When you think about the second wave of New York City hardcore, there's Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, Earth Crisis, and scene daddies Agnostic Front. You could casually dismiss Madball for its role in that classic era. And the way I see it, the reason is Madball frontman Freddy Cricien being the "younger, half-brother" of Agnostic Front leader Roger Miret.
Well, I'm not keen on that note, because while he might be the AF leader's kid sibling, Miret was a doting and loving older brother who took Cricien to punk shows in the time of CBGB's legendary Sunday Matinees.
Yup, that was Freddy in the wings, by the drum kit, taking it all in, so do not deny him his right as a pivotal and influencing member of a scene that has spawned numerous copycat acts. And when Madball formed, it was members of Agnostic Front backing young Freddy (a tween at the time) on the microphone. Over the years, not necessarily shaking off the Agnostic Front association, Cricien has surrounded himself with some NYC heavies and released a series of savagely loved albums.
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Now in his early 30s, Cricien is an elder statesman of the hardcore scene. And following this year's album, Empire, it'd be safe to expect a good set list reflecting the band's twenty-year career.
Truth be told, I feel like there might be another angle here, since The Vagabond will be hosting the event as part of its weekly (((SHAKE))) event and this will be one of their Rockers vs. Bros parties. Cricien's incursions into the world of hip-hop are well-known on the hardcore scene, so it kinda makes sense for his band to headline this bash.
I'll shy away from calling this a South Florida DMS reunion. But I will say that, on a personal note, while I'll be surrounded by good friends within a venue new to the action, I'll sorely miss not sharing the show with my dearly departed friend, Alex Del Bueno, who I know would've gotten a kick out of seeing Madball at the Vagabond.
Madball with Bitter End, Lionheart and Homestretch at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 9th at The Vagabond, 30 NE 14th St., Miami. Tickets cost $15. Call 305-379-0508 or visit www.thevagabondmiami.com.