Swing Kids / Unbroken Reunion Show

Dave Claiborn of Unbroken

Unbroken played a reunion show with Swing Kids, Undertow, Threadbare, Portraits of Past, and Festival of Dead Deer on May 9, 2009. The show was a benefit for the Ché Cafe, San Diego Women's Shelter, and other charities. The impetus for the show was the release of a book called Burning Fight: The Nineties Hardcore Revolution in Ethics, Politics, Spirit and Sound. Four of the bands are featured in the book, and this was the first time any of the bands had played in some time...
I was particularly interested in seeing Swing Kids. I lived in San Diego during their tenure and although I only saw them a handful of times, I counted them among my favorite bands, and still do. But I was also interested in seeing Unbroken and Undertow, and I only found out that Festival of Dead Deer was playing after arriving at the show--their album is so epic and has been in fairly regular iPod rotation for most of the past ten years... they were really inspired, at least it would seem, by a Goldenrod band I put out called Tina, Age 13, and I'd only seen them a couple of times, too.

Festival of Dead Deer
Threadbare
Undertow
Swing Kids
Unbroken
Swing Kids
Portraits of Past
Unbroken
Unbroken
Unbroken
Festival of Dead Deer
Undertow
Threadbare

The show was amazing: the music from every band stands the test of time. The emotion involved in the Swing Kids and Unbroken shows was very high due to Eric Allen's lack of presence. Eric committed suicide in 1997, and this was the first time Swing Kids had played without him. Although obviously conflicted about missing Eric, short-term second guitar player and long time friend Jimmy Lavelle filled in and played Eric's part with full-on love. Swing Kids were absolutely epic.
Unbroken had played one benefit show in 1998 for Eric's family and none since. The fans who might've actually seen these bands in the nineties were in full force, and having fun, but perhaps it was the kids who were too young to have ever seen these bands before who enjoyed it the most. Screaming every word, fists in the air, it was the best parts of days gone by that somehow avoided the nostalgia feeling. And perhaps the best part for this old man was the continued acceptance by this group of kids--it seems that the hardcore kids are still the only who really don't care how old people are. And that made it all the better.
Enjoy the photos. There are more in the Band Photos section.


THE 90s SUCKED THE FIRST TIME AROUND feat UNBROKEN AND SWING KIDS PT. 1 from Leg Lifters on Vimeo.