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Quicksand At The FYF Fest, Saturday September 1st 2012



The FYF Fest lineup was heavy on hardcore and post-hardcore, but also on bands recently reunited, Desaparecidos, Refused,… Quicksand, who played on Saturday night, was qualifying for both. They had to compete against electronic band M83 who was playing on the main stage, but they nevertheless drew a large crowd. It’s true, it was not exactly the same kind of crowd, and people had probably kept in mind there were not a lot of chances to see Quicksand again. Last June, they were the surprised guests at Revelation Records’ 25th anniversary show, and it was their first performance in 13 years! Then they played two sold-out shows at the Bowery Ballroom and the Music Hall of Williamsburg, made an appearance in the Jimmy Fallon show, and this FYF Fest show may have been the last chance to see them for a long time,… unless they decide to tour again.
I didn’t know much about the New York band, which broke up in 1999, but with only two LPs in their discography, I had read that they were regarded as a very influential band, almost reaching cult level, and even drawing comparisons to Fugazi.
I was seeing a few ‘straight edge’ t-shirts in the largely-male-dominated crowd, but I obviously couldn’t relate to all these people, who were watching a reunion that they weren’t even hoping for anymore; I couldn’t be nostalgic as I was discovering the band when they played their 12-song set of mean guitar crunches, hardcore exploding riffs and raging anger. Was it really post-hardcore? The songs seemed still aggressive and testosterone-charged to me, the band sounded very tight and nothing would have let you know they hadn’t played together for more than a decade.

Frontman Walter Schreifels was screaming his vocals with a clear and strong voice, while his bandmates, Sergio Vega, Alan Cage and Tom Capone seemed to be equally in charge, launching some monster sonic assault together, and shredding into discordance. The songs weren’t always violent and fast, but they had outbursts of rage alternating with long melodic errances with space-out vocals, and they were stopping brutally, as if they wanted to crystallize the rage.

‘This is our night’, said Schreifels, ‘I mean it in a collective way’, he continued expressing his joy when noticing there were also some women in pit. Effectively, who has said this kind of music was only reserved for guys? Certainly not the spoiled FYF crowd who was having another good time during another set of some legendary band.

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