Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mother of Mercy/Foundation/Backtrack @ Broad Street Ministry 5/17

So it's been quite a while since I caught a show at the Broad Street Ministry in downtown Philly. Originally, this was supposed to be at The Barbary on Frankford Ave, but there was a last minute venue change for whatever reason. I rolled down to the The Barbary at around 7 p.m., only to find the whole road blocked off from the Delaware Ave entrance, and not a soul around when I found a parking spot and walked over. Fortunately, some people posted the new location on a message board and I was able to run over to the church just in time for Backtrack. Kind of a bummer that I missed Cut Short and My Turn to Win, but oh well.

Somehow I've never caught a Backtrack performance, even though they're from Long Island, so I was pretty stoked for their set. The crowd was sparing, but considering it was a rainy Monday night after a venue change, it could've been far worse. Crunchy riffs, decent vocals, and a confident stage appearance gave Backtrack the fuel needed to power through a decent set, as they played songs from the demo and Deal With the Devil. Also, props for the NY Yankees bass drum head, especially during a set in Philly.

Foundation. YES. If you don't know by now, light a torch, grab your loincloth, and climb out of that cave you've been in for the past year or so. Atlanta, Georgia straightforward straightedge hardcore, laced with heavy riffs, raging vocals, and well crafted song structure. I haven't seen them since the last Have Heart show in New Jersey, and they easily one upped the other bands as the crowd responded with energy and swirling movement. I was especially stoked hearing "Pray For (Atlanta)," during which I'm pretty sure I somehow hurt my back (am I really that old?). After playing most of Hang Your Head and some of the first EP, including a brand new song, they left the stage, leaving everyone sweaty and weary. 

Not without some opening percussion technical difficulties, local favorites Mother of Mercy ripped into their set, loaded with distorted guitars, pounding drums, and Bob Wilson's furious vocal style. Screaming until the veins in his neck might burst, they dropped songs like "Back to the Agony," "Divide," and "Demise," concluding with one of my favorites, "Nailed Down." Essentially a typical Mother of Mercy set, but maybe I'm just a little spoiled living so close to their local shows.

Even on a random night with poor weather, people came out for another Philly hardcore show to support both touring and local bands. The venue was definitely too large for the size of the crowd, but I'm just happy it wasn't canceled altogether. This summer is bursting at the seams with upcoming shows, with plenty more to come all over the tri-state area, so keep your eyes and ears open.