Tag Archives: crime in stereo

Crime in Stereo’s Last Show: A Review

By Brian Fargnoli


The world we live in is making less and less sense by the day. Just a week
ago today, a beloved Arizona Congresswoman was shot in the head by a
madman; he killed six others, including a young child. The discourse of
our politics has become a screaming match, in which people are reduced to
talking points and violent rhetorical imagery. The world, and this
country, is still reeling from the effects of an economic collapse the
likes of which has not been seen since the great depression. The recovery
is happening, but it’s esoteric in its nature—GDP is rising, but few are
finding their lives in better positions. The idealism that many of us once
held so dear to us, the hope for a better future, and the hope to realize
our dreams becoming reality, is slowly but surely before our eyes eroding
and becoming less and less tenable. Enter Crime in Stereo.

Crime in Stereo, as the singer of Hostage Calm so adeptly put it last
night, made me feel like with all the crazy backwards shit going on in the
world, with all the negativity and the nonsense, that things can still
make sense somewhere and that I wasn’t the only one feeling it. This band
was important, not just to me, and not just to Long Island, but to many
people around the world. It struck me sometime Thursday afternoon as I was
driving home from my temp job at a bank that I would be seeing one of the
most important Long Island punk bands of my generation play their songs
for one last and final (for real this time) show the next night. In a
strange way it was a humbling feeling—but to be humbled by seeing a band
may be a contradictory way to feel, seeing as in our scene, no one in the
band is more important than anyone else. Let’s just say I knew something
important was going to happen.

Bergen Point Country Club in West Babylon is down sort of a desolate road;
if you go too far down it, you hit water. The room was decently sized,
freezing, and had no stage. This was going to get real, for lack of a
better word. If many people use hardcore as their therapy, this was going
to be part grieving session, part reawakening.

Hostage Calm opened playing their brand of positive pop-punk. If I had to
draw comparisons a band that immediately comes to mind is The Wonder Years
and that whole “newer” (I’m old, deal with it) pop-punk/hardcore (I’ve
seen the term easycore thrown around) scene. They were good, and
energetic, but, and maybe it was just me, I felt like their sound was off.

Long Island’s own Capital played next. Having just released their new
record Givers Takers a week prior to the show, and being staples of our
scene, it’s easy to see that kids were pumped. They opened with (I think?)
“Road Rash” off the new record and then went into “Live Dammit Live”.
Sing-a-longs were plentiful and Tommy sent one song out to “The
Lindenhurst High School sophomore class for owning the pit” and then
proceeded to compare them to the Spartan 300. I can’t recall the exact
order of the setlist, so I’ll do my best to list it, but there was
definitely a Burn cover somewhere in there.

Road Rash
Live Dammit Live
250 32nd
Green (With Envy)
I Am Anonymous
Youth Culture
Burn (Cover)
Wolverines (Maybe?)
On a Mission

Tommy sent “On a Mission” out to Crime in Stereo for always doing things
right and always being a great band and staying true to hardcore “even
though they made a wacky concept album”.

Such Gold were late to the show but made it in time to play. I’m not
familiar with their material at all, but they played music in the same
vein of Hostage Calm and got the crowd moving and singing. If they’re as
good on record as they are live, then I can see why kids love them.
Anyway, on to the real reason we were there.

Crime in Stereo was up next and took what seemed like a lifetime to set
up. They started later than they had to because they “needed to write a
setlist”. As various hip hop artists played over the speakers, Kristain
approached the mic, and thanked us for being there. The band dove right
into “Everything Changes/Nothing Is Ever Truly Lost” and “Bicycles for
Afghanistan”, as the crowd went nuts. With no barrier and no stage, mic
grabbing and that constant feeling of “oh fuck, I’m about to fall over the
drum set” was plentiful, but enjoyable. This was it. This was everyone’s
last time to sing these songs, and everyone brought their A-game.

Next up was “XXXX (The First 1000 Years of Solitude)” and “ … But You are
Vast”, followed by “Sudan”, “I’m on the Guestlist Mother Fucker” and “Slow
Math”. “Not Dead”, and“Drugwolf” got great responses considering the album
they’re on was received with mix reviews (for being a wacky concept
album). “Animal Farm” and “Nixon” were played next, the latter being a
song I’ve rarely seen them play. Kristain called “I Am Everything I Am
Not” the band’s swan song. “Gravity/Grace” marked a highlight of the set
as it elicited a massive crowd response. Followed by “Small Skeletal” the
band was hitting all the right songs. “Amsterdamned” was played, and of
course, everyone went totally batshit; following directly into “Long Song
Titles Aren’t Cool Anymore Because You Fuckers Are No Good at It” which
provided two great songs that were firstly, about growing up with a circle
of friends in a scene that embraces you and followed by a song clearly
about those who are in it for fashion or to be trendy.

“Play It Loud Fuckers” got one of the biggest responses of the night with
the crowd being substantially louder than Kristain’s vocals. This is why
this band was so important to so many people: “Live every word, scream
every song, these four chords could save your life.”  They got it. They
understood. They played “Dark Island City” and “For Exes.” Somewhere
in-between all this one of the guitar players remarked about how blessed
they were to play music and travel the world for the last seven years. He
spoke of how when he was 14 years old his mother dropped him off at a
practice space to interview Silent Majority, and now he’s a part of the
scene, and that it needs to keep going.  I want to say the moral of the
story was literally that anyone could be a part of this if they really
wanted to.

The band closed with “I, Stateside” where everyone rushed to the front to
get the words in one last time.  Everyone sang their hearts out as
Kristain thanked the crowd and his family and friends again. That was it.
The end of one of the most important hardcore bands of this generation of
bands just played their last song for the last time. It was an incredible
experience and marked the end of an incredible journey.

In a world that is on a steady road to making less and less sense, and
where one can feel a sense of alienation and hopelessness, it was great to
see a band who represented, in a lot of ways, the hope and idealism that
so many of us are losing as we age, play for one last time and make sense
of everything for us just one more time.


1. Everything Changes
2. Bicycles For Afghanistan
4. But You Are Vast
5. Sudan
6. I’m On The Guestlist Motherfucker
7. Slow Math
8. Not Dead
9. Drugwolf
10. Animal Pharm
11. Nixion
12. I Am Everything I Am Not
13. Almost Ghostless
14. Abre Los Ojos
15. I Cannot Answer You Tonight
16. Exit Halo
17. Gravity / Grace
18. Small Skeletal
19. Amsterdamned
20. Long Song Titles Aren’t Cool Anymore Because You Fuckers are No Good
at It
21. Play It Loud Fuckers
22. Dark Island City
23. For Exes
24. I, Stateside