Photos and Review by Chris Besaw
Well finally after two years of not COVID related delays, tour rescheduling and everything in between, the highly anticipated New York United 2022 Tour featuring Agnostic Front, Sick of It all and Crown of Thornz finally made its way back to Syracuse’s iconic Lost Horizon.
Starting off the evening was the critically acclaimed NY Hardcore band, Crown of Thornz. Originally formed in 1994 in Queens, NY by Danny Diablo (Skarhead, Icepick) and Mike Dijan the band blends an incredible mix of hip hop style vocals with energetic, hard, sludgy, and rhythmic music that got the crowd moving and singing along. Danny and the band pounded out an impressive thirty-minute set. The band played a well-rounded and intense song mix that included, “Icepick,” “Head Check,” and their momentous classic “Juggernaut!” It was my first time seeing them, and I really enjoyed their set. I had seen Danny perform in Skarhead years ago, and I look forward to seeing Crown of Thornz again.
When it comes bands who were there when New York Hard Core first started in the 1980’s, not many are still as influential as the mighty Sick of It All. Brothers Lou (vocals) and Pete Koller (guitar), along with Armand Majidi (drums) and Craig Setari (bass) have been making music, touring relentlessly, and keeping the hardcore spirit alive for nearly three and half decades!
From the moment the band hit the stage, to the last ringing note the Sick of It All pounded out nineteen songs that spanned their multi-decade career including fan favorites like “Clobberin’ Time,” “World Full of Hate,” “Sanctuary,” and “Road Less Traveled.” I am no stranger to seeing the band live over the years and one thing I have always admired about Lou Koller is his genuine sincerity when it comes to his appreciation of their fans. He does not take their fans for granted, he took a moment between songs to thank everyone for still coming out and supporting the band all these years and let them know that the band would not exist without their loyal fans. The band ended their set with two of their biggest hits “Scratch the Surface,” and “Step Down.” The crowd responded by slam dancing, crowd surfing singing along. These guys never disappoint.
After a short stage changeover, the near capacity crowd at the Lost Horizon begins to pack it in even tighter, eagerly awaiting the return of NYC hardcore legends, Agnostic Front! It’s amazing to imagine that for over 40 years Agnostic Front has been recording, touring, and inspiring legions of fans and musicians alike. When you see them live, it all makes sense. They still play with the same intensity and ferocity that they did years ago. It is extremely inspiring. After a brief intro, the band charged the stage pounding out such familiar fast and heavy songs like “Victim in Pain,” “The Eliminator,” and “Friend or Foe.” Vocalist Roger Miret was backed up on stage by the legendary Vinnie Stigma (lead guitar), Craig Silverman (rhythm guitar and backing vocal), Mike Gallo (bass and backing vocals), and Danny Lamagna (drums).
I simply admire how the band connects with their fans. From letting them sing along on the mic, to stage diving and everything in between, they are right there with the fans every step of the way.
They even let a young man name Mike get up onstage and help sing their cover of Iron Cross’s classic track “Crucified.”
A particular highlight from Agnostic Front’s set was when guitarist Vinnie Stigma took over vocal duties on the classic track “Power.” The crowd loved it and the song is a perfect fit for Vinny and his larger-than-life charisma. Even after a setlist that included twenty-two songs, the crowd wanted more. Roger and the band concluded the show with a tribute to NY City punk rock icons the Ramones with a cover of “Blitzkrieg Bop.” I cannot express how grateful I am that bands like Agnostic Front are still touring after over forty years. If you have not seen them live, what are you waiting for? They are absolutely amazing.
“Don’t Forget the Struggle, Don’t Forget the Streets”