"Last time we were in New York was in 1993 and we were supposed to play ABC No Rio. We got there and were told the show was cancelled" - Rob Moran of Unbroken
Santos was definitely not cancelled, and was packed to the brim with Unbroken fans on Saturday 4/9, as the band played one of two remaining gigs left on their schedule (the other being Chaos in Tejas). The two floor extravaganza was also marked by an appearance from Indecision, a reunion of Jesuit, a reunion of Damnation AD, and appearances from Portland's Unrestrained and NYC's Psychic Limb.
Psychic Limb opened the show in the basement of Santos at the clockstrike of 5:45, playing material from their new LP Queens in addition to a cover of Youth of Today's "Wake Up and Live". Mixing fierce grind with hardcore, the packed basement saw singer Brian Montouri thrash about during his unhinged performance... throwing drums & cases, swinging around the monitors, hanging upside down from railings, and whipping around the crowd to incite some movement. Though the audience was mostly stoic (a somewhat deer-in-the-headlights look prevailed) the band delivered a dependably good set.
Unrestrained followed on the bottom floor and was also met with a mostly stoic reaction, though the band's cover of Inside Out's "Burning Fight" provoked the crowd into momentary floorpunching mayhem. The Portland band was clearly tight and well-rehearsed, but we would have to wait until Damnation AD to come on stage before the lid came off.
Damnation AD got the pit moving quickly - there was crowdsurfing, sing-alongs, and movement galore. Vocalist Mike McTernan bloodied himself, bashing the microphone into his head repeatedly until a trickle of crimson started to drip all over the stage. The DC band's hardcore peppered with noise punk was tight and energetic, and featured a return from Colin of Most Precious Blood/Indecision on drums.
After Damnation AD, the show moved to the larger space upstairs for a one-time reunion of Jesuit. The Virginia Beach hardcore band might be (unfairly) known as Nate Newton of Converge/Brian Benoit of Dillinger Escape Plan's previous project. Jesuit was hands-down the most jaw-dropping performance of the night, mixing booming sludge-metal riffs and hardcore with pinpoint accuracy. As usual, Nate Newton was as energetic as ever on stage, but the masses were not as batshit crazy as they were for Damnation AD. Or maybe, hopefully, they were too much in awe. Make sure and pick up the Jesuit discography out tomorrow via Magic Bullet Records and featuring art from Florian Betmer. And if you can make it, try and check out Jesuit at Best Friends Day 2011... it'll be worth the trip.
Indecision was next on the main stage, and followed by Unbroken who tore the place apart by the time they got to their second song "Blanket" from Life. Love. Regret.. Energy and intensity were on full-display from both the band & the crowd. The packed Santos folk brimmed with excitement. Excellent work from the defunct San Diego crew, but to me the night belonged to Jesuit, despite what the moshing masses said to the contrary.
More pictures and some setlists from the whole show, below...