Tag Archive for live

NateFest Day 1: Kill Your Idols, Bigwig, Grade, None More Black Live In NJ (3/21/15)

natefest pic

Every now and then, something will happen in the punk and hardcore community that just reminds me what I love so much about it.  This past Saturday was an excellent example of that.  When Nate Gluck from NJ’s Ensign was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, a bunch of bands and friends decided to throw him a huge benefit show to help pay the cost of the treatment.  The fest (dubbed NateFest) was to take course over two days at GameChanger World in Howell, NJ and the lineup was fucking staaaacked.

When it was announced that Bigwig was to be playing on Saturday, I instantly had to go.  Bigwig has been one of my favorite bands that I’ve been listening to for nearly 15 years now, yet even though I grew up in NJ somehow never got a chance to see live.  Beyond stoked doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling.  The fact that both Kill Your Idols and None More Black were also playing the show were huge bonuses to make for an amazing day.

I got to the venue, and if you’ve never been the layout are two opposing stages, while one band played the other set up so there was barely any wait times between sets.  There was nothing but positive vibes at the show, and while the warehouse doesn’t have the best sound (ok it’s downright awful on the main stage), it was an amazing time.

None More Black:

NoneMoreBlack

I got there right in time for NJ/Philly favorites None More Black.  Jason (ex Kid Dynamite) and crew took the stage and immediately broke into “Banned From Teen Arts”, their love/hate ode to NJ.  None More Black played a no nonsense set, without any stage banter as they ripped through their catalog while plenty in the crowd were shouting along.

Always a solid set, I know they aren’t very active anymore… but a Philly church show again would be beyond fantastic.

Setlist:
Banned From Teen Arts
Sinatra After Dark
My Wallpaper Looks Like Paint
Mr. Artistic
Drop The Pop
Here Comes Devereux
I’m Warning You With Peace and Love
We Dance On The Ruins Of The Stupid Stage
Oh There’s Legwork

Mouthpiece:
mouthpiece_promo_pic_72dpi

Next up were NJ straight hardcore band Mouthpiece.  Often seen as one of the more influential bands of the youth crew era, the band called it a day in 1996, but plays the occasional reunion show.  People were losing their shit to them and while I never got too familiar with their music minus the one album I have, they put on a solid set.

For The Love Of and Strength 691 were up next, but I was waiting by the Bigwig stage since I’ve been waiting nearly 15 years for this show.

Bigwig:
bigwig-members

Maybe it’s the fact I grew up in NJ, but Bigwig has always been one of my favorite bands and have been a constant that I listen to since I was just teen.  To finally get to see them after thinking I would never get to was incredible.  Clearly, I wasn’t the only one excited for them because as soon as they opened up into “Sink Or Swim” they had a pit open with us flailing about for the majority of the set, with plenty of people up front screaming along the words.

Vocalist/guitarist Tom seemed to be legitimately love being able to play New Jersey again, and the band was in all high spirits feeding off the crowd’s energy.  Bigwig played an amazing set, with the majority coming off of their last 3 albums Stay Asleep, Invitation to Tragedy, and Reclamation (and of course Girl In The Green Jacket off of Unmerry Melodies).

How excited was I?  Let me put it like this, when the band played one of my favorites “Flavor Ice”, I accidently came out of my stage dive/crowd surf retirement that I declared 5 years ago ever since I needed 20 screws in my arm due to a mishap at a Bouncing Souls show.  It was like the 16 year old in me came out.

Easily my favorite set of the day, Bigwig needs to play more shows again.  They put on an amazing set still.

Setlist:
Sink Or Swim
Sore Losers
Still
A War Inside
Flavor Ice
Outer Rings
Waste
Mr. Asshole
Numbers
Girl In The Green Jacket
Sell Out
Counting Down
Friends (I think they played this)

I had to grab some food during Indecision’s set, but made it in time to catch Grade.

Grade:
Grade1-300x282

Next up were Canadian emo/hardcore/screamo/whatever Grade who played a very energetic set.  The singer was all over the place, jumping around the stage…not bad for a band that originally called it a day back in 2002.  While I never really was a Grade fan back in the day, I got to say, I really enjoyed their set a lot.

Grade played most of their third and most famous release Under The Radar, and had plenty of people in the crowd singing along and stage diving during their melodic songs.

Setlist:
The Inefficiency of Emotion
Stolen Bikes Ride Faster
Seamless
Conceptualizing Theories in Motion
Termites Hollow
To Illustrate And Design Parameters
A Year In The Past, Forever, And The Future
Triumph and Tragedy
For The Memory Of Love
When Something Goes To Your Head

Sheer Terror:
sheer terror

Next up were 80s NY hardcore legends Sheer Terror who took the stage with a simple “We’re Sheer Terror, fuck you.”  Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of Sheer Terror, but I recognize how influential they were to New York hardcore bands.  They played a unique style of hardcore at the time with heart-felt lyrics (just listen to the album Ugly And Proud) in a scene that was dominated with songs about straight edge, crews, and how great NYHC is, and they definitely had the fanbase there to rage for them.

A giant pit was open up throughout the majority of the set, and after they finished a decent amount of people left.  The singer’s stage banter was cynical yet hilarious, poking fun of friends in other bands, etc.

Setlist:
Here To Stay
I, Spoiler
Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful
Heartburn In GLove Songs For The Unloved
Close My Eyes
Three Year Bitch
Twisting And Turning
Did You Just Meet Me
Roses
Walls
Burning Time
The Revenge Of Mr Jiggs
Ashes, Ashes
Cup O Joe
Just Can’t Hate Enough
Kill Your Idols:
kill your idols

I was pretty stoked for the last band of the night, NY’s Kill Your Idols.  I’ve been a fan of them for a while now, but only getting to see them once at This Is Hardcore a few years back, and I had no idea how popular they were.  The second these melodic hardcore legends came out and blasted into an intro straight into Falling, the place completely erupted and didn’t really let up for the rest of the night.  With constant stage dives, pile ons, and flips over singer Andy West, he took it all in good stride even when he declared “someone just spit into my mouth.”

Playing a long and energetic set, the band played songs off most their releases with a heavy majority coming from This Is Just The Beginning and No Gimmicks Needed.  Throwing in a few Minor Threat covers “to keep you interested”, human piles were forming throughout their set with the wildest being the closer “Can’t Take This Away” (although I probably lost it most to my personal favorite “Autumn”).  I know that this could very well be Kill Your Idols last show, but I’m hoping they play again soon… even if they aren’t active anymore, they put on a hell of a set and still have us raging.

Setlist:
Intro
Falling
Hardcore Circa 99
What I’ve Become
Stop Comparing Us To Negative Approach
Wake Up Sheep
Enjoy The Show
Funeral For A Feeling
Only Dicks Don’t Like Black Flag
All Those Wasted Calling Cards
The Path
Green
Send In The Clowns
Cousin Fred
Remain
Cast Me Aside
Autumn
Chesterfield And Propagandhi
I Told You So
Right Now
Small Man, Big Mouth (Minor Threat cover)
Straight Edge (Minor Threat cover)
Grey Skies Ahead
Young (At Heart)
Words Without Action
Epilogue
Can’t Take This Away

MP3:
None More Black – Genuine Malaise and Misery
Bigwig – Mr. Asshole
Kill Your Idols – Right Now

More Punk Rock:
None More Black – File Under Black
Bigwig – Stay Asleep (My favorite Bigwig Album)
Kill Your Idols – No Gimmicks Needed

 

Andrew Jackson Jihad, Smith Street Band, Jeff Rosenstock Live In Philadelphia (3/19/15)

ajj flyer

This past Thursday, I headed out to Philadelphia’s Union Transfer to catch Jeff Rosenstock of Bomb The Music Industry/Arrogant Sons Of Bitches play a solo show supporting his new album We Cool? opening for Andrew Jackson Jihad.  I got to the venue right around the middle of first band Chumped playing and the place was decently packed for being so early.

I’m not really all that familiar with Chumped besides the fact they are a female fronted pop-punk band out of Brooklyn.  I didn’t catch enough of their set to really form an opinion either way, but it seemed like those in the crowd were definitely digging it.  So if you’re into bands like Nona or Spraynard you’d probably dig these guys.

Jeff Rosenstock:

Jeff-Rosenstock

The main reason I came, I’ve been a fan of Jeff Rosenstock’s bands and have seen them countless of times over many years.  While technically he was doing a “solo” tour, he had a backing band with him.  It was a bit strange to be seeing him in such a big venue like Union Transfer, but they didn’t act out of place at all, immediately joking to the crowd “What’s up New Jersey?” (which elicited both plenty of boos and cheers) before breaking into We Cool opener “Get Old Forever.”

The crowd was especially hyped, with people breaking out into a pit immediately and stage dives abound.  Jeff and crew played a bunch off the new album and some of his older solo stuff, with a decent chunk coming off of I Look Like Shit and the crowd didn’t really let up all night.  One thing I have to say is he definitely has a mixed-age crowd.  I didn’t realize it, but a lot of younger kids dig him (I always assumed only old heads who followed his other bands did).  Definitely a good time, go see him if you get the chance.

Setlist:
Get Old Forever
You, In Weird Cities
Hey Allison
Nausea
Beers Again, Alone
The Trash The Trash The Trash
Snow Charges
Teenager
Hall Of Fame
Bonus Oceans
80s Through The 50s
Darkness Records

The Smith Street Band are another one of those bands that get a lot of praise, but I never really got around to checking out.  I was hanging in the back by the bar talking to some friends at this point after staying in the pit for Jeff Rosenstock, so I didn’t actually get to see them, but I did hear them.  Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, The Smith Street Band played solid gritty rock tunes with ranging influences from folk punk to garage rock and even a bit of more Social Distortion type punk.  I dug a few songs that I heard, and need to give them a proper listen sometime.

Andrew Jackson Jihad:

Andrew Jackson Jihad

By the time Phoenix, Arizona’s Andrew Jackson Jihad took the stage, Union Transfer was pretty full.  I honestly had no idea that these folk-punks were that big, and while I only knew a few songs here and there off some random EPs I have, their live set definitely made me a fan.

Armed with a variety of instruments including acoustic and electric guitars, a cello, drums, stand up bass, and keyboards the band played a very dynamic set to the incredibly responsive crowd.  Their music reminded me a lot of Mischief Brew and Run, Forever.

Playing a majority of their set from off Knife Man and their latest Christmas Island albums, the band seemed in very high spirits and legitimately loved being there.  The highlight was definitely their final encore, in which they did a sweet Slayer cover which had plenty of fans confused, but those who knew who it was were losing their shit.  An incredible set, if you haven’t seen AJJ before then go do yourself a favor and catch them live.

Setlist:
The Michael Jordan Of Drunk Driving
Gift Of The Magi 2: Return Of The Magi
Hate & Kill
Hate Songs For The Brain
Hate Rain On Me
Kokopelli Face Tattoo
People II: The Reckoning
Love In The Time Of The Human Papillomavirus
Bad Bad Things
I Wanna Rock Out In My Dreams
Sense, Sensibility
Temple Grandin
Coffin Dance
American Tune
Fucc The Devil
You Don’t Deserve Yourself
Heartilation
Children Of God
Linda Ronstadt
Free Bird
Big Bird
South Of Heaven (Slayer cover)

MP3:
Andrew Jackson Jihad – ‘Nother Beer
Jeff Rosenstock – Hey Allison

More:
Jeff Rosenstock – We Cool?
Bomb The Music Industry – Vacation
Arrogant Sons Of Bitches – Discography
Run Forever/The Wild Split
Mischief Brew

World Inferno Friendship Society Live In Philadelphia (3/6/15)

The-World-Inferno-Friendship-Society-Live-300x200

This past Saturday, I headed down to Philadelphia’s infamous First Unitarian Church basement to catch favorite gypsy cabaret punks The World Inferno Friendship Society.

This was my first show back at the church basement since July when they stopped having as many shows there (for some sad reason, I love that place), and the first time I was seeing World Inferno at the church since 2011.  I’ve seen them a handful of times since then, but a church show is always special (especially considering last time they headlined a show there the fire alarms went off).

The band was playing a string of shows to support their latest album This Packed Funeral.  I got to the church only to miss the one last minute opener, and the place was at about half capacity so plenty of room to dance around.

The Brooklyn collective took the stage, and started straight into their call to arms “Tattoos Fade” which had everyone in the close knit crowd shouting along.  I feel like the energy at this show was much higher than their recent Union Transfer shows, with plenty of people dancing around.

Vocalist Jack and crew played through a bunch of their older stuff, but had a pretty strong emphasis on the latest This Packed Funeral as expected. If you haven’t heard the album yet, it’s definitely a bit different than their other releases, but still incredibly catchy.  As usual, the band was full of quips and stories for the crowd, with having members try to name 11 bands that are named after municipalities (I can think of 7…)  While not the strangest Inferno show I’ve been to, things still got a bit odd when a drone was flying around the crowd and band with audience members taking swipes at it and the band trying to pay no heed while it circled them during their set.

A fun evening as usual, World Inferno always puts on an entertaining set.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order):
Tattoos FadeJust The Best Party
The Elegant Solution
This Packed Funeral
Brother Of The Mayor Of Bridgewater
Dr Dracula Who Makes You Get High
Your Younger Man
The Apple Was Eve
Let’s Steal Everything
Jersualem Boys
Dolce Far Niente
American Mercurial
The Faster You Go The Better You Think
Cats Are Not Lucky Creatures
Thumb Cinema
Secret Service Freedom Fighting USA
Addicted To Bad Ideas

MP3:
World Inferno Friendship Society – Tattoos Fade
More:
World Inferno Friendship Society – A Demonstrational Introduction to the Astral Plane
World Inferno Friendship Society – The Anarchy And The Ecstasy
World Inferno – Addicted to Bad Ideas
World Inferno – Just The Best Party
World Inferno – Red Eyed Soul
World Inferno – East Coast Super Sound Punk of Today

Armalite, Dark Thoughts Live In Philadelphia (2/1/15)

Armalite flier

Ahhh… Superbowl Sunday.  Where every American goes to their favorite punk house for a benefit show and watches some sick bands tear it up.  I got to West Philly’s Golden Tea House a bit late and missed a bunch of the awesome bands (including a new band featuring Dan Yemin and Andy Nelson), but got there in time for Philly’s own Dark Thoughts.

Dark Thoughts:

darkthoughts

This show was the kickoff for Dark Thoughts tour, and the 3 piece put on one hell of a show.  I caught them back in November here when they played with Mean Jeans and Kepi Ghoulie, and this time around they were even tighter.  Playing Ramones influenced punk rock, Dark Thoughts played most off of their 4 song demo (although the songs translate much better live).  I said it before and I’ll say it again, keep an eye out for Dark Thoughts, they’re definitely one of Philly’s up and coming bands.

Armalite:

armaliteband

I’ve been a fan of Armalite ever since they’ve started, and with a side project of a bunch of very busy people (including Dan Yemin of Paint It Black/Lifetime/Kid Dynamite, Adam from Atom and His Package) a show from them is incredibly rare.  This was like their 7th show ever in 10 years, (not many bands I can say I’ve been to more than 50% of their shows) I was pretty stoked to be seeing them at the intimate Golden Tea House kitchen.

After setting up, the band took some time to talk about the benefit, which is actually a benefit for a benefit show where the floors or something collapsed and the place has to undergo some heavy repairs.  Holy shit.  They joked to keep the jumping up and down to a minimum here, and instead rip out the copper pipes in the wall.

Breaking out Boots And Sneakers, Armalite played a surprisingly straight forward set without a lot of the banter usually found at their shows.  It seemed like most people didn’t know any of their songs besides me and one other dude who were shouting along to each word, but people definitely seemed to be digging it.

Playing the majority of their songs (granted they only have 14… one full length and one EP) they even through in a Magnetic Fields cover in there.  A tight set, I feel a little spoiled seeing them play twice in a matter of a year… and they got to play one of Philly’s best spots for shows.

Setlist:
Boots And Sneakers
New Wave
Husker Dave
Entitled
Dan’s Hands Melt
New Years
Destination (Not At Home)
I Am Pancreas, Seek To Understand Me
Other Entertainers
100,000 Fireflies (Magnetic Fields cover)

Mp3:
Armalite – I am A Pancreas, Seek To Understand Me
Dark Thoughts – Identity Crisis

More:
Armalite – Humongous
Armalite – Self Titled

Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish Live In Philadelphia (1/24/15)

ltjposter

Ska shows are a rare beast these days in our modern world.  Even though I listen to ska regularly still and go to plenty of shows, long gone are the days of VFW Halls filled with kids decked out in chain wallets and checkerboard accessories, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out that Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish completely sold out the Electric Factory, one of Philadelphia’s larger venues.

My girlfriend and I got to the Electric Factory a bit late and met up with some of my friends, but sadly missing one of my old favorites Authority Zero (who I honestly have not seen in about a good decade).  I was able to catch their last few songs which included Sirens and Rattlin Bog, although Passage In Time was always my jam.

Less Than Jake:
lessthanjake

It felt wrong to me that Less Than Jake was playing before Reel Big Fish, but as a die hard LTJ fan, I am definitely a bit (ok incredibly biased).  I’m one of those weird ones who not only love all the old albums I grew up with, but also like their newer stuff as well (…minus their brief flirtation with pop music on that abomination In With The Out Crowd).  Sure, maybe not as much as Pezcore but Greetings and Salutations is pretty damn solid.

In true Less Than Jake style, the band took the stage to a recording pretty much poking fun of themselves and the audience, and broke into “Look What Happened”, with confetti falling.  The place was packed with people skanking, shouting along, and a sizable circle pit throughout the set, where they played stuff off of most of their rather large discography.  I was actually shocked by the amount of younger kids there, because I didn’t know people under 21 listened to ska anymore (and it warms my heart that they do).  The band took some time with their usual banter, had a couple come up on stage and propose, and even had a young kid from the audience come up on stage with them for a bit.  They’ve always been one of the most consistent live bands I’ve seen, and Saturday’s show was no exception.

Setlist (From what I remember, probably not complete or in order)
Look What Happened
Nervous In The Alley
The Ghost Of Me And You
Good Enough
Automatic/We’re All Dudes
American Idle
Overrated
All My Friends Are Metalheads
Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts
Anchor
Sobriety Is A Serious Business And Business Isn’t So Good
How’s My Driving Doug Hastings
Harvey Wallbanger
Pac Man Cereal (Multiple times through out the night)
Plastic Cup Politics
History Of A Boring Town

Reel Big Fish:
reel big fish

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve never been much of a fan of Reel Big Fish.  Sure, I’ve seen them a bunch over the years but while they were one of the bands that got people into ska, that was Less Than Jake and Mighty Mighty Bosstones for me, so I always found their recorded work a bit poppy for my liking.  I wasn’t going to stay around to see them originally, but plans changed… and with that being said, they are always a fun time to see live, and I’m actually glad I did.

They of course played through all the hits, throwing in plenty of their covers as well.  Definitely a solid time, I might actually check out their recorded stuff… just 20 years later.

Setlist:
Trendy
I Want Your GIrlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too
Everyone Else Is An Asshole
All I Want Is More
241
Your Guts, I Hate Em
She’s Famous Now
Skank For Christmas
Good Thing
My Life
Thank You For Not Moshing / Garden Grove (Sublime)
I Know You Too Well To Like You Anymore
She Has A Girlfriend Now
Where Have You Been
Sell Out

Encore:
S.R (The Many Versions Of)
Beer / Self Esteem (Offspring)
Take On Me (Aha Cover)

MP3:
Less Than Jake – My Very Own Flag

More:
How to be a 3rd wave ska dork
Less Than Jake – Greetings And Salutations 
Less Than Jake – Pesto EP
Less Than Jake – Pezcore


American Nightmare Live in NYC (1/2/14)

american nightmare

American Nightmare is quite frankly, my favorite hardcore band of all time.  I remember a friend giving me the album Background Music, and then seeing them tour with The Hope Conspiracy back in 2003.  I went mostly for Hope Conspiracy, but left an American Nightmare fan.  Soon afterwards they announced their breakup, and I was telling my friends for years all I wanted was another American Nightmare show.  My chance finally came at the end of 2011 where I got to see their reunion show up in Boston.  I thought it was going to be a one off thing, but then I got to see them again in NYC in 2012, and then again last night.

Although I was running on no sleep and was completely exhausted, I made the solo trek from Philadelphia to New York’s sold out Webster Hall.  I got done with work late so I missed all the openers, and actually walked into the venue right as American Nightmare was setting up. Good fucking timing.

For those who don’t know, lead singer Wes now fronts an 80s synth-pop band called Cold Cave and he looks much more like the part for that these days coming out with a shiny goth inspired jacket.  But as a frontman, he still has that hardcore kid in him as he runs around the stage, embracing the pile-ons and mic grabs.

Taking the stage and opening with Background Music opener “(We Are”) the place immediately erupted into a frenzy of stage dives, somersaults, and a huge pit that didn’t really let up for the rest of the night.  In true recent American Nightmare fashion, there wasn’t much stage banter and they kept it going. While their set seemed way too quick, they played a solid chunk off all of their albums.

Wes announced they were going to play some songs they never really do live, doing some of their slower songs (Bluem, Crime Scene, We Killed It, and instrumental Sometimes It’s Like It Will Never End) in the middle of their set which was different to see (and sort of strange to see in the middle of their set, especially when Wes left the stage during the instrumental), but it was cool to hear them do songs I never really saw them do before.

Granted there’s something that’s always been a bit strange to me about seeing them at Webster Hall, and I think it’s just the size/overproduction of the show with it’s constant colored strobe lights and I believe fog machines going.  This is more of a venue thing than an American Nightmare thing, but as one of the rawest hardcore bands around they’ve always seemed a bit out of place to me at Webster Hall.

While no American Nightmare show for me will ever compare to the energy of their first reunion show or the first time I’ve seen them, it’s always a good time to see one of my favorite bands of all time play again.  I know their shows are few and far between, but I’m really hoping they come to Philly soon.  How sick would it be to see them at the First Unitarian Church like they toured back in the day?  Shit would be unreal.

Setlist:
(We Are)
Protest Song #00
There’s A Black Hole In The Shadow Of The Pru
I’ve Shared Your Lips And Now They Sicken Me
Hearts
Crime Scene
Bluem (Calumet Street Light People)
Young Hearts Be Free Tonight
We Killed It
(And Sometimes It’s Like It Will Never End)
AM/PM
Shoplifting In A Ghost Town
I Saved Latin
Postmark My Compass
Calculation Nation
Please Die!
Farewell
Your Arsonist

Encore:
Love American

MP3:
American Nightmare – The Ice Age Is Coming!

And All The Pretty Pretty Kids With Their Tired Tired Eyes:
American Nightmare – Year One
American Nightmare – Background Music
Scenester 101: How To Be An Old School Hardcore Kid In 10 Easy Steps!

Bouncing Souls, None More Black, The Scandals Home For The Holidays Night 2 (12/27/14)

bouncingsouls-home

After the long ride to and from Asbury Park last Friday, I headed back the next day to catch night 2 of The Bouncing Souls annual Christmas Home For The Holidays tradition.  Usually because of the ride I only go one of the nights, but there was no way I was going to miss an incredibly rare None More Black set.  I got to the Stone Pony right as New Jersey’s The Scandals were setting up.

The Scandals:

scandals

I’ve been a fan of The Scandals for a few years now but only have seen them a handful of times.  Last I saw them was at Philadelphia’s Fire opening for Guttermouth in 2012 and barely anyone in the already small crowd knew who they were outside of me and like 3 other people.  They certainly must have been making a name for themselves as of late, because once they took the stage a pit immediately broke out and there was a decent amount of people singing along every word.

They played a bunch off their first LP The Sound Of Your Stereo (including personal favorite of mine off the album “Sirens”), and had people moving throughout.  A tight set, it was good to catch these Jersey punks again.

None More Black:

NoneMoreBlack

It’s rare for None More Black to play shows these days, I’ve said it the last time I’ve seen them, but I’ve seen Kid Dynamite more recently than I’ve seen None More Black.  While it seemed a lot didn’t know who they were, a small but dedicated amount of us were dancing, crowd surfing, and shouting along to the melodic punk rock.

Playing a mix of all 3 of their full lengths and their Loud About Loathing EP, the None More Black played an incredibly solid set without any stage banter or barely any pauses between songs.  I’m hoping these dudes play a headlining Philadelphia show sometime soon, we’ll lose our shit guys. Promise.

Setlist (From what I remember, not complete or in order)
Mr Artistic
Banned From Teen Arts
I’m Warning You With Peace And Love
Dinner’s For Suckers (I think they did this one)
Iron Mouth Act
Drop The Pop
Sinatra After Dark
Zing Pong
We Dance On The Ruins Of The Stupid Stage
Oh There’s Legwork

Bouncing Souls:

BouncingSouls5

Even though I just saw them last night, I was stoked to see my favorite band again as I’m sure they had something up their sleeves.  With the night before being songs from before 2000, this one was all post 2000, meaning a heavy emphasis on How I Spent My Summer Vacation and Anchors Aweigh.  Taking the stage and hitting that distinct feedback of one of my personal favorite songs “Apartment 5F”, the place erupted immediately and was a whirlwind of screaming along and dancing.

There was much more room to dance as opposed to the night before (not exactly sure why as both shows were sold out), and the home state heroes powered through a lively set with us enthusiastically returning the energy. They kept true to their word of only songs written post the year 2000 (with letting an exception of a Misfits cover of “Hybrid Moments” get thrown into the mix.

I say this every year, but The Bouncing Souls Home For The Holidays is seriously one of my favorite shows.  I’m really glad I went the second night, and having the majority of How I Spent Your Summer Vacation and a bunch off their split with Anti-Flag played made all the driving back and forth completely worth it.

Setlist:
Apartment 5F
That Song
Bryan’s Lament
Hybrid Moments (Misfits cover)
Private Radio
Never Say Die/When You’re Young
Manthem
The Something Special
Late Bloomer
Ghosts On The Boardwalk
Sing Along Forever
Coin Toss Girl
The Gold Song
Punks In Vegas
Broken Record
Lean On Sheena (Avoid One Thing cover)
Gone

Encore:
Ship In A Bottle
Anchors Aweigh
Kids And Heroes
True Believers

Mp3:
Bouncing Souls – Punks In Vegas
None More Black – Genuine Malaise and Misery
The Scandals – Sirens

More:
Home For The Holidays 8 Night 1
Home For The Holidays 7
Home For The Holidays 6
Home For The Holidays 5
Home For The Holidays 4
Home For The Holidays 2
Home For The Holidays 1

Bouncing Souls, Bane, Blanks 77 Home For The Holidays Night 1 (12/26/14)

bouncingsouls-home

Everyone has their holiday traditions, and for me it’s going to Asbury Park after Christmas and seeing my favorite band The Bouncing Souls play with a bunch of solid friends they bring along.  Ever since they started this tradition back in 2014, I’ve gone pretty much every year on one of the three or four nights (the two hour drive back and forth from Philly is a bit rough), but this year I decided to go two nights because the lineups were so stellar.

Blanks 77:
blanks77poster

I got there right as NJ pogo punks Blanks 77 were setting up, and I noticed that lead singer Mike Blanx appeared to be missing, and replacing him were two fill-ins.  I’d be a lot more upset if I didn’t just see them 2 weeks previously in Philadelphia, but I was curious about what happened.  After asking around, unfortunately Mike’s dog died that day, and he wasn’t able to make the show.  Sad and a bummer, but the band pressed on.

While it was a bit strange seeing Blanks 77 with two singers that weren’t Mike, they did a pretty good job of filling in, although no one can truly replace his snarl and snarky voice.  That didn’t stop us from singing along with plenty of people pogoing throughout their set.  While it was fun it was definitely a bit off, almost like seeing a Blanks 77 cover band, but given the circumstances they all did a pretty stellar job.

Highlights:
Up The System
We Are The Punks
Chelsea Girls
Pills
Void
Suburbia
Radio Hits
I Wanna Be A Punk

Bane:
bane

I was surprised to see hardcore legends Bane playing the Home For The Holidays, especially sandwiched between Blanks 77 and The Bouncing Souls, but as a huge Bane fan I was stoked.  I love their latest (and sadly final) album and with this being my third time seeing them this year, I’ve been a bit spoiled lately with Bane.  I wasn’t sure how the crowd was going to react with their being a barricade (something I’ve never seen at one of their shows) or with the majority of people there being Souls fans, but the second the Massachusetts hardcore band took the stage and broke out into “Speechless” the place erupted into a huge pit.

Aaron was constantly right up against the barrier with a constant influx of people crowdsurfing and piling on, trying not letting a stupid thing like a barricade stop any fun while a bunch of us in the pit were two-stepping throughout the set.  They played a solid chunk off most of their releases, with the new songs getting as big as a reaction as their older stuff (with closer “Can We Start Again” getting the biggest reaction).

Easily one of the best bands in hardcore, they threw a hell of a show, barricades be damned.

Setlist (Not in order, from what I remember)
Speechless
Calling Hours
Park St
Some Came Running
My Therapy
Final Backwards Glance
Count Me Out
Superhero
Can We Start Again

Bouncing Souls:
BouncingSouls5

Growing up an angsty teen in New Jersey, The Bouncing Souls were (and still are) my favorite band.  I’ve been going to their Home For The Holidays since they started it, and every year they usually announce a theme.  Past themes included having their friends write the setlist, playing a countdown of what fans voted their most popular songs, using a bingo machine, or playing the albums in full.

No theme was announced beforehand so I wasn’t sure what the Souls had up their sleeves, but the band took the stage to fan chants of Here We Go (which they opened with) and then Greg announced tonight it was going to be all songs prior to the year 2000.  Fuck yes.

With songs coming off of The Good, The Bad And The Argyle, Manical Laughter, Self Titled, Hopeless Romantic, and some earlier songs from the Green Ball Crew EP, the crowd was in a frenzy.  While there wasn’t really much room to dance the first night, that didn’t stop us from trying (to which what ultimately became just a big shove fest) while the Souls blasted through their classics.

Greg seemed more animated than usual running around the stage, jumping down to the barricade and into the crowd some with all smiles.  There’s always something special about the Souls Home For The Holiday shows that is really tough to explain without actually being there.  If you get a chance to go next year, definitely do it.

Setlist (not in order)
Here We Go
Lamar Vannoy
I Like Your Mom
Cracked
Kicked In The Head
Kate Is Great
Joe Lies When He Cries
Say Anything
No Rules
Holiday Cocktail Lounge
East Coast Fuck You
Some Kind Of Wonderful
Hopeless Romantic
Kid
Fight To Live
Lay Em Down Smack Em Yack Em
Toilet Song
The Freaks The Nerds And The Romantics
Moon Over Asbury
Quick Check Girl
Wish Me Well (You Can Go To Hell)
Night On Earth

MP3:
Bouncing Souls – Low Life
Bane – Non-Negotiable
Blanks 77 – Radio Hits

More:
Home For The Holidays 7
Home For The Holidays 6
Home For The Holidays 5
Home For The Holidays 4
Home For The Holidays 2
Home For The Holidays 1

The Holy Mess, White Wives Live In Philadelphia (12/21/14)

holy mess white wives flyer

Last night, I headed out to my current favorite spot for shows in Philadelphia, West Philly’s Golden Tea House to catch locals The Holy Mess.  I was running really late (I got in from NYC at 6am that morning after being out all night for a friend’s birthday, so I was moving in slow motion), but so was the show.  Not a bad turnout for a Sunday night, and the place was decently filled when I walked in during Timeshares last song.

White Wives:

white wives

I’ve never heard of these Pittsburgh indie punks before, but the band was on a 4 day tour and features members of Anti-Flag.  They had amp troubles before their set, but they kept the banter going while that was being taken care of before kicking into one of their experimental pop-punk anthems.  Featuring 3 guitarists, bassist, drummer, keyboards (who occasionally busted out the trumpet and tambourine),  and a huge pedal board, White Wives was really big on the ambiance of their music.

They played pop-punk similar to The Menzingers and Iron Chic, but added to it with their expansive sound.  This time of music is sort of a grower for me, but they definitely had some catchy songs and a pretty solid presence with by the end of their set they were smashing equipment and diving off their amps in the small kitchen.  Not really my style of music, but they made it entertaining.

The Holy Mess:

holy mess

The kitchen cleared out some when White Wives were done, I’m not sure if it’s because people were there solely for them or if it’s just because the show was running pretty late for a Sunday night Golden Tea House show, but no matter, there were still plenty who stuck around to see local Philly shit shows The Holy Mess.

I’ve been a fan and have seen them play basements, warehouses, and bars throughout Philly a bunch of times over the years, but this was the first time I was ever seeing them as a 3 piece band.  I didn’t realize that they’ve come out with a new album over the summer, so I didn’t know the majority of songs that were played, but the new songs sounded tight.

In typical Holy Mess fashion, they didn’t really have much of a setlist as much of a discussion after each song about what they should play amongst themselves, even doing a No Use For A Name cover on a whim much to the guitarist’s protest.  Playing what would be their last show of 2014, I didn’t hear anything before Cande Ru Las Degas, and not sure if it’s because they just didn’t feel like playing it or because it’s tough to do as a 3 piece.  Regardless, the band put on a solid set, and I’ll definitely have to check out the new stuff.

MP3:
The Holy Mess – Hospitals

Raise Your Glass:
The Holy Mess – Cande Ru Las Degas
The Holy Mess – Dismount
Holy Mess – Briefcase Full Of Bruise

Blanks 77 Live In Philadelphia (12/13/14)

blanks77flyer

This past Saturday on sort of a whimsical last minute decision, I headed out to Philadelphia dive bar Kung Fu Necktie to catch New Jersey pogo punk legends Blanks 77.  We were running late to this matinee (waking up in the evening will do that to you…), but got there right as Blanks 77 was soundchecking.  Seriously couldn’t have timed it better.

The small room was pretty empty as Blanks 77 was sound checking, and while a few more filtered in, it was at less than half capacity at all times (I think the show was poorly promoted, lot of my friends who are huge Blanks fans had no idea about it, and they usually get a huge turnout).  Mike Blanx finally took the stage, and the band opened straight into “Up The System” which had a bunch of kids pogoing and shouting along.

Blanks played a solid set to the small but dedicated crowd, with people constantly piling on and stage diving to sneer along.  Playing a mix of songs off of most of their albums with a strong emphasis on Tanked And Pogoed, the highlight may have been at the end when before they busted into “I Wanna Be A Punk”, they did a short rendition of The Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping”.

After finishing up, we didn’t really let them leave the stage… so they played two covers, “Pretty Vacant” by the Sex Pistols and “Sonic Reducer” by the Dead Boys, and called it a night.

Setlist (Not in order and what I remember):
Up The System
We Are The Punks
Party Train
Chelsea Girls
Search And Destroy
Automatic
Losing My BrainVoid
Suburbia
I Don’t Wanna Be
Crash And Burn
Radio Hits
Pills
I Wanna Be A Punk
Pretty Vacant (Sex Pistols)
Sonic Reducer (Dead Boys)

MP3:
Blanks 77 – Radio Hits

More Punk:
The Unseen – Lower Class Crucifixion
Mean Jeans – Are You Serious
The Lillingtons – Too Late Show