The Atlantis recently played host to New York’s legendary post-hardcore band, Quicksand. This tour marked the 30th anniversary of the band’s debut album, Slip. In honor of that achievement, Quicksand is playing the album in its entirety. The band played the album in tracklist order.
When Slip was released in 1993, it made waves in the heavy alternative and experimental metal crowds with its unique sound. The album was a combination of jagged riffing, Joy Division influenced bass, and aggressive barked but melodic vocals. There is an equal amount of The Cure and Swans found throughout the album’s 12 tracks.
Check out a video of “Fazer” from Slip by Quicksand here on YouTube.
At The Atlantis on Nov. 1, Quicksand emerged on stage after the opener, Glitterer, wrapped up, and without saying a word, tore into Track ! of Slip, “Fazer.” The energy of the crowd immediately increased.
Quicksand’s music is aggressive and intense. I was prepared for a faithful rendering of the album. What I was not prepared for was how much fun the band was having on stage. I’ve seen many shows where bands are heavy and it shows in the performance; lots of scowls, grimaces, and staring.
Quicksand, however, was having a blast at The Atlantis. Singer and guitarist Walter Schreifels was smiling, laughing, running, and jumping all over the stage.
Quicksand is a four-piece band with three of the members being originals. In addition to Walter Schreifels, the other original members are bassist Sergio Vega and drummer Alan Cage. Joining them is additional guitarist Stephen Brodsky.
Stephen may have been even more excited to be playing Slip than the other guys! But Stephen is no rookie. He’s been in incredible bands like Mutoid Man and Cave In, so he’s a great fit for Quicksand.
The show proceeded in album order and the crowd’s energy was high the entire time! Quicksand played the album to perfection. The music still sounded so fresh and the band so full of energy that it’s hard to believe this is a 30th anniversary tour. In fact, the only giveaway that the album is hitting a landmark anniversary was the crowd. The music was loud and aggressive, but there was no mosh pit, no fighting, no aggression from within the crowd. They were as happy to be there as the band! That made the show one of my favorites of the year!
After the band played all of Slip, Walter thanked everyone for coming out, exclaiming “That was Slip!”
The show wasn’t over, though. Quicksand’s fourth and most recent album, Distant Populations, was released in 2021 and first, post-Slip song they played was “Colossus” from that album. After that brief excursion to the present, the band quickly jumped back to their second album, Manic Compression, and tore through a perfect version of “Thorn In My Side.” When “Thorn” concluded, Walter made the obligatory band introductions: Sergio Vega on bass, Alan Cage on drums, himself on guitar and vocals, and Stephen on guitar.
But after that, Walter began talking about the venue and the DC music scene of the ’80s and ’90s. He reminisced about how important DC bands were to him in his youth and how they felt they had a special connection with the area for that reason. He continued by talking about the old 9:30 Club and how impressed they all were with The Atlantis. They sure didn’t miss the infamous poles, though, and were sure to tell us all that!
Quicksand wrapped up the evening with a slightly extended version of “Landmine Spring,” another song from Manic Compression. After that, the show was over.
This show was incredible. The band was tight, the venue was intimate, the crowd was amazing. It make me excited for a (fingers crossed) Manic Compression anniversary tour!
- Head To Wall
- Dine Alone
- Freezing Process
- Lie And Wait
- Can Opener
- Too Official
- Thorn In My Side
- Landmine Spring
Here are some photos of Quicksand performing at The Atlantis in DC on Nov. 1, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Marc Shea.