Trenton, NJ – Backroom at The Championship Bar
Toxic Holocaust, Ramming Speed, In Defence, Paralysis, Valacar, Midnite Hellion
Tonight was In Defence’s first gig with Toxic Holocaust and Ramming Speed, and it was definitely a night to remember. I am exhausted from drinking, moshing, and eating, and I’ve got to write this review as quickly as I can—the last few nights I’ve been up until five or six in the morning writing these bastards, and if tomorrow night is anything like tonight, I’m going to need some extra rest and energy.
We left Philadelphia around 2 PM, and made it to The Championship Bar in Trenton, New Jersey in under an hour. We bummed around Trenton for a couple of hours, taking in some sights and enjoying the warm weather. Ben Crew and I were goofing around in a convenience store, and Ben decided to purchase a gallon of whole milk… I knew this was something sinister right off the bat, so I pulled out my camera and turned it on right as we walked out the front door. Ben told me he was going to attempt ‘The Vegan Challenge’—I have no fucking clue what ‘The Vegan Challenge’ is, and I don’t think Ben did, either)—and without preamble began to chug the entire gallon. He got about ¾ of the way through then suddenly sprayed milk everywhere, threw the carton down, and said, “fuck it, I guess I lose.”
link: Ben Crew Chugs Milk
Once we arrived back at the venue, we finally met the guys in Toxic Holocaust andRamming Speed. I talked to Nick Rage, Toxic’s drummer, about their song “Bitch” being used in the T.V. show ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ and we were able to catch the opening local acts:Paralysis & Valacar were awesome old-school thrash (played by young kids, too!), andMidnite Hellion laid down some epic, symphonic power-metal. In Defence put on their tightest performance so far on this tour, and when people weren’t moshing for some of their crazier numbers, I started up a couple of circle pits and got people ready for Toxic Holocaust and Ramming Speed.
Ramming Speed went on around 9:30, and instantly brought the place down with their unique blend of death-thrash, combining intense grooves with stomping mosh riffs. Toxic Holocaust went on shortly thereafter, and it was absolutely my favorite performance I’ve seen of theirs: they played tight as hell, the crowd was energetic and excited, and the overall atmosphere was intimate and incredible. It’s one thing to see a band you love in a huge, sold-out venue, but it’s something else entirely to see that same band destroy a medium-sized room, then exit the stage to a rush of fans and autograph-seekers.
We stood around drinking Yuengling and bullshitting with Toxic Holocaust and Ramming Speed after the show, and the members of both those bands are really relaxed and down-to-earth. I helped Nick Rage load Toxic’s gear out, then went and shotgunned a couple beers with Ramming Speed in their handicap-bus-turned-tour-van. In Defence hit the road back to Philadelphia around 1:30 AM, and we got back to Loopy’s house around 2 AM. I would write more about how awesome tonight was, but honestly I’m wiped out and ready to drink the rest of this Hamm’s and go to bed. Tomorrow is our 2nd day with Toxic Holocaust and Ramming Speed, and if tonight was any indicator, it will be a fucking rager. Thanks for reading, I will post again tomorrow when my wits are gathered. Stay safe, and nuke that fucking cross.