What is Hardcore Norfolk?

About Hardcore Norfolk


Background story by Ed Guy, an original member of Hardcore Norfolk

So, in the summer of 1984, Dominic’s in Norfolk and The Wave in VA Beach, both had almost all of the hardcore/punk rock shows in the area. Dominic’s were mostly Friday and Saturday shows, and The Wave had Sunday afternoon all-age shows. I remember seeing bands like The Vandals, Agent Orange and Scream (Dave Grohl on the drums, still one of the best live music shows I have ever seen).

As the shows slowly petered out at those venues, Mike Anarchy, who wasn’t attending Old Dominion University like the rest of us, but was living just off campus, came up with the idea for an all-ages venue that was big enough to attract national big name punk bands and have the local bands warm up for them. Connection Hall was where they had gospel revivals in the back and they had a religious store in the front that sold Bibles, candles, and other trinkets. Mike Anarchy organized the shows and was responsible for the concept. He booked the bands, ran the door, got the PA—it was his idea and his baby.

Not sure where he is now but he ran out of town sort of suddenly, think his real last name was Andersen. I befriended him after the first show and as we became friends, I helped him build the stage, put up flyers, doing whatever I could to help out. Bad Brains, Agnostic Front, and other bands of that caliber played at what became known as Hardcore Norfolk—a total DIY operation.

The Team

  • Brian McDonald (Contributing Writer) Brian McDonald (Contributing Writer)

    I am a 49-year-old child who refuses to grow up and put away his childish ways.  I have lived in the Tidewater/Hampton Roads/7-Cities/Coastal Virginia (wtf, decide on a name) area my entire life.  If I'm not in the Atlantic Ocean with one of my daughters, I'm listening to punk, metal, hardcore, or any hybrid of the three.  I still think I'll be the drummer in a killer band one day.  I'm really just a simple fan of truthful, brutal music, and happy if that's all I ever am.

  • Bryan Lewis Bryan Lewis

    I’m a 30-something nihilist who has been a part of the local music scene since 1999. I ran my own studio for many years and have been in several bands, most famously ‘The Gloom!’, ‘Humanoids from the Deep’ and currently Kant Avec. I started doing standup comedy in 2014. You can usually find me in the back bar of Public House in Ghent or at a local show. I started hosting a now infamous local radio show in April 2016, which is the genesis of my podcast ‘All Kidding Aside with Bryan Lewis’.

  • Debra Persons (The Hardcore Bitch) Debra Persons (The Hardcore Bitch)

    I am a middle aged stay-at-home mom with a degree in literature from O.D.U. who never got over my love for punk rock. As a lifelong resident of Tidewater, I have a love of and need for time by the ocean, as well as live music experiences. Grey, my husband and playmate of almost 30 years, couldn't agree more. You'll find us either in front of the stage or surfside....

  • Gunther 8544 (Contributing Writer) Gunther 8544 (Contributing Writer)

    My favorite thing to do while "getting my Ghent on" is drinking an iced coffee from the deck of Elliot's Fair Grounds and giving the evil eye to sippers across the street at Starbucks. Per softer lenses, I used to stare longingly at the neon cactus beaming through an adjacent window. Alas, even desert plants eventually wither.

  • Paul Unger (Webmaster) Paul Unger (Webmaster)

    I am from Detroit originally, growing up with a lot of rock 'n' roll, it's in my blood, and love to help out whenever I can.  I have a Bachelors in business admin. from University of Detroit Mercy, love obscure live tracks from my favorite bands and dig happy people.  I love being in Norfolk, VA and am happy to be part of the community.