NATIONAL EDGE DAY WEEKEND 2015
NATIONAL EDGE DAY - BOSTON AREA Weekend of 10/17/14
I was at the original National Edge Day back in 1999. When I saw this being put together I decided it was time to head up to my old stomping grounds in Boston to check this out.
I had a 1/2 day on Friday so I was able to get on the road by 1PM for Boston. It was a drive I've made so many times heading from the Jersey Shore up to Boston. As usual I got nailed with some traffic in Connecticut but made it up to Boston in about 5 hours (not bad). I decided not to head down to New Bedford for the Friday night show, instead hanging out in Allston so I could check out ONLY CRIME. I had about 4 hours to kill so I strolled around Allston. I checked out BU's West Campus where I used to live, saw my old apt building on the corner of Harvard Ave and Comm. Ave. I got a good falafel and just checked out some spots where funny things happened when I was in college.
The show was literally right across the street from the Harvard Ave/Comm Ave apt spot so I headed back there. The crowd was pretty thin. I didn't really think much of the opening acts but was excited to see Only Crime. Russ, the singer of Only Crime wrote some of my favorite all times lyrics/songs as the singer of Good Riddance. Only Crime is more of a rock band but they are really good for what they do.
I want to say they played a set of about a dozen songs. Good songs, musicians that can play their instruments, and good lyrics. I am glad I got a chance to see them Friday night. I meant to see them in Brooklyn on Sunday night but was too burned out after driving back home to head into NYC.
Anyway, after ONLY CRIME I wandered around BU's West Campus some more. I walked into T. Anthony's on Comm. Ave where I used to get pizza a lot when I was playing football at BU. I couldn't believe how pretentious the college kids were. It made me feel like both a crotchety old man and out of step with typical college kids.
After I got a slice it was time to turn in for the night. I brought some sleeping bags and turned my car into a camper. I found a nice quiet spot on Comm Ave to park, put in some ear buds, and slept in my car. Its what winners do!
The next morning I toured BU's campus some more. It was quiet because it was early on a Saturday morning. Tsai Steps, check. School of Education, check. I even headed a little further down Comm Ave to the infamous spot where I once watched a bunch of out of town HC kids pay a homeless guy $100 to jump into a really sketchy looking polluted "river"
I headed over to the Middle East in Cambridge for the show. There was a line outside at 12 when doors opened. I started talking to a kid that had come over from Australia to check out the show. I'm older now so instead of talking about warzone we started talking about education and healthcare policy. He was a nice kid.
The show had to be over by 5 because there was another show at night meaning that the overbooked lineup was going to be a little rushed. I was expecting a trainwreck of a show, but was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly everything ran by the time it was all over. I hung out outside catching up with people and before I knew it I had missed a few of the early bands.
The first band I really got a chance to watch was CLEAR. When I first saw them on the bill I thought it was a SCAB NAME FOR A SCABPUNCH Floorpunch reunion (edge day has always been synonymous with Scab lineups). I was disappointed that Clear was a real band. I was impressed though when I saw them. Singer had some super positive stuff to say in between songs and other than the singers Boston College sweatshirt (F- that place) I liked them a lot.
The next band I remember was Down But Not Out playing a reunion set. For a reunion set and a fill in bassist they sounded great. It was probably the angriest mosh response of the day. They always had this kind of angry outsiders mentality in Boston. It was cool to see them get get such a good response.
I didn't realize INVASION was up because they seemed to disappear and then sneakily re-appear on the stage. There was a lot of energy in the place and it just busted out when they started playing. Dave Murphy and Clevo combined on an AF cover which was fun. When I think of a lot of these older hardcore kids I think of jokes that we all make and goofing on the silly aspects of hardcore. What I took away from this though is that despite the jokes and the laughs there is so much sincerity left. There were a bunch of people that are older, have jobs, don't make it to every show but still and will always love hardcore. Without naming names, it was just awesome to see that come out. People cared about getting money to the bands, they put total strangers up in their homes. These are things that are easy to do when you are 18 or 20 and have no responsibility. I loved people still doing it that way in their 30's. Anyway you can see some of Invasion's set below in the video link.
Stick Together was up next. Lot's of funny Stick Together rambling and ranting in between songs. Step Forward closed the show and got a great response. Everything finished up by 5pm which shocked me.
After the show there was a good hang outside the club. It caused me to not go back to feed the parking meter, resulting in the obligatory Cambridge parking ticket. Rather than dinner and the after "Party" of watching the big ND vs. FSU game I opted to hop in the car and head back to the Jersey Shore. I made it home by 10:30 and watched the 2nd half of the ND game in the comfort of my own home. (Tough OPI call at the end of the game)
All in all the weekend had the feeling of a 15 year college reunion which was fun. I talked to some great people, laughed a lot, enjoyed some good bands, and had a great time.
I was really impressed by the Boston vibe. Lots of kids moshing but doing it in their own space, just kind of demonstrating their own style without bulldozing someone else. Good stuff!