In the wake of releasing one of this year’s strongest metal comebacks, The Cursed Remain Cursed, Vision of Disorder’s appearance at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday was certain to be triumphant. But after Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York and New Jersey, the show was turned into a benefit for relief efforts dubbed “Picking Up Change,” lending an air of added purpose to the proceedings that made Saturday night truly special. Backed by upstart crust-pushers Swarm of Arrows, old-school hardcore stalwarts Yuppicide and the heat-seeking missile that is Primitive Weapons, Vision of Disorder delivered the goods in front of a crowd that came to tear the place and each other to shreds.
Swarm of Arrows fired a warning shot through Emperor and Marshall half-stacks with bludgeoning power to spare, shocking the crowd to attention early as the audience started trickling in from around New York City and Long Island. The Philadelphia-based quartet was the biggest surprise of the evening, hitting with velocity and tightness that recalled Remission-era Mastodon with a majorly crusty twist. Yuppicide’s corpse-painted singer and brutishly simple hardcore got the jaded vets fired up nicely, but Primitive Weapons commanded all attention the second the Brooklyn-based Prosthetic band touched the stage. Singer David Castillo went off with the force of a radioactive preacher, sickening and riveting all at once with stage presence most bands would kill to have.
And then the mighty Vision of Disorder came out to a frenzied audience, touching on everything from classic material off its self-titled debut and Imprint to multiple cuts from Cursed (“Loveless,” “Set to Fail,” “Blood Red Sun,” “Be Up on It” and “Hard Times” all saw Brooklyn debuts). Tim Williams’ performance reminded everyone in the room why he’s one of the most versatile vocalists in hardcore, and Mike Kennedy and Matt Baumbach’s guitar riffs came tumbling over each other like the cartwheeling crowdsurfers that marked the venue’s official descent into live madness. It was a next-level performance from a band that hasn’t been seen much on tour since Cursed dropped, lending an air of excitement to the show that resonated long after the crowd piled out into the night ahead.
Here are a few photos, courtesy of Derek Soto of Sinestra Studios