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Unsane

Orlando Fairgrounds August 6, 1998

by Keith Mercer

First, I'd like to share some images I get when I think of Unsane. Blood on subway tracks. Inner city mobs rioting. The mean streets of New York City. A 100-mile per hour car crash. You get my drift here? Not exactly the band most likely to play your next baby shower. Not unless your baby likes blood, riots, mean streets, or car crashes, at which time I could recommend a good therapist. So on trudges Unsane on a hot afternoon in Florida to display something I am prepared to be one of the scariest experiences of my life. Wisely, I think the band realized that the scary gig loses its menace when the hour is closer to noon than midnight. They went for cordial. "Thanks, everyone, for sticking around. There aren't many bands like us on this tour, so it is nice to see us get some support... " So much for my carefully constructed image.

Unsane has canceled, by my estimation, two highly-publicized shows in the Orlando area in the past years. I thought perhaps things would find a way to go wrong this time as well, but soon three tall, angry men strode onto the second stage at Warped tour. After that was what I would describe as a whirlwind of unrelenting noise, unrelenting screaming, and unrelenting fury.

Did I mention unrelenting? The set stuck mainly to songs on the recent Occupational Hazard CD, with a few from the previous CD thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, nothing older than that cropped up, but I'm not complaining. My tops of the set would go to "Sick" (which was exactly that) and "Scrape" (you know, the one on MTV), which I can't hear without seeing all of those poor skater kids straddling handrails after less than successful attempts at a solid ollie-to-railslide. Ouch. All told, the show was worth the wait. The set was T-U-F-F, tough.