AVAIL, Paint It Black & Kill Your Idols @ Irving Plaza (pics)

The reunited AVAIL returned to NYC for two shows at Irving Plaza over the weekend and both had amazing bills all around: Friday (10/21) had the back-in-action Paint It Black, LIHC vets Kill Your Idols, and NJHC band School Drugs; and Saturday (10/22) had reunited Michigan ska-punk greats The Suicide Machines, reunited NJ metalcore legends Deadguy, and NJ's Fuck It... I Quit!.

We caught the Friday show, and we unfortunately missed School Drugs, but there was already a big crowd in the venue when Kill Your Idols took the stage, and people were immediately into them, but they really started to shine after vocalist Andy West disappeared from the stage and reappeared to play the rest of the set on the floor up against the barricade where a cluster of hardcore KYI fans then spent the rest of the set crowding toward the mic to sing along to every word, mosh, crowd surf, and just otherwise make it feel like a small club show inside of a big club. Repping the Long Island scene even further, Andy was also wearing a Deathcycle t-shirt. Towards the end of the set a major highlight came when Deathcycle frontman (and LIHC/NYHC staple and ex-KYI drummer) Ron Grimaldi himself appeared to do some vocals -- first from the stage and then also from against the barricade.

Paint It Black came next -- playing their first NYC show in 8 years and their first show at all in something like 4 years. The Philly/NJ hardcore vets played a high energy, tight hardcore set that also was full of moshing, singalongs, and frontman Dan Yemin also played much of the set from in front of the stage up against the barricade. The Philly/NJ hardcore band are also scheduled to play The Fest in Florida, but don't expect them to disappear for so long again; their set included a new song, and Dan said a new album is recorded and ready to go. Dan's stage banter also included memories of frequenting NYC shows back when nazis were a regular fixture at shows, nazis who he pointed out are now all in office. In the wake of all the BS going on in the world right now, it was refreshing to hear both Paint it Black and Kill Your Idols get outspokenly political with their stage banter (KYI gave a little speech encouraging everybody on all sides of the left to come together).

Richmond, Virginia's AVAIL -- whose frontman Tim Barry pointed out played their first NYC show to like 4 people who weren't even there for them at CBGB in 1989 -- immediately got the crowd going wild by opening their 22-song, encore-less headlining set Friday night with "Deepwood," the first song on their 1998 melodic hardcore classic Over the James, an album they played 11 of 14 songs from over the course of the show (and that most of the crowd looked old enough to remember in real time.) Since reuniting, they've had the Over the James lineup in full: Tim, guitarist Joe Banks, bassist Justin "Gwomper" Burdick, drummer Erik Larson, and their iconic bearded hypeman (and roadie and backup singer) Beau Beau Butler who is still doing his thing, running around the stage, jumping, pointing foam fingers, talking to the crowd, and generally trying to keep things as fun as possible.

Photos of the Friday show by Stephanie Augello continue below...