This past Sunday, July 8th, Nick and I took a trip down to Irving Plaza in Manhattan to see longtime favorite, NY underground hardcore leader, GlassJaw, shred face as they performed their first major-label release, Worship And Tribute, in it’s entirety.
The trip took longer than expected, which felt exponentially multiplied after a long weekend of selling fried dough at Sailfest in New London, CT (more on this to come). But, after meeting up with a friend in Brooklyn, we made it just in time…to stand motionless for 2 hours while GJ made us wait. Hanging in front of the stage was a projector screen, displaying trippy, hallucinogenic mish-mashes of images for the first 90 minutes. This was bordering uncomfortable to begin with. Then, the music cut to elevator yazz flute, and what filled the projector screen was only exciting for the first 5 minutes.
GlassJaw, after a dirty split with Roadrunner and Warner Bros. Records, have been bitter ever since, which is understandable, after forcing your bassist out of the band, a lack of push for your first record, and re-mastering said record without your collaboration. The last 33 minutes of the wait was comprised of a copy of their original contract with WB, showing one page per slide, which was well over 160 pages long. At this point, we were in no mood for most things, let alone waiting 2 hours to see a band who made us wait 10 years before releasing any new music. But, with every price comes a reward. And what a reward we got.
If you have never heard GlassJaw, you may be initially turned off by their clear hardcore influences. But, a shot of Jack and a second listen will leave you speechless at the true passion, innovation, and dare I say genius that goes into every GJ song. Tip Your Bartender, the album’s premiere song, logically opened the show. Talk about power, tightness, and feel. These guys didn’t stop for a second to let the crowd pick up the pieces of scattered mind that they had blown all over the venue. The first three songs came without a break, including Mu Empire, which can be seen below or above..still trying to figure out this WordPress stuff. These guys look like the coolest friggin’ band in the world when they play. 100% into the flow of the music, you can’t help but bob your head along with Justin Beck and Manny Carrero (guitar and bass respectively), not to mention Daryl’s “eff it” attitude, and Darijah’s one-of-a-kind metronome-caliber groove and fills.
When all is said and done, GlassJaw delivered a stellar performance of the material that turned us on the them in the first place. They straight up kick ass, and they know it. Only GlassJaw has the kind of fans that will wait a decade for one new song, even after an egghunt across NY for the chance to hear it (click the link below for an article on how GJ has redefined DIY marketing). This, combined with the fact that fans will buy a hat as a ticket to a show and wait 2 hours just so the clock can strike 9:03 (read it as “93”, the year of their inception), is a testament to the loyalty a band like GlassJaw receives from its fans. A loyalty that can only be achieved by writing incredible music, song after song, and delivering when it counts. Every time.
Check out Worship And Tribute, and be prepared to pick up the pieces.