Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sick of It All at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom

Lou Koller
Sick of It All formed in 1986 as a hardcore punk band in Queens, New York. The following year, the band built a local following by performing the  Sunday afternoon matinee series at CBGB's. The band's current lineup consists of brothers Lou Koller on vocals and Pete Koller on lead guitar, Craig Setari on bass, and Armand Majidi on drums. Sick of It All's 11th and most recent album is 2014's Last Act of Defiance.

Sick of It All's 30th anniversary tour packed Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom tonight, reviving the New York hardcore punk that thrived three decades ago less than 10 city blocks south at CBGB's. Eighteen of the set's 23 songs were from the 1990s. Lou Koller shouted throaty anthemic rants as the three-piece band clobbered beats with aggression. This hardcore music was not about speed as much as it was about hanging anvils to angry, rallying chants. The evening was particularly celebratory because it was a homecoming, with Sick of It All headlining perhaps its largest local venue. Black balloons were released from the ceiling as the concert drew to a close with "Step Down" and "Built to Last," during which time the stage was filled with well wishers and Pete Koller played guitar while riding on the shoulders of Jimmy Gestapo of Murphy's Law. The original New York hardcore scene morphed into several sub-genres, but tonight its pioneering veterans were feted as local heroes.

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