I’ve been waiting 8 years to see Glassjaw. Obviously not without pause, but I first bought tickets to go and see them play at the Astoria in 2003. A show which got first postponed, and then cancelled, due to Daryl Palumbo’s ill health. As excited as my 15 year old self was at the prospect of seeing Glassjaw, she would have found it hard to top my anticipation today. The atmosphere tonight is electric, as is often the case with hardcore shows, and I have to step aside pretty regularly to avoid flailing limbs to the face, which is the way it should be.
Glassjaw are a huge phenomenon, and greatly influential, for a band that only has 2 albums — their last full-length, Worship and Tribute, having been released in 2002. The band impress the crowd with storming renditions from their last LP, as well as 2000’s Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence, in their main set. In addition to this, we hear a few songs which are set to be on their next album. A couple of these, such as (You Think You’re) John Fucking Lennon and Jesus Glue, have already surfaced online, and so are known to the more devoted of fans. The band’s encore consists of the entirety of their Coloring Book EP, which is given away for free at the end of the show.
One of the most effective songs of the show is Ape Dos Mil, which is played faster and more furious than the album version. Mu Empire and Tip Your Bartender also seem to go down particularly well with the crowd tonight. Although some of the older songs lack a little with only one live guitarist, the last song before the encore, Siberian Kiss, from the band’s first album, seems to have thrived and grown under the new, more stripped-back, direction they’ve taken.
Much of the crowd get lost in the encore, which features only new songs. But, the new songs are good, and I think that says more about people in general, not liking the unknown, than it does about the quality of the new material. Although they may have evolved slightly since their last full-length releases, Glassjaw are still a force to be reckoned with and an awesome live band.