the hardcore scene in New York, influencing bands like H2O and even giving Gorilla Biscuits (still unnamed at the time) their first gig. Hell, even The Bouncing Souls named their record label after lead singer Timmy Chunks.
Token Entry doesn’t really play much anymore besides the very occasional reunion show (I got to see them a few years back with The Bouncing Souls), they reunited to play a benefit show up in NYC, and with pretty short notice announced a show in Philly over at Underground Arts.
I was driving back from spending a weekend in Long Island and going straight to the show, and hit a lot of traffic on my way, thinking I was going to be late to the show. I did miss every opener unfortunately, but lucked out and got there literally 2 minutes before Token Entry started playing.
Playing the smaller, more intimate side stage, the room had a decent amount of people for a late Sunday night show and I was actually on the younger spectrum of people there at the ripe age of 31 (something that does not happen very often to me at punk/hardcore shows for me anymore…)
Opening with The Fire, Token Entry set things off as plenty of us shouted along piled on Timmy Chunks throughout the set. Everyone seemed to be in pretty high spirits as the band ripped through their songs, playing tracks off of their first two albums Beneath The Streets and Jaybird.
The band reminisced about how their first show ever was actually in Philadelphia, how they came down to support Underdog as friends and drummer Ernie was playing drums in Underdog at the time, and they played an impromptu show in the basement. Pushing the monitors aside, Timmy jumped into the crowd and made room for people to stage dive, complaining “those were just in the way”. While there may not have been a constant pit, there were constantly people rushing the stage. A fun, tight set (even with the declaration of forgetting the words during Latent Images before announcing “I know this one for sure” and breaking into fan favorite Jaybird) I’m glad I finally got to see Token Entry in a smaller environment. Shows from them are rare, but if you dig bands like Youth Of Today, Underdog, and Gorilla Biscuits, you definitely need to give Token Entry a listen.