ABC No Rio Hardcore Matinees 1990 - 1991: A Visual Retrospective

Rorschach, 1990. (Photo: Tracy Sham)

Not to take anything away from the subsequent years and decades of shows that are still happening at the NYC venue every weekend, but the first two years of Saturday matinees at ABC No Rio were an incredibly exhilarating time. To help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the matinees, ABC No Rio will be hosting an exhibit opening on May 7 with a screening and presentation on May 15. The exhibit is meant to highlight the various volunteers, bands, photographers, fanzine editors, and show attendees that built the matinees from the ground up.

Retrospectives are a tricky proposition, as nothing short of a time machine can really transport one back to the sights and sounds of a specific era. So, we've chosen to do the next best thing: throw an event filled with as many amazing images from those times as possible, round up the original organizers to do presentations, and screen some vintage footage that no one's ever seen.

In short, we've done everything possible to try and recreate the magical vibe of those early days. If you plan on coming to the exhibit, suspend your disbelief for a bit and soak up the ambiance. It helps that, while the neighborhood surrounding the club has drastically changed, the facade and interior of the building remains pretty much the same since the '90s.

SFA, 1990. (Photo: Justine DeMetrick)
Yuppicide, 1990. (Photo: Chris Boarts Larson)
Ted Leo (Citizen's Arrest, Chisel) and Sam McPheeters (Born Against), 1990. (Photo: Justine DeMetrick)
Matinee flyer, 1990. (Artwork: Pat Winter of Citizens Arrest)
Nausea, 1991. (Photo: Chris Boarts Larson)
Born Against, 1990. (Photo: Brett Beach)
Matinee flyer, 1991.
Burn, 1990. (Photo: Boiling Point fanzine)
Matinee crowd, 1990. (Photo: Tracy Sham)
Born Against, 1990. (Photo: Boiling Point fanzine)
Matinee flyer, 1990. (Artwork: Printed Matter fanzine)
Krakdown, 1990. (Photo: Jon Hiltz of Born Against, Greyhouse)
Food Not Bombs benefit flyer, 1991.
Citizens Arrest, 1990. (Photo: Chuck Miller)
Outside of ABC No Rio, 1990. (Photo: Brett Beach)
Born Against, 1990. (Photo: Chuck Miller)
Matinee flyer, 1991.
Neurosis, 1990. (Photo: Chris Boarts Larson)
Charles Maggio (Rorschach), John Woods (Hell No), and Adam Nathanson (Born Against), 1991.
(Photo: Justine DeMetrick)
Go!, 1990. (Photo: Justine DeMetrick)

Here is the information for the photo exhibit:

ABC No Rio
156 Rivington St.
New York, NY 10002

Part 1: May 7, Opening Reception
Part 2: May 15, Screening and Presentation

The exhibit will be up from May 7 to June 4 as part of Lower East Side History Month and was funded in part with support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Viewing Times:
Wednesdays and Thursdays: 6pm - 9pm
Sundays: 3pm - 5pm