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Fls0562 keith lyle01880

Photo © by Keith Lyle

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If you have photos from this show write us at fugazilive[at]dischord.com .

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By: gunter habets 4 months ago permalink

Whenever Fugazi played the state of New Jersey, Hoboken would be at the top of their go-to list, with the city of Trenton coming in second, the City Gardens being the regular venue of choice here.

In his recent article titled “Documentary on iconic Trenton music venue City Gardens screening in Philadelphia this week”, author Mike Davis provides some more background information which helps to paint a more vivid picture,

“At first glance, City Gardens looked like a dump.

At second glance, it wasn’t much better.

But for 15 years in the 1980s and 1990s, City Gardens was a Trenton oasis where punks, new wavers and anyone with their ear tuned to the underground turned to as a place where alternative music, at least for one night, was the norm.”

[…]

“The history of the club’s banner years is woven with the story of Randy “Now” Ellis, a mailman who turned City Gardens, the former site of U.S. 1 Motors, into a hotspot for bands traveling along the East Coast as a substitute for New York or Philadelphia.”

[…]

“Ellis left City Gardens in 1996 and, just a few months later, the club closed. Violence at the club’s shows had escalated over the years, particularly at hard-core punk concerts that often saw Trenton police officers called to the club.

After years of personal injury and insurance claims, it became too much to handle.”

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By: gunter habets 4 months ago permalink

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The recordings presented here document two consecutive Fugazi performances at the City Gardens and catapult the listener back to the summer of 1993, at the onset of a 1 ½ month tour through the US / Canada.

Even though I am having a hard time finding the right words to describe these recordings, or at least my experiences listening to them, I can easily admit that I have been enjoying both performances a great deal these last couple of weeks.

Basically, the band is in a really good mood, with Ian and Guy chatting away on multiple occasions, while the interplay is relaxed, joyous, upbeat yet on-point, with hardly any mistakes dotted around.

The audience appears welcoming, cheering the band on and actually dancing to the unfolding soundscapes, rather than obstinately engaging in violence, crowd-surfing or other types of testosteron-induced routines.

Both recordings offer a total of 19 live cuts each. If you’re a sucker for the In on the Kill Taker album, such as myself, it is worth mentioning that both set lists draw extensively from this particular release, and that the album is actually featured in its entirety between these two nights at the City Gardens.

Particularly worth highlighting in this regard are Walken’s Syndrome, a song that often succumbs to its intrinsic maelstrom of swirling guitars but comes together nicely on both nights here, Instrument (first night), and Last Chance for a Slow Dance which comes off absolutely astonishing, featuring an alternate, drawn-out instrumental intro.

Other than this, a moderate number of songs from their earlier work is thrown in the mix as well, including stand-out renderings of Sieve-Fisted Find, a rare-ish 1993 performance of Bulldog Front, a freewheeling take on Shut the Door clocking in at approximately 8 ½ minutes, And The Same, or Reprovisional (tagged with a handful of Roadrunner lines by The Modern Lovers).

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By: gunter habets 4 months ago permalink

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Plus, note that the recording of the second night opens with a down-and-dirty, sludgy, grinding early instrumental rendition of By You, which would not see its official studio release until the 1995 Red Medicine album.

As to the sound quality, I find that Brendan’s drums, or cymbals more specifically, are a bit much up there at times, loud and on the shrill side of things, while the vocals are slightly in the back on the recording of the first night, particularly during the first couple of songs. The recording of the second night appears slightly better in this regard, the vocals coming out more up front altogether.

However, note that the audio is essentially really good and highly enjoyable overall. If anything, the specifics of these recordings add to the live ambiance of the experience, especially since the audience pitches in from time to time as well.

Note that the aforementioned documentary dedicated to the City Gardens and its promotor Randy “Now” Ellis, “Riot on the Dance Floor”, features, inter alia, interviews with artists Ian MacKaye, HR, Harley Flanagan (Cro-Mags), Tim McMahon (Mouth Piece), and of course the illustrious Randy Ellis himself as well as numerous concert excerpts at the infamous venue.

Also, in 2014, authors Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico published a book on the City Gardens scene, “No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of New Jersey’s Legendary City Gardens.” This title is available through Dischord.

By: Jim Gatta about 4 years ago permalink

I was at this show. Drove up with friends from Philadelphia. Had seen Fugazi a few times at this point and knew to expect complete awe. They did not disappoint. Enjoyed the Lunachicks too. Great show.

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Fugazi Live Series FLS0562 Fugazi Trenton, NJ USA 8/18/93

If you had a different price in mind for this download Click Here.
Show Date:
 1993-08-18
Venue:
 City Gardens
Door Price:
 5
Attendance:
 1000
Played with:
 Lunachicks
Recorded by
 Joey Picuri
Mastered by
 Warren Russell-Smith
Original Source:
 DAT
Sound Quality:
 Poor Good Very Good Excellent
Play Sample Track
1. Intro
2. By You Instrumental
3. Reclamation
4. Cassavetes
5. Interlude 1
6. Great Cop
7. Dear Justice Letter
8. And The Same
9. Walken's Syndrome
10. Interlude 2
11. 23 Beats Off
12. Two Beats Off
13. Interlude 3
14. Suggestion
15. Give Me The Cure
16. Song #1
17. Interlude 4
18. Smallpox Champion
19. Returning The Screw
20. Interlude 5
21. Reprovisional
22. Encore
23. Repeater
24. Rend It
25. Interlude 6
26. Instrument
27. Sweet and Low
28. Outro

Please Note: Available recordings have been mastered to correct for volume shifts, drop outs, etc. but some sonic anomalies will still exist, especially early in the set when the mix is being settled. The band has rated each show for sound quality and set the general price of a download at $5 per show. If you have a different price in mind feel free to utilize the alternative pricing option.