You know you’re in for a special night when, shortly after walking through the door of a venue, you’re smashed into by a burley mosh pit enthusiast and knocked into the bar. But when minutes later you see a guy in a plastic Viking helmet skanking alongside a bearded albino in a big ol’ circle pit, you have to wonder if you’ve been transplanted to some sort of alternate reality. Being accosted by a super-stoned guy who looked like the late, great Ronnie James Dio with crimped hair sporting a white and lime green jumper pretty much solidified that, yes, last night at Queens’ Blackthorn 51, we’d somehow entered some sort of alternate reality. An alternate reality known as… The Thrash Zone!
We got there late. We missed most of the opening bands but were lucky enough to catch most of the set from Driven Mad, a local ‘progressive thrash band’ who are definitely worth checking out. Lots of energy, a super enthusiastic (and friendly!) front-man and a really tight group of musicians back him. They did their thing and they did it well.
Shortly before 12:30am, D.R.I. took the stage. They opened with ‘Who Am I?’ and kept things moving full speed ahead through a set that ended after 2am. There was even a new song thrown into the mix, ‘As Seen On TV,’ and vocalist Kurt Brecht mentioned that yes, the new album is a real thing that is actually happening. Loads of energy from the band and just as much if not more from the crowd. The place pretty much went off but anyone who fell down was helped back up and typically went right back to it. The Dio guy might have come over to me and punched me in the stomach for not wanting to do drugs with him on the patio but that guy is a whole different story all together.
Pretty much all the favorites made their way into the set – closing with Into The Pit and of course, Violent Pacification. These guys have been around forever and show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. They play Blackthorn AGAIN tonight (June 1st) so if you’re in NYC and want to check them out in a small but really cool and well operated venue (friendly bartenders and doormen, no BS from security) then you’ve got a second chance. And you don’t get a lot of second chances in life, so do the right thing and go support these guys. They’ve been around forever and they still put on a killer show.
And check out some super rad video from the show below!