Reflecting on the Impact of Middlesex County College Hardcore Shows in the ‘90s

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I am always ready and willing to celebrate the great state of New Jersey. Springsteen, Misfits, the Paramus Park Mall, Wildwood, and my family (in that order) solidify its greatness. It also happens to be home to some truly iconic hardcore shows, all of which took place at Middlesex County College in Edison. 

This was first of a few shows held here that I had the honor and privilege of witnessing. The bill featured Sick of It All, Vision, Up Front, Mouthpiece, and Ressurection. I had Sick of It All's Blood, Sweat and No Tears memorized, and I think I still do. Up Front performed with the Daybreak lineup, and it was their last show, at least on paper.

Either way, I was stoked to be there for it. Mouthpiece and Ressurection were new names to me, but a record release show for both bands is a great introduction. 

Finally, and if I’m being honest, this whole thing to me is about Vision. I could probably spend a few dozen pages or many hours in conversation about what an impact Vision’s In the Blink of an Eye album had on me.

I’ve been, and continue to be turned on to new music. Like a lot of people, I was obsessed with hearing new bands, mostly by way of whatever my peers suggested. However, finding things on my own, on instinct, or whatever you want to call it, always resonated with me. I remember buying In the Blink of an Eye on cassette, and it rarely leaving my Walkman. It was, and still is, perfect. Seeing Vision play those songs, a band from the great state of New Jersey, in the great state of New Jersey, was a once in a lifetime moment.

There were so many great shows at MCC. I went to all of them with Matt Wieder (Miracle Drug, Love & Trust, Mouthpiece), who has been my go-to for any nostalgia-based hardcore info.

I asked Matt for any memories of that show: "I lost my wallet crowd surfing to Mouthpiece and found it in the hallway with all the money still in it.” Which is a testament to how great this place was. Also, (somewhat ironically) Matt recalls “I only had enough money to buy one 7" and I bought Ressurection instead of Mouthpiece...” A real Sophie’s Choice moment for sure. 

Upon reflecting on this golden moment in '90s hardcore, I wasn’t sure if I knew how good I had it, but looking back, I think I did.  

Tagged: 90s hardcore week