New York hardcore legends shatter all doubts; epic performance ‘shakes’ Varsity Theater
Metal maestros Glassjaw took the stage at the esteemed Varsity Theatre to close out the night Monday, July 9. The show, opened by Spotlights and co-headlined by Quicksand, attracted a very modest audience at the 962-person capacity venue. If I had to choose a word to describe the night, it’d be reverberating – literally.
Drawing a large number of fans in before Spotlights even took the stage, Varsity Theatre was already filled with fans of all ages. That, to me, indicated right away as to how successful and popular “Material Control” has become within months of being released.
The gathering crowd was suddenly filled with energy as Spotlights started the night to a loud reception. There were bursts of cheers every time a guitar solo was played. A number of fans screamed along the artists, while others started bobbing their heads along the drums being played. The show had started.
The anxious fans cheered as Spotlights ended a fantastic set, which featured beautiful beams of light fired from around the stage. Then just as fast they got onto the stage, Quicksand quickly went into their well-known tracks to start it off hot. The crowd was still growing, and a number of fans who were having drinks at the back of the venue rushed to the front and joined the others screaming in joy. A number of fans started “headbanging” as Quicksand amped up the intensity of their performance.
The New York-based band left the stage to a loud, warmed up crowd who were all but still patiently waiting for what was yet to come: Glassjaw. And just as the energy in the building started to look like it was coming down, the lights went off. Daryl Palumbo and Justin Beck of Glassjaw came on to the stage as the crowd let out a series of ear-splitting, emphatic cheers. Within seconds the lights came back on in spectacular fashion as Glassjaw started playing “Cut and Run”, the closing track from “Material Control”.
The stage lighting for Glassjaw was vastly different than the previous sets, as the programmed strobes came on each time before the guitar riffs and the hi-hats. Droplets of drinks were spilling everywhere, as if everyone within Varsity’s walls was moving and stomping their feet at the same time. With the renewed energy of the fans, I felt an incredible moment: Varsity Theatre was literally shaking as Glassjaw played “You Think You’re (John F–king Lennon)”.
The vitality only went higher and higher as Glassjaw played some hits, like “Two Tabs of Mescaline” and “Mu Empire”, off their previous albums to which the audience’s reaction was absolutely thunderous. It was a long, loud night full of screams, and headbanging fans lost in all kinds of emotions.
Being the first album-supporting tour they’ve done in almost 15 years, Glassjaw brought back their signature high energy performances and the sound of post metal that is so distinct and unique.
They put on an unparalleled show, one that solidifies their ability to showcase their exceptional music, and the love of their fans.
(Photos by Mansoor Ahmad)