Sick Of It All Live Review

THE world of hardcore can be impenetrable to those who stand outside looking in, a wall of aggressive music and full on rage on the vocals. But immerse yourself in it and suddenly it all makes sense.

The catharsis to those unwilling to sound their own rage, the power electrifying anger, and beneath it all a crowd of people standing for what they believe.

On February 2nd, 2015 in Belfast’s Limelight2 hardcore breathed its fiery retort to society as New York’s Sick Of It All bellowed out their rants of musical might.

Opening the evening’s proceedings were Dublin act Murdock, who put in a straightforward performance, which lacked a bit of punch. They need to tighten up their onstage performance and arrangements if they are to reach the next level.

But Belfast’s By Any Means are already reaching new heights. Despite being without a singer for a while they have been able to recruit sufficiently high quality stand-ins. Two Tales of Woe singer Carl King was the choice for the Sick Of It All shows.

His work rate on stage was phenomenal, raging and mobile, leaping off the stage, full of venom, encouraging those familiar with their songs to join in; members of the crowd singing in unison to hardcore anthems such as ‘Built On Respect’, and getting Defyed frontman, Wayne on stage to join in the merriment.

From the moment Sick Of Iit All rolled on to the stage they owned the venue, owned the crowd and brought smiles and roars in equal measure. Lou and Pete in perfect synch wit Craig and Armand as they set off with ‘Good Looking Out’ and ‘Sound the Alarm’ – the latter from their most release ‘Last Act of Defiance’.

Throughout the 20-plus sing set Sick Of It All delivered on all levels, with Lou cajoling the crowd ti ever higher levels, such as introducing ‘Sanctuary’ as a “love song”.

The passion they displayed throughout the set was not only admirable, but it was contagious.

The likes of ‘Clobbering Time’, ‘Death or Jail’, ‘Machete’, ‘Step Down’ were all delivered bang-on and the whole thing ran like clockwork chaos captured in 3-D screamage.

Dispensing with the nipping off stage before the conclusion Sick Of It All ended on a high with ‘Us vs. Them’.

There is no-one who can doubt that Sick Of It All are amongst the old school hardcore bands that have maintained their energy and have not waned or let their rage die into embers; they are the very model of how to keep the anger fresh and still enjoy every second on stage.

Review by Jonny Photography by Darren McVeigh

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