By the summer of 1995, I had been going to hardcore shows for 4 1/2 years and, although I liked a lot of the current crop of bands, I wouldn't say that I LOVED any of them. My favorite hardcore bands were mostly from the mid to late 80's and from Southern California; and that sound was all but dead by the mid 90's. My friend Bill had gone on a road trip to see Mouthpiece (whom I liked) play with hometown glory boys Snapcase and near death metal Bloodlet (whom I also liked). He came back saying "Dude, I just saw your favorite new band!" and gave me two seven inch records to listen to. Those records were by a band called Ignite. I fell in love with Ignite the second I heard the song "Straight Ahead." Now I've never able to confirm if the band ACTUALLY had members of Uniform Choice, like I was told they did, but members of No For An Answer and Unity was the selling point that also went straight to my heart.
|Ignite got added last second and didn't make the flyer.|
literally 6 days after that show were my friends "discovered" Ignite, we drove out the NJ and saw them play twice in one day. In the afternoon, they played a basement show in New Brunswick, NJ, later that evening, they played a Knights of Columbus in Boonton, NJ. The basement show was packed and awesome. Some guys from Mouthpiece played the Justice League song "Chain of Strength" with Casey, Ignite's drummer, who had sung for JL, singing. We grabbed a quick bite, braved NJ traffic, and drove the hour or so (the "hour or so" drive ended up taking more like two hours) to Boonton, following another car full of people, who we didn't know, that had some hardcore stickers on the back of it . We had no idea where the show was other than the town and, on top of that, the car we were following had no idea that we were relying on them to lead us there, so we lost them. We kind of meandered around Boonton a little trying to find the "legion hall" where the show was going on, but had no luck. We finally went to a gas station and I asked the clerk if he knew where "the legion hall that had bands playing at it" was. He wasn't sure, but said that there was a Knight of Columbus not too far from there. A couple of turns later and we were there. I remember standing outside for a little bit, but we basically got there just in time to see Ignite.
|The flyer for the show that I lifted from someone's Instagram|
So, ON THIS DATE, 22 years ago, you know, like TODAY, I saw Ignite and they were so awesome. I saw them literally 3 more times in NJ that summer and played shows with them during the Halfmast summer '95 tour (eventually No Reason and The Control played with them as well). Below is a video of the Boonton show that someone was nice enough to upload last year.
I traveled all over to see them from 1995 until around 1998. I sent in an email, to throw my hat in the game, when it was announced that they were looking for a guitar player after Joe Foster left. I remember the email said to learn two songs that were my least favorite of Past Our Means and I never followed up (it was a long shot anyway). but without Joe's guitar playing, it wasn't the same for me, I didn't get the same visceral feeling from A Place Called Home like I had with their previous records and their shows on this century's side didn't connect with me. Not that it's bad per se, it's just for someone else. I like to think I love Ignite for what they were rather that what they became.