Post-hardcore legends Glassjaw and Quicksand descended upon Santa Ana to a luke-warm crowd on Friday night. While the bands brought a new level of nostalgia on stage, it was hard to ignore the pockets of open spaces between the fans.
Both New York based groups who were previously on long hiatuses; each recorded new albums recently, providing their retro post-hardcore sound in 2018. Quicksand came back swinging with Interiors, released last year, and Glassjaw to the surprise of many dropped Material Control a few months ago. The energy they brought to the stage made it appear as if neither band ever vanished from the scene at all.
Overheard from some of the late arriving crowd was confusion as to who was headlining. Glassjaw took top billing, and one couple in particular were bummed out, showing up just as Quicksand were wrapping things up.
QS performed a well-blended set of old and new that included songs from their first two albums, Slip (1993) and Manic Compression (1995), along with a few tracks off of their newest record. Songs included classics such as “Fazer,” “Lie and Wait,” “Omission,” “Delusional,” “Blister,” and “Thorn In My Side” along with new tracks “Illuminant” and “Cosmonauts” that have gained some buzz. They were fine-tuned and tight, clearly prepared after all of these years, and not lacking in enthusiasm.
Glassjaw, comprised of original members Daryl Palumbo and Justin Beck, along with bass player Travis Sykes and drummer Chad Hasty, later took the stage and opened with “Cut and Run,” a blistering track off of their latest project.
After recently facing controversy for lyrics regarded as misogynistic from their first album, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence, the set list (17 songs in total) included mostly tracks off of 2002’s Worship and Tribute and 2018’s Material Control. It seems that after taking accountability for past feelings and high emotions, the band decided it was best to lay some of those old records to rest.
The dedicated fan base in front began a circle pit while Palumbo and crew whaled away on tracks like “Tip Your Bartender,” “The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports,” and “El Mark.”
Palumbo’s brooding presence in all black, along with his tech savvy musical partners did not disappoint, despite the minute turnout. A raw, seamless set, forging old classics with new interpretations fit right in and left the dedicated hardcore kids fulfilled on this night.
Michael Silver is a journalist and photographer based in Southern California. He covers music, sports, technology, and streetwear. Tips & pitches: firstname.lastname@example.org