Youth of Today destroyed Thrasher Deathmatch, playing 3 NYC shows next
Youth of Today reunited the We're Not In This Alone lineup of Ray Cappo, Porcell, Walter Schreifels and Sammy Siegler back in 2016, and though they've been back for a few years, their shows have still been few and far between. They had four shows scheduled for 2019 and they just played their first one: a return to Texas (where they played Sound on Sound 2016) to headline day one (3/14) of Thrasher x Vans Deathmatch at Austin's Weather Up during SXSW.
The time away from being a frequently active band has done nothing to tarnish Youth of Today, whose show on Thursday was as killer as you'd hope. All four members -- each of whom are legends in their own right and an unstoppable force together -- were as tight and lively and genuinely into the music as could be. Ray still barks like he has pebbles in the back of his throat and darts around the stage like he did in his early 20s. Porcell's guitar sounded razor-sharp, and he was in great spirits, bouncing around the stage and singing along the whole show. Walter, who is probably overall the most famous member of the band as the frontman of Quicksand, looked like he was having the time of his life stepping away from the frontman role and just slamming away at his bass on these songs that he clearly loves as much as ever. And Sammy held it all down behind the kit, giving these songs the strong backbone they need. Unsurprisingly, the crowd ate it all up. Throughout YOT's set it was an endless stream of moshers kicking up dust, stage divers flying off the stage, and the whole crowd shouting along to classics like "Positive Outlook," "Take A Stand," "Make A Change," "Can't Close My Eyes," "Disengage," and more. These songs may have been written over three decades ago, but they're just as relevant today. That was especially clear during set-closer "Break Down The Walls," which was prefaced by Ray giving a speech about how the song has taken on a new significance. And given the political climate we're currently in, it felt like everyone in the crowd screamed along to that one just a little louder.
As with related band Gorilla Biscuits, who had their resurgence before the YOT lineup with Walter and Sammy had theirs, it's truly remarkable how impactful Youth of Today are as a live band in 2019. These songs are over thirty years old but it somehow doesn't feel like nostalgia. Youth of Today are as genuine, refreshing, and pulverizing as most bands half their age. Hardcore can be considered a young person's game (they are called "Youth of Today," after all), and I don't mean to sound like a "get off my lawn" type, but Youth of Today really put on one of the best hardcore shows you can see in 2019. They seem like they're doing it out of genuine love for the music, and plenty of the fans on Thursday looked too young to have seen them the first time around anyway (myself included). It's easy to get cynical about reunions, but it's just a great thing that a whole new generation can now experience the power of Youth of Today, and they can experience it with a live show that can still bring the house down.
The guys are headed to Dallas tonight (3/15), where Gorilla Biscuits (Walter) and Judge (Porcell and Sammy) are sharing a bill at NSFWknd. After that, Youth of Today are headed home for this lineup's first NYC shows in 20+ years. They're playing Saint Vitus on Saturday (3/16), Brooklyn Bazaar on Sunday (3/17) with Shark Attack (for whom it's their first NYC show in 18 years), and Market Hotel on Monday (3/18). The Vitus and BK Bazaar shows are sold out but you can still get tickets for Market Hotel. If you're on the fence at all, just go.
Meanwhile, Thrasher x Vans Deathmatch continues today (3/15) with Del The Funky Homosapien, City Morgue, Flipp Dinero, Buddy, Lil Ugly Mane, and more; and Saturday (3/16) with Roky Erickson, The Black Angels, Viagra Boys, Nothing, and more.