At the Integrity show I mentioned a few days back, I was handed this flyer by Steve Titus. I did not make it to either show and never saw Warzone unfortunately. The best thing I have seen involving Warzone is when I lived in Denver in 2006. I saw the Gorilla Biscuits reunion and they covered As One. I lost my mind, diving off the stage at least three or four times during the first 30 seconds of the song. Cervante's rules.
This was my second hardcore show in Buffalo and the first time I traveled there by myself. Well I went up there with two of my good friends at the time. Five days before this show, I got jumped outside of school and never went back. I guess you could say by this time I was looking forward to letting off some steam at this show. My friends and I caught the bus up to Buffalo for this show and stayed the night with a friend's relatives. We got into Buffalo early in the afternoon, so we could scope out Home of the Hits and to make sure we got into the show. Before the internet and GPS, you had to use a little thing called a map and your head. That's what we set out to do when we got off the Greyhound. I should also point out that this was the first time I caught a bus to a hardcore show. It definitely wouldn't be the last. Anyway, we figured out which bus would take us up Elmwood Avenue and hopped on the next one. While on the bus, we saw a dude with Xs on his hands and an H2O jacket board the bus. He saw us and immediately struck up a conversation with us, asked us where we from and whatnot. We told him we were from here and just hanging out for the Slugfest reunion show. He told us where to get off the bus for Home of the Hits and said he would see us at the show later. I later found out this dude's name was Mike Tranz (sp.?), someone I would see here and there at shows again but never really talk to again. He also referred to Home of the Hits, as "Home of the Shits," a name I have kept up with to this day. We grabbed a pizza before heading to Home of the Hits at a spot on Elmwood Ave where I would enjoy pizza many times after this. That is one of the few things I sometimes miss about being vegan, Buffalo pizza. Anyway, we hung around at Home of the Hits for a bit, grabbed some records, and a few fanzines, and bounced out of there. I think I bought a copy of Second Nature fanzine if I am not mistaken.
After this, we made our way down to the Showplace Theatre. There was two people standing outside, wearing matching Digression shirts. My friend Ben and I ended up chatting with them for a good while as a long line started to develop outside. Their names were Jonah and Ed. They were from Cleveland and I would keep in touch with Jonah for several years after this. While we were standing outside, I bought a copy of Hanging Like A Hex fanzine for the first time. Ryan ended up also being someone that I remained in contact with for many years after this. He also gave us a flyer for the "Syracuse 3 Day Hardcore Fest," a fest which I would attend. I have to admit at this point, I was pretty excited to see Hatebreed. I had been listening to their 7" pretty heavily for the better part of the last month. I had also been listening to the Brothers Keeper full length the week before to get myself ready for some serious sing alongs. I was expecting this show to be packed, as most of the few people in the Rochester hardcore scene were planning on being in attendance. Plus Buffalo hardcore seemed so huge to me back then. I found an old school message board post while looking this one up.
Birthrite canceled so Extinction opened this show off. I remember at the time chalking them up as a crappy mosh band. Obviously members of this band went onto bigger things, as Neeraj toured the world with The Hope Conspiracy, Pete Wentz created a real shitty band that made it big, and Jim Grimes booked a lot of great Chicago Hardcore shows.
Cast Iron Hike was next, a real horrible quirky band from Massachusetts. I have no idea how they got into this show, as Ryan Hex is the only person in the US that I can remember ever liking this band. My friend Ben and I watched from the back and made fun of them.
Hatebreed played next and it wasn't quite the full scale prison riot I had expected. There was a small incident involving one of the Syracuse Sluggers and someone wearing a Strong Intention shirt though. Other than that, this was a pretty tame set. Granted, Hatebreed only had six or seven songs at the time. This was when I was moshing pretty horribly and frequently so I would obviously love to see video of this show. I would go on to see Hatebreed many more times, but this was one of my favorites.
Brother's Keeper was up next and I was pretty amped up to see them by this point. Most of my friends ragged on me over the years for getting into this band, but I don't care. This was some of the most positive music I have heard from a hardcore band, or whatever you want to call them. Ok, so Mike Ski's voice was a little on the high end. I would go on to see the Beekeeper a number of times over the next five years, in Buffalo, Erie, Syracuse, and at a small Rochester that I set up in 2001. I think they were a little too different for hardcore kids, but it was always a breath of fresh air for me to throw The Continuum on.
Slugfest capped the night off. I was pretty beat at this point and pretty unfamiliar with their band so I just stood by a railing drinking some water. However, when they burst into a cover or Minor Threat, I threw my cup of water into the air and ran up front to sing along. This was a practice I would use at several festivals years later. I never really got that into Slugfest, but Scott's next three bands (Despair, Buried Alive, and Terror) would have a large impact on my life for the next five or ten years.
Since I have started writing these articles, I have seen some people also post their great stories from this time period. It is amazing to be able to reflect fourteen years later with some of you people. I have now been into this movement for half of my life and I can't wait to create more memories like the ones I have been talking about on here recently. It is also crazy to think that some of the people in these bands from this particular show are still very active in hardcore bands. Hell, Hatebreed has stayed together this whole entire time. How many hardcore bands have been able to do that without breaking up?