I’m glad someone brought this up, because it reminds me of a conversation I had the other day while I was at Cheesecake Factory with Todd from NAILS (no namedrop, I just thought that image would be lulzy to some of you). As old hardcore dudes usually do when they get together, we talked about how different things are These Days compared to Back In The Day. I forget how it came up, but somewhere along the way I told Todd “IDK, I only go to scene shows.”
He seemed to think it was pretty funny when I said that with a straight face, but it’s pretty much true: the reason is that like anon said above, I love the positive, more-or-less wholesome vibe– not to mention that you are 100% less likely to get hit in the head with brass knuckles for no reason than at a ‘real hardcore’ show.
Pretty accurate snapshot of what ‘real hardcore’ shows were like in the 90s (yes I know this is from the 00s but same thing except there were more JNCOs and backpacks in the 90s)
Old man explains what it was like Back In The Day
I’m not going to tell a bunch of krazy stories to prove to you that ‘I saw some rly fucked up shit at shows that u wouldn’t believe,’ because that isn’t really true. It’s not like I went to early 80s LES shows at some squat with a burned out van in front (where the headlining band lived), but it’s definitely a fact that 90s hxc shows weren’t exactly the kind of environment I would want my kids to hang out in.
They were usually in some fucked up neighborhood that kids like me had no business being in (since the venues were run by losers who couldn’t afford the rent anywhere else), and pretty much everybody there was some flavor of dysfunctional, angry loser/outcast/burnout that was headed nowhere fast. And if you went to ‘real hardcore’ shows (think FLOORPUNCH/ONE LIFE CREW/CULTURE/etc), you were guaranteed at least one fight at every single show. That might sound awesome if you are still a little kid that thinks it’s cool to be a fuckup, but in retrospect it was a shitty way to spend my teens and 20s.
Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends to this day are people I met at those shows, and I learned a lot from DIY culture about how to be independent and resourceful, but overall when I look back it just makes me shudder a little at how fucked up, unhealthy and somewhat dangerous the whole thing was. It especially bums me out when I compare it to how normal kids spent those years: in college, making friends, and having fun while slowly making the transition into the Real World.
I can’t speak for Todd, but I give the Anaheim Cheesecake Factory two thumbs up. The sliders were piping hot, and the attentive staff made sure I never waited for a refill on my Diet Coke!
The lulzy, inept moshing of these ADTR fans gives me the same comforting “awwww they’re so cute and little I wish they could stay babies forever” feel as watching Disney Channel
Like I told Todd, these days I pretty much only go to scene shows at corporate venues– or should I say ‘concerts.’ I’m not turning my back on hardcore (for better or worse, it will always be a big part of who I am), it’s more about choosing to put myself in a positive environment. I love that Kids These Days have a version of (more-or-less) hardcore that is so much more safe, positive, and fun than what I had at their age. Obviously seeing WHITECHAPEL at a Clear Channel theater isn’t as ‘authentic’ as hoping we didn’t get robbed as we scurried back to the car after an EARTHMOVER show in some fucked up part of Toledo, but I am ok with that. I don’t miss that shit at all, and I definitely wouldn’t want my kids doing what I did.
But beyond the safety concerns, what I really love about scene shows is that the kids are having FUN. They are super stoked on every band, sing along to every song, mosh harmlessly, and basically just have the time of their lives in a refreshingly innocent, pure way– way cooler and more positive to be around than a bunch of cynical jerks standing around with their arms crossed hating on everything like you’ll see at 90% of ‘real hardcore’ shows. And sure, there are some fucked up kids at scene shows, but overall they seem to be a lot less fucked up than the kids at Real Hardcore shows.
If you want to hate on those kids for being trendy faggots who don’t know anything about their roots and blah blah blah, I guess that is your choice. After all, it is a free country and you have the constitutional right to be butthurt. But I would trade everything I know about tr00 hardcore to have as much fun as the kids I see at those shows, and I’m glad they have better options than I did. DEFEND DISNEYCORE.
Do you go to scene shows? Would you rather your daughter get +100 to HXC CRED by going to sketchy Real Hardcore shows full of fucked up losers, or be a poser that goes to scene shows? What is the best item on the Cheesecake Factory menu?