This past Friday night, April 4th, The Loft in Poughkeepsie turned into a hardcore madhouse as NYC area headliners Biohazard and Sworn Enemy lead the night along with other hardcore and metal acts from the 845 and 518 area. About 170 people packed the place to unleash their aggression and have a good time.
The doors opened at 7 and local area metal newcomers Pug Box opened the night around 7:15 with their six song set to set the tone for what was to come. Soon after, 518 hardcore outfit Life Sentence played their six song set adding a lot of attitude to the stage. Their style and presence felt very similar to Madball.
The Standard Assault (better known as TSA) then graced their stage with their unique set. They really stood out due to their metalcore and groove metal style. Along with that, their songs were far more lengthy than the other bands on the bill. They were aggressive and thrashy. Guitarist John Reilly played blazing solo’s that were clearly influenced by Slayer and frontman Pete Stott’s vocals were unique with a Randy Blythe-like flair to it. Their songs were clearly about past girl friends and betrayal. It was a nice change of pace for the night.
Albany’s Brick By Brick then took The Loft into hostile territory as they brought a bloody knuckle atmosphere with their eight song set that caused the floor to erupt with slam dancers and borderline dangerous moshing. Despite some sound trouble, they never missed a beat and kept the energy high. Frontman Mike Valente even called out the crowd hanging at the bar to get themselves closer to the stage. They ended their set with “Bro Hymn” with lots of crowd participation that just made everyone on the floor go crazy.
Sworn Enemy stormed the stage around 10PM. They’re out promoting their upcoming album Living On Borrowed Time. Their set consisted of their classics as well as two new songs fused into their set. Opening with “One Way Trip,” the already established pit grew even bigger and caused the floor to go completely chaotic. Luckily, no one was hurt. There was one person in the crowd that stood much bigger and taller than anyone that was dancing in the pit. About mid-way through Sworn Enemy’s set, this guy in the crowd just walked over to frontman Sal LoCoco and picked him up off the stage and swung him around. Luckily the show was not stopped or interrupted and there was no ill-intent. Sworn Enemy ended their set on a high note with “We Hate” and let everyone in their crowd release their aggression.
Biohazard finally took the stage at 11:30 with a setlist that contained hits and album cuts from their first three records. Opening the set with fan favorites “Chamber Spins Three” and “What Makes Us Tick,” Biohazard proved at even their veteran status, they still bring lots of energy on stage and show absolutely no sign of slowing down. From that moment on, it almost seemed that everyone in the crowd was from Brooklyn. Midway through their set, Biohazard unleashed the iconic “Tales From The Hardside.” Things in the pit became hostile, and a huge scuffle broke out in the crowd causing the entire security team to stop it, which ultimately caused the band to stop what they were doing. Even I ran to the corner and hid when this all went down. After a few minutes Biohazard resumed and played a few tracks off their first record. Then lead guitarist Bobby Hambel addressed the crowd on the corruption of news and politics which lead to “Black And White And Red All Over.” Finally, Biohazard wrapped their eighteen song set with their breakout hit “Punishment” and their creed motto “Hold My Own.”
Everyone at The Loft had a blast, and it’s obvious Biohazard still enjoys what they do. I was lucky enough to chat with the band after the show. They all confirmed they are hard at work on a new album and will be touring through Upstate New York again. Biohazard currently finished a brief East coast run and is now doing a month-long European tour but come back to the U.S. in May for the annual “Black N Blue Bowl” at The Well in Brooklyn on May 17th and 18th along with Hatebreed, Agnostic Front, Sworn Enemy, Brick By Brick, and many more.