Supporting central Florida locals Coldside in a string of shows for their “We’ve Had Enough” CD release, Florida was graced this past week with the presence of New York hardcore giants Agnostic Front. The final date of this mini-tour brought AF and Coldside to The Orpheum on a Sunday night, providing Tampa with a long overdue reunion with the hardcore legends, and proving to us that while hardcore is a little bit older and a good deal greyer, its’ integrity hasn’t dulled a bit.
The first of three opening locals, Death By Convictions got the crowd moving with a few gritty originals, and a surprisingly tight cover of Hoods’ “The King Is Dead”, as well as the classic Misfits tune “We Are 138”.
Next up was Dead Cat Lounge, with a slightly surprising stage presence— the highlight of which included an odd yet impressive display of guitar playing via a hardshell case and even the guitarists’ teeth. DCL showcased a few thrashy songs, complete with gang vocals and eloquently punk-titled tracks such as “My Dad’s A Cop” and “How To Start a Riot”.
The Scurvy was the last local who, in keeping with the nights’ trend, played a set of unabashed punk tracks that included a cover of Black Flag’s classic “Six Pack”, as well as a thrashy rendition of Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law”. Successfully riling up the crowd for the touring bands, The Scurvy shredded through their entire set without once taking off their sunglasses, or— in classic punk fashion— putting down their PBR’s.
Central Florida natives Coldside— featuring ex-members of old school hardcore favorites Vietnom and Wardogs— played next, immediately winning over the crowd with their zealous stage presence. Playing a handful of songs from their recently released “We’ve Had Enough” on Strength Records, as well as a few older favorites, Coldside demanded the crowd’s attention. Vocalists Tony Ogle and Al Dufour had the audience stage diving and singing along to every song by the time they were finished.
Agnostic Front then took the stage with a presence that was commanding and energetic from the very start. Hardly stopping for breath, Agnostic played tracks from all their classic albums including “Victim In Pain”, “Cause For Alarm” and “One Voice”. For almost an hour, AF smashed through all the old familiar favorites, joined in chorus for every word by a restless crowd. Next, in an endearing and heavily tattooed display of humility and gratitude, vocalist Roger Miret took a minute to thank everybody for taking time out of their days to support hardcore, and remind them that— band or no band, crew or no crew— this scene is theirs, too. Miret was then joined on stage by members of Coldside and the audience alike for a comradely sing along of “Gotta Go”, reminding us what hardcore has always truly been about— unity. Not shying away from the theme of the night, Agnostic finished out their set strong with a hardcore version of the classic Ramones’ song “Blitzkrieg Pop”, as well as the old school favorites “Public Assistance” and “Toxic Shock”. After spirited encouragement from the crowd, Agnostic did not disappoint with two encores from their latest album, “My Life, My Way”.
After a night filled with comradery, plenty of spilt PBR and stage dives, I left The Orpheum with the contented feeling that the brotherhood of hardcore (ladies included, of course) is still alive and thriving; indeed, after the aggressive embodiment of hardcore fraternity and pride by Coldside and Agnostic Front, I would be hard pressed to believe that there are many that went home feeling differently.