New York Hardcore returned to Tompkins Square Park for the first time in ages as three of the genre’s best headlined a jubilant afternoon on Saturday, April 24th. Black N Blue Productions put on the special show and for many in attendance, it was the first time in over a year seeing live music as the worldwide pandemic has shuttered clubs and canceled tours.
Opening the afternoon were The Capturers and Wisdom In Chains who both started the event with short sets that got the crowd of over two thousand people warmed up as the sun shined down on the gorgeous Saturday afternoon. When Bloodclot kicked off the energy was super high and joyous as ladies in miniskirts stage dove and men with Mohawks moshed in the pit to efforts like “Up In Arms”, “Manic” and “Prayer” which had lead singer John Joseph exclaim “You better dance like you mean it!” to the exuberant crowd.
The straight-ahead hardcore sounded excellent in the public park as passing families looked confused while old friends reunited. Murphy’s Law came out with frontman Jimmy Gestapo wearing a fake toupee while singing “Quest for Herb”. The punks kicked it up a notch for the classic “Sit Home and Rot” as the party atmosphere increased before the band belted out “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight” with fury. The last band to take the stage were hardcore legends Madball who delivered their direct slamming style through songs like “Set It Off”, “It’s My Life” and “Demonstrating My Style”. Playing with aggression the tight outfit pumped up all in attendance, ending the event on a high note.
The concert was a benefit for the FDNY Burn Unit, raising money for the good cause, but it was also much more than that. It was the first attempt at a return to normalcy in a city that has been hit hard over the past year. The smiles on friends’ and strangers’ faces, through masks or without them, were as warm as the springtime weather as a feeling of renewal was to be found amongst the attendees. Hopefully, this event will be the first of many more to come in 2021 and beyond.