Archive for live

Youth Of Today Live In Philly (8/4/16)

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect seeing Youth Of Today play Union Transfer for Day 1 of the annual Philly fest: This Is Hardcore.  Youth Of Today, along with Gorilla Biscuits were one of the most influential hardcore bands of their time, and with people in the audience ranging from 18 to well into their 40s and 50s, it’s clear they’ve left a legacy.  I’ve been listening to them for many years and never got to see them, but wasn’t sure if it would be an explosive, energetic set or more of a nostalgia act since they officially disbanded back in 1990 with the occasional reunion show.

Union Transfer was pretty packed out when Youth Of Today were setting up, and the place waited in anticipation as they took the stage and… worked through amp issues for the a decent amount of time.  But once they finally got that working, HOLY SHIT.  With the opening of two chords and vocalist Ray shouting “We’re back!” in unison with the crowd, the place immediately erupted into a barrage of stage dives and a pit as they ripped through “Flame Still Burns”.  Doubts anyone may have had about them slowing down in their old age were put to rest with Ray running and jumping all over the stage, constantly getting pounced and piled on by the crowd.

Musically the band sounded tight as ever, not missing a beat throughout their energetic set.  Ray joked with the crowd, talking about how he and other members have children of their own now and how they would never let their kids near any of us in the hardcore scene.   Preaching about positive change, how everyone wants everything to change, but no one wants to change themselves, the band also touched upon Hare Krishna without ever directly mentioning it with universal principles such as love for all beings including people, animals, and trees.

Ripping through plenty from all of their releases, there was never a dull moment… whether it was the constant pit, the non-stop flips in the crowd, and Ray keeping things interesting on stage with yoga poses before jumping right back into the thick of things.

Seriously, this Youth Of Today set was one of the best and fun hardcore shows I’ve been to in recent memory.  If you’re lucky enough to have them play near you, definitely go.

Flame Still Burns
Take A Stand
Positive Outlook
Potential Friends
Make A Change
Put It Aside
Can’t Close My Eyes
Thinking Straight
No More
Youth Of Today
Slow Down
Standing Hard
Youth Crew
A Time We’ll Remember
Free At Last
Break Down The Walls

Youth Of Today – Flame Still Burns

The Bouncing Souls Live In Asbury Park, NJ (7/29/16)


This past Friday, I headed to beach town Asbury Park to catch my favorite band and NJ punk legends The Bouncing Souls.  Souls shows in Asbury are always my favorite and make me nostalgic… the first time I ever saw them was back in 2003 in Asbury Park.  I’ve gone pretty much every year to their Home For The Holidays show since it’s inception, but with them announcing this last one would be their final, maybe this new “Stoked For The Summer” will be a new tradition.

Playing the outdoor stage at The Stone Pony, the show was also a record release show for their new Simplicity album that came out (I need to post a review up soon, but I’m digging it so far).  I was hoping to get there in time for The Explosion, but unfortunately missed them.  I got there right in time for Rocket From The Crypt.

Rocket From The Crypt:


I never heard of San Diego’s Rocket From The Crypt before, but it was easy to mistake them for a ska band when they took the stage with the matching outfits and the horns.  They instead played punk influenced rock and roll, with plenty of fun songs that had a few in the crowd singing along and dancing.

It seemed like most people definitely seemed to be enjoying them, and it made me curious to go through their discography and check out some of their recorded work.  With a bit of of a Murder City Devils / Supersuckers vibe to them and put on an enjoyable set.

The Bouncing Souls:

bouncing souls

The crowd was getting antsy for the Souls to start, with a the obligatory chants of “OLE” and “HERE WE GO” before they took the stage.  I wasn’t really sure if their setlist was going to be comprised of their new songs off Simplicity (which I’ve been listening to nonstop since they posted the stream online), but taking the stage and immediately opening with “Here We Go”, the NJ veterans kicked things off in a frenzy with us in the crowd opening a pit that didn’t really let up for the entirety of the night.

The Bouncing Souls ripped through a few of their classics, with songs like “Quick Check Girl”, “Cracked”, and “Kid”, but played a few of the newer songs live as well.  I really liked hearing the new ones live, and they definitely are more reminiscent of the band’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation/Anchors Aweigh days than the mellow sound we’ve been getting from them lately.

The band themselves appeared to be in high spirits, with singer Greg getting the crowd to welcome his parents who were at the show and who genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself throughout the set.  Maybe it was the energy of just releasing a new album, but they definitely did seem stoked to be playing.  The show had a pretty laid back feel, with the Souls joking about “who needs to practice” after messing up a verse (not that anyone in the crowd really cared) and taking a break in the middle of the set to have the crowd turn to the back and sing happy birthday to their friend and manager Kate.

A fun show as usual, I was worried after the announcement of Home For The Holidays wouldn’t be a thing anymore that the band wouldn’t find much time to play in NJ anymore regularly with the members all living in different state, but I’m really hoping Stoked For The Summer becomes a new tradition.  I’ve seen the Souls well over 30-40 times now, and they still manage to make everything better.

Setlist (From what I remember, not in order)
Here We Go
Sing Along Forever
Driving All Night
Say Anything
Kate Is Great
Punks In Vegas
Gravity (I think)
Quick Check Girl
Hopeless Romantic
Lean On Sheena
Writing On The Wall (I think)
The Something Special
The Freaks The Nerds And The Romantics
Moon Over Asbury
Ghosts On The Boardwalk (acoustic)
The Gold Song
Joe Lies (When He Cries)
Writing On The Wall (I think)
True Believers
East Coast Fuck You
Night On Earth

Bouncing Souls-Joe Lies (When He Cries)

Token Entry Live In Philly (7/24/16)

Token Entry is one of the most influential hardcore bands that you might have never heard of.  Hailing from NYC back in the 80s, they helped shape the hardcore scene in New York, influencing bands like H2O and even giving Gorilla Biscuits (still unnamed at the time) their first gig.  Hell, even The Bouncing Souls named their record label after lead singer Timmy Chunks.

Token Entry doesn’t really play much anymore besides the very occasional reunion show (I got to see them a few years back with The Bouncing Souls), they reunited to play a benefit show up in NYC, and with pretty short notice announced a show in Philly over at Underground Arts.

I was driving back from spending a weekend in Long Island and going straight to the show, and hit a lot of traffic on my way, thinking I was going to be late to the show.  I did miss every opener unfortunately, but lucked out and got there literally 2 minutes before Token Entry started playing.

Playing the smaller, more intimate side stage, the room had a decent amount of people for a late Sunday night show and I was actually on the younger spectrum of people there at the ripe age of 31 (something that does not happen very often to me at punk/hardcore shows for me anymore…)

Opening with The Fire, Token Entry set things off as plenty of us shouted along piled on Timmy Chunks throughout the set.  Everyone seemed to be in pretty high spirits as the band ripped through their songs, playing tracks off of their first two albums Beneath The Streets and Jaybird

The band reminisced about how their first show ever was actually in Philadelphia, how they came down to support Underdog as friends and drummer Ernie was playing drums in Underdog at the time, and they played an impromptu show in the basement.   Pushing the monitors aside, Timmy jumped into the crowd and made room for people to stage dive, complaining “those were just in the way”.  While there may not have been a constant pit, there were constantly people rushing the stage.  A fun, tight set (even with the declaration of forgetting the words during Latent Images before announcing “I know this one for sure” and breaking into fan favorite Jaybird) I’m glad I finally got to see Token Entry in a smaller environment.  Shows from them are rare, but if you dig bands like Youth Of Today, Underdog, and Gorilla Biscuits, you definitely need to give Token Entry a listen.

The Fire
Bright Side
Token Entry
Latent Images
The Whip
The Edge

Token Entry – Jaybird

The Holy Mess, Direct Hit Live In Philly (7/8/16)

This past Friday I was faced with a bit of a dilemma, as there were two shows I wanted to see at the same time.  My beloved World Inferno Friendship Society was playing at Philly’s Trocadero, but Direct Hit and Philly locals Holy Mess were playing the more intimate coffee shop The Pharmacy.  I opted to go to The Pharmacy show for a few reasons… cheaper, wanted a smaller intimate show, but probably most importantly, potentially the last time I get to see The Holy Mess.  There were rumors that it was their last show, and they made the announcement official on their twitter last week.

I got there right in the middle of Pkew Pkew Pkew, who’ve I’ve never heard of before but played a solid set of pop-punk in the veins of The Copyrights.  Toronto punks singing songs about skating as adults, pizza, and being broke (you know, the typical pop-punk topics) they put on an entertaining set and have me listening to their albums now.  Tight stuff, give it a shot if you dig straightforward pop-punk.

Direct Hit:

I’ve caught Direct Hit a few times now and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite pop-punk bands around, but after seeing them open for NOFX a few months ago, I really wanted to see them in a small, barricade-less venue again.  Direct Hit clearly was feeling the same, saying it was nice to be able to “suck again” after they played a few huge stadium shows opening for Blink-182.

Direct Hit was touring to support their latest Fat Wreck release Wasted Mind, and their setlist was obviously heavy with the new tracks.  The crowd stayed rowdy throghout the entirety of the set, making the small “can only hold 6 people across” room a chaotic and fun whirlwind.

Joking with the crowd about how there was no pressure to play well, how they are allowed to talk on stage now and how they’ve only been spit on once in their entire life and of course it was in Philly, Direct Hit kept things light hearted and fun.

I really enjoyed the new songs live, they definitely had more of an edge to them then they do on the album, and while I do like the album a lot I felt like it was a little overproduced, so it was good to hear them in their raw form.  A solid set, Direct Hit is one of the best bands playing pop-punk these days, go check them out.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order):
Paid In Brains
Artificial Confidence
Was It The Acid
Infinite Pills and Infinite Alcohol
Do The Sick (I think)
Buried Alive
Snickers Or Reeses
Kingdom Come
Werewolf Shame
They Came For Me
We’re Fucked

Holy Mess:
holy mess

Lastly were Philly’s The Holy Mess, a staple of Philly punk for years now.  I’ve seen them in plenty of houses, dive bars, church basement, etc.  Unfortunately the band confirmed that the rumors were true and this would indeed be their last show.

Deciding to forgo the stage and play right on the floor, it felt just like a house show as The Holy Mess.  Furthering the house show feel was in typical Holy Mess fashion the band announced that they didn’t have a setlist, but mostly played songs off their last 3 releases (newest Trash Age EP, Comfort In The Dischord, and Cande Ru Las Vegas).

There was clearly an energetic yet bittersweet feeling in the air, but the band played a really tight set, and before I knew it they were announcing that they were about to play their last song, a song off Trash Age.

A solid show as usual, here’s to hoping they change their mind.  While you probably won’t get a chance to catch them live (unless they decide to reunite for a show here and there… and in an age where Danzig reunites with the Misfits, who the fuck knows what will happen) but for the time being, definitely check out their albums if you dig bands like The Menzingers.  So long fellas, it’s been real.

Setlist (From what I remember, not in order)
It’s All Fun And Games Til Someone Gets Heard
Spencer Reid
Liza And Louisana
Goodbye 3713
Asleep In A Room Full Of Dog Shit
Captain We’re Drinking
For The Press
Trash Age
Flesh Of The Fresh, Blood Of The Dove (I think)
Caught Like This

Holy Mess – Spencer Reid
Direct Hit! – I Told You A Lie

Leftover Crack, Days N Daze Live In Philly (6/15/16)

You know what’s a beautiful thing?  The fact that it’s 2016 and Leftover Crack can still pack a show on a random Wednesday night.  A few weeks back I headed to Philly’s Underground Arts to catch the crack steady rockers, and got there about halfway through Days N Daze set.

Days N Daze:

days n daze

I’ve never seen or heard of Houston’s Days N Daze before, but armed with horns, banjos, guitars, and an array of percussion instruments, these guys and gals played a style that was reminiscent of if Stza of Leftover Crack decided to play folk punk similar to instead (seriously, the singer of Days N Daze sounds like him).

Reminding me a bit of Philly’s own Mischief Brew, Days N Daze played an energetic set with plenty of crust punks jumping around the pit, and had a decent following who showed up just for them (and hung around outside the rest of the show with their own banjos).

If you dig folk punk, give these Houston punks a listen.  Besides having a name that sounds more like it would be a Slightly Stoopid album than a folk punk band, they were really tight.

Leftover Crack:


I’ve seen Leftover Crack a handful of times over the years, and have been listening to them for as long as I can remember (ok, maybe 15 years)… and it never ceases to amaze me how fun of a show they still play.

Leftover Crack took the stage and opening with “Nazi White Trash”, the place turned rowdy immediately with a circle pit opening and people furiously trying to skank.  It was a typical Leftover Crack set, with plenty of Choking Victim covers thrown in and older songs, although they did sprinkle in a few new ones as well.  I really enjoyed their latest album Constructs Of The State, and if the crowd reaction was any indication, plenty of others did as well.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order):
Nazi White Trash
Don’t Shoot
Life Is Pain
One Dead Cop
Infested (Choking Victim)
Slave To The Throne
Bedbugs & Beyond
Gay Rude Boys Unite
Stop The Insanity
500 Channels (Choking Victim)
Jesus Has A Place For Me (Rock the 40oz)
Born To Die (Choking Victim)
Crack City Rockers
Crack Rock City (Choking Victim)
Gang Control

Leftover Crack – Rock The 40 oz

Constructs Of The State
Morning Glory – Poets Were My Heroes
Leftover Crack – Rock The 40 Oz
INDK – Kill Whitey
Star Fucking Hipsters – Never Rest In Peace

The Virus, Blanks 77, PEARS Live In Asbury Park (6/11/16)

virus flier

After Punk Rock Bowling in Asbury Park NJ, I headed to straight to The Wonder Bar for the sold out after show featuring PEARS, Blanks 77, and The Virus.  I made sure to get there early as a line started to form as soon as I got to the dive bar.  Even though the show was technically sold out, the bar never really reached anywhere near capacity.  I don’t know if it was due to the oh so punk “No Studded Jackets!” sign at the entrance of a fucking street punk show, or if people were just way too fucked up during Punk Rock Bowling (and if the people barely standing/falling all over the pit during The Descendents set was any indication, then yes…)


I really wish I was fucking joking...

(I really wish I was fucking joking…)



People were still trickling in the small room as the New Orleans punks took the stage.  I’ve posted about them a lot on this site, and like I’ve said before, they’ve easily become one of my favorite bands with their aggressive hardcore punk laced with incredibly catchy hooks and explosive live shows.  Opening immediately with “Forever Sad”, the band made the most behind the line of bouncers and barricades as singer Zach jumped into the crowd before returning with his arms around the bouncers.

They tore through the rest of their set playing a pretty equal mix between songs from Go To Prison and Green Star to the small handful of people, who for the most part didn’t really seem to know them but seemed to be digging the music.  A fun set, PEARS is consistently one of the best live bands around these days.

Setlist (not in order)
Forever Sad
Victim To Be
You’re Boring
I Love My Kennel
The Flu
Green Star

Blanks 77:


Next up were New Jersey’s own pogo punks Blanks 77.  They easily had the biggest reaction of the night with people pogo-ing,dancing and snarling along with Mike Blank as he pushed up into the barricade and was swarmed upon an army of mohawks.

A solid set as usual, I have to give their newly released “Gettin Blasted” split with The Parasitix a listen soon.  I’ve heard those songs live plenty now, and am stoked to finally hear the recorded album.

Setlist (from what I remember, not complete or in order):
Up The System
We Are The Punks
Radio Hits
I Wanna Be A Punk
Chelsea Girls
I Don’t Wanna Be
Hey You (I think)
Don’t Give A Fuck

The Virus:

the virus

The crowd thinned out a decent amount by the time The Virus started playing probably do to the sheer fact it was late and people could barely stand after the all day fest, but that didn’t hinder the Philly punks at all.

Even though I’ve lived in Philly the past decade now, I’ve never had a chance to see The Virus before even though I’ve been listening to them for many years now, missing their reunion shows.  Let me just say, these dudes absolutely kill it live.

While the crowd energy was waning a bit due to pure exhaustion with only a few people dancing and shouting along, the band’s energy didn’t at all.  Loud and aggressive as fuck, if they come around your area, do yourself a favor and go catch them.

Looks Like Trouble
Full Circle
Heros (I think)
There’s Nothing Left
Forgotten Rebel
Rats In The City

The Virus – Vicious Rumors
Blanks 77 – Radio Hits
PEARS – You’re Boring

Punk Rock Bowling in Asbury Park Day 1 (6/11/16)

This past Saturday, I headed to Asbury Park NJ to catch day 1 of Punk Rock Bowling.  It was a pretty tough decision, with The Suicide Machines playing a free show nearby here in Philly, but the allure of seeing both Dag Nasty and The Descendents won out.

I got to The Stone Pony’s outdoor Summer Stage rather late.  I wanted to make it in time for both 88 Finger Louie and H2O, but unfortunately I was walking up as H2O was finishing up “Nothing To Prove” which rang throughout all of Asbury.


Next up were UK’s The Subhumans.  Now I’ll be completely honest,  I’ve never really listened to their albums much, but I remember catching them live nearly 5 years ago with Millions Of Dead Cops here in Philly and remember it being a damn good show, and they definitely didn’t disappoint this time around either.  From the second they started, a large circle pit broke out, and while it was clear that the majority of the crowd was either drunk or exhausted in the all day summer sun, things definitely got pretty rowdy.

Singer Lucas took some shots at the high price of Asbury beaches ($7 to go on the beach), jokingly encouraging the crowd to storm the beaches… which was pretty ironic considering the high cost of everything involved with this all day fest.  But regardless, it was around this point too that apparently bands were told to not curse in between songs, because residents of Asbury were starting to get upset (up the punks!)

Dag Nasty:

Next up were Dag Nasty, and one of the main reasons I came to the show to begin with.  Reunited with their original singer Shawn Brown, who was on the demos and wrote a lot of the songs that were later re-recorded on What Can I Say?  The band took the stage, and a decent amount of us older in the crowd immediately went off, two-stepping and shouting along.  Their blend of melodic hardcore inspired many of the post-hardcore bands like Texas Is The Reason that pretty much shaped the emo scene today.

The majority of the set consisted of songs off What Can I Say, but they threw in a few from Wig Out At Denkos and a few new songs (did I mention that Dag Nasty is recording new music?!) as well.  The newer songs definitely had more of a heavier edge to them.

A solid and fun show, it’s great to finally be able to see Dag Nasty live.  I’m hoping that they’ll do an east coast tour soon and come up to Philly, playing a non-fest environment.

Setlist (From what I remember)
Values Here
I’ve Heard
Under Your Influence
Can I Say
All Ages Show
Cold Heart
What Now
Another Wrong
Wanting Nothing
One to Two
Little Friend (Minor Threat cover)
Never Go Back

The Descendents:

Do The Descendents really need any introduction?  A staple of punk and one of the earlier punk bands, Milo and company have been pumping punk anthems about girls and the tribulations of growing up ever since the early 80s, and those songs still resonate today.

From their opening chords of “Everything Sux”, chaos ensued as a huge pit broke out.  This was my second time seeing The Descendents, and they definitely sounded tighter this time around from when I first caught them at RiotFest East a few years back.

Playing songs spanning their entire history, they also included a bunch of new songs as well with an album coming out I believe later this year.  With the first new songs coming from the band in over 12 years, you might be skeptical about how they sound, but rest assured… at least live they sound like they could have come off any Descendents album and doesn’t lack any of the energy from their previous songs.

Ripping through as many songs as possible in an hour, things got a bit strange at the end when the venue tried to not let them have an encore, and then finally after having permission to play a few more, the venue stopped them after their 2nd encore song.  Milo seemed surprised and pretty much said “Oh I guess we’re done!  Thanks guys!” before leaving the stage and leaving the crowd a sweaty, sun drenched, yet elated mess.

Everything Sux
Rotting Out
Victim Of Me
I’m The One
I Wanna Be A Bear
Silly Girl
I Don’t Want To Grow Up
Shameless Halo
My Dad Sucks
Suburban Home
Clean Sheets
Feel This
Coffee Mug
Full Circle
Weinershcnitzel/No! All!
When I Get Old
I Like Food
Thank You
I’m Not A Loser

Nothing With You
New Song

The Descendents – Suburban Home
Dag Nasty – Under Your Influence

Weekend Nachos Last Philly Show (5/22/16)

I never got to see Weekend Nachos before, always out of town or busy anytime the Illinois powerviolence band came around, (even missing them at one of my old favorite houses The Golden Tea House a few years back).  When I saw that they were playing Philly First Unitarian Church, I figured I had to go, and then learning it was their final Philadelphia show since this is their final tour it pretty much made it a must.

I was driving back from a weekend in DC and was running late and hit a bunch of traffic, which sucks because I really wanted to catch local Philly openers Congenital Death and Backslider again, but I got there in time for UK’s The Afternoon Gentlemen.

The Afternoon Gentlemen:

The Afternoon gentlemen

I got to the relatively packed church basement a few songs into The Afternoon Gentlemen’s set, and while I never heard of these Leeds, UK grind dudes before, I was really digging their set.  Playing grindcore with plenty of thrashy and powerviolence influences with songs about beer, partying, and well… grind, these guys had the crowd completely going off.

Their recorded work really doesn’t do them justice, definitely a band that needs to be seen live.  Go check em out if they play near you.

Weekend Nachos:

Weekend Nachos has been at it for a long time as far as most powerviolence bands go.  Dating back to 2004, the band has toured for 12 years now and have an impressive 5 full lengths behind them along with a shit ton of EPs and splits. This was their final East Coast tour supporting their final album Apology.

I don’t know if it’s a regional thing but I know that at least in Philadelphia possibly because they’re signed to local label Relapse Records, they were a lot of younger kids first exposure to powerviolence. So needless to say, once the band took the stage the place immediately erupted into a giant pit and frenzy of stage dives.

Weekend Nachos put on an incredibly tight set, playing songs spanning from most of their discography.  While they played plenty of new songs off the latest Apology, they also threw in some off their earliest albums and EPs.

A solid set, I need to go check out Apology, the songs sounded really tight live.  They’re still playing Europe later this year along with the midwest, so if you’re in those areas, don’t sleep on this and go check them out.

Shot In The HeadAcceptable Violence
Snowball Fight
Jock Violence

Weekend Nachos – You’re Not Punk



Dead Milkmen Live In Wilmington, DE (5/20/16)


Last Friday after I headed to a Philadelphia Union game, I realized that The Dead Milkmen were playing only 10 minutes away from the stadium over at Delaware’s Bar XIII.  My girlfriend and I decided to try and go on a whim.  We got to the bar and it was completely sold out, but luckily we were able to get two tickets.

We missed the first few songs (including one of my favorite’s Dean’s Dream), but made it inside right as the Dead Milkmen started playing the opening chords to their fan favorite “Punk Rock Girl”.  Now I’ve seen The Dead Milkmen a handful of times, playing plenty of non-traditional shows such as a free afternoon show in a park to an acoustic set in a library, and I have to say it was good to see them in a grungy intimate small dive bar.

The Dead Milkmen were incredibly energetic, with Rodney Anonymous bouncing all around as they ripped through their quirky punk classics.  Going through the favorites, the band took some time to pause and tell a few stories, joking during their intro of “Bitchin Camaro” where Joe kept trying to get to the song by asking “What type of car did you come here in” but Rodney completely avoiding the question for an impressive amount of time.  One of the best moments was when the band announced they would be playing a cover of an American blues artist who pretty much shaped the hardcore scene, before launching into The Smith’s “How Soon Is Now”.

While the majority of their set consisted of their more popular punk songs, the end of their set included a lot more of their “psychedelic” songs.  A fun show as always, these Philly legends always put on an entertaining and energetic set.

Pretty Music For Pretty People
Dean’s Dream
Punk Rock Girl
Serrated Edge
Methodist Coloring Book
Now I Wanna Hold Your Dog
Meaningless Upbeat Happy Song
Anthropology Days
Prisoner’s Cinema
Bitchin Camaro
Beach Party Vietnam
Smoking Banana Peels
How Soon Is Now (Smiths cover)
Welcome To Undertown
Dance With Me
Helicopter Interiors
Tiny Town
If You Love Someone, Set Them Fire
Life Is Shit
Beige Sunshine
Thing That Only Eats Hippies
Surfin Cow
Jellyfish Heaven
The Sun Turns Our Patio Into A Lifeless Hell
Two Feet Off The Ground

Dead Milkmen – If You Love Somebody, Set Them On Fire

Bane’s Final Shows – Night 1 and Night 2 Live In Philly (5/6/16)

Night 1:
If you were a hardcore fan anytime during the late 90s/early 00s, you more than likely listen to Bane.  These Massachusetts hardcore dudes have been a staple for as long as I’ve been listening, and it’s with a heavy heart I walked into the sweaty sold out church basement knowing that it was their final shows.

I got to the basement a few songs into Boysetsfire’s set.  The place was incredibly packed, but I was able to make my way closer up.


BOYSETSFIRE (Full Set) from hate5six on Vimeo.

Hailing from Newark Delaware, Boysetsfire has been one of the more influential post-hardcore bands.  Mixing a blend of emo with hardcore, Boysetsfire inspired countless east coast bands, and definitely has a solid following.

I got to the church about halfway into their set, and they had plenty of the packed basement singing along.  Of course, with it being a hardcore show, their heavier songs got a much bigger reaction with the set completely going off on closers “After The Eulogy” and “Rookies”.


Bane (Full Set) from hate5six on Vimeo.

Maybe it was the fact that Bane was playing the following night as well, but even though this was one of Bane’s final Philly shows as an active touring band, it didn’t really feel like one of their final shows.  Taking the stage and announcing “Philadelphia, we’re Bane, let’s fucking do this” before erupting into “All The Way Through”.  The place opened up and turned into a flurry of two stepping, stage dives, with vocalist Aaron jumping into the crowd a few times.

Launching straight into arguably their biggest song “Can We Start Again”, it’s this moment that separates Bane shows from countless other shows and makes them so special.  The entire place was immediately shouting along, to the point where the band was drowned out by the singing crowd.

Bane played an incredibly solid set as usual, and all things considered, it didn’t feel like much of a goodbye show as much as a regular Bane show.  Of course, there was the thought in the back of my mind that this could very well be the last time I hear these songs live again.  An incredible show, I was lucky enough to get tickets the following night as well to their actual final Philly show as an active touring band.

All The Way Through
Can We Start Again
Swan Song
Some Came Running
Final Backward Glance
Both Guns Blazing
Ali Vs. Frazier I
Post Hoc
Count Me Out
My Therapy
Calling Hours

Night 2:

I’m not going to lie, I was sore as all hell from the night before, but this was Bane’s final Philly show as a touring band so there was no way I was missing this.  I got to the church at the start of Boysetsfire set, and while still sold out, there were definitely less people the 2nd night than the first.


Boysetsfire more or less played a similar set as the night before, but I definitely think they sounded tighter and more energetic the 2nd night.  After their opening song, they declared “Hey, if you like us we’re Boysetsfire.  If you don’t, we’re sorry… we’re kind of at fault for all those shitty sing-songy,screamy bands these days… sorry about that to all you hardcore fans.  We didn’t expect it to turn into that.  I guess we can blame Braid.”

Taking some light-hearted jabs at Bane and themselves essentially saying “Bane is on their last tour, but trust us, you should never say you’re breaking up.  Taking a break or hiatus maybe, but not breaking up.  But that’s how you make money.  Oops, did I say that out loud?”  Then had the drummer from Bane come out and do a song with them.  A solid set (again), I definitely think they were tighter the second night.


There was a weird air about the church right before Bane’s set, and no, I’m not talking about the oh-so-lovely aroma of a bunch of sweaty punk kids crammed together in a sweltering basement.  No, there was definitely a mix of sadness and excitement in the air as Bane played their final Philly show as an active touring band.

Bane has always been one of those bands that have always been there since I’ve started listening to hardcore many years ago, and at the risk of getting all sappy, their angry yet positive message music got me through some really tough times in my life.  I know most people in that room felt the same way.

Before the band started, Joe Hardcore gave a little goodbye speech talking about how they have been a staple in the scene.  The second they started playing, I was immediately covered in silly string as the place turned into a complete party, with people throwing beach balls around and water balloons were dousing the crowd.

Bane ripped through their set, which was mostly different from the night before minus the obvious fan favorites.  The whole night was a blur and the show was over as soon as it started as they closed with “Can We Start Again”, which we chanted well after Bane left the stage.  It was the perfect two nights to end their legacy.

In a world where the fucking Misfits reunite with Danzig, I don’t think many punk bands really breakup these days.  I’m sure, or at the very least sure as hell hope that Bane will continue to play more shows in the future and do the occasional spin-off reunion show.

However, even if they reunite in the future and as excited as I will be for it, I think it will be very different than it is now.  Probably reuniting to do a few spinoff hardcore fests here or there, I doubt I’ll get to see them in the confines of a sweaty basement anymore or the dingy stages of a tiny venue.  I left the church with mixed emotions, happy I was able to be a part of this and see them both nights one final time, but with a heavy heart knowing that it was an end of an era.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order or complete):
Ante Up
Final Backwards Glance
My Therapy
Sunflowers and Sunsets
Can We Start Again

Bane – Non-Negotiable
Boysetsfire – My Life In The Knife Trade