Tag Archive for philadelphia

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


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

Blood Pressure, The Stasi, Low Charge, The Brood Live In Philly (12/11/14)

blood pressure flier

This past Thursday on a whim I headed out to my current favorite house in Philadelphia, The Golden Tea House to see a bunch of local hardcore bands and touring Blood Pressure from Pittsburgh.

The Brood:
brood

First up were Philadelphia locals The Brood.  I’ve never heard them before, but consisting of ex members of Witch Hunt, these guys (and girl) completely shred with their crusty aggressive hardcore.   Reminding me a bit of Behind Enemy Lines, I definitely need to check out some of their recorded work.

Low Charge:
low charge

Recently I’ve been listening to Low Charge’s 7 inch a lot lately, but I’ve never gotten a chance to catch the Philadelphia hardcore band.  Playing d-beat inspired hardcore, Low Charge completely tore it up with vocalist Will all over the place constantly dancing, jumping into, and charging into the receptive crowd.  Go see them if they play a show near you, they put on a hell of a set.

The Stasi:
the stasi

I’ve caught local The Stasi once before in the late spring play a show with The Flex and Violent Reaction, and it was a damn good time.  Coming off a few week long tour, The Stasi plays aggressive hardcore with song lyrics influenced by their namesake East Germany secret police.  Listening to both their demo and their 7 inch State Voyeurism, The Stasi played an energetic set with people dancing throughout.  Another one not to be missed.

Blood Pressure:

Last up were Pittsburgh’s Blood Pressure.  I never heard of them before the show, but I asked my friend who knows my musical taste pretty well if it was worth me sticking around for.  His response was “You’ll love them.  It’s ex-members of Government Warning man.”  I was sold.

Blood Pressure took the kitchen floor and played their face-shredding brand of hardcore.  With featuring the guitarist from Government Warning, it’s almost impossible to not compare Blood Pressure to them, and the songs were very reminiscent of his old band (this is definitely a good thing in my book).  Definitely a solid way to end the night.

MP3:
Blood Pressure – The Facts
The Stasi – On Standby For Guilt
Low Charge – Shut In
The Brood – No Way Out

More Hardcore:
Government Warning – No Moderation
Bad Side – Looking For A Bad Time
Aneurysm Rats

Lagwagon, Swingin Utters, This Legend Live in Philly (12/4/14)

This past Thursday, I headed to Philadelphia’s TLA in order to catch one hell of a lineup… Lagwagon and Swingin Utters.  I got to the venue on a chilly Thursday evening, and the place was pretty empty when I arrived.  I missed the first opener but got there in time for This Legend.

This Legend:

this legend

I’ve never heard of This Legend before the show, but apparently the LA pop-punk band consists of ex members from Yellowcard.  I’ve never really gotten into Yellowcard so I can’t really tell you the similarities/differences/etc but I can say that This Legend played a decent pop-punk set that had plenty in the crowd digging.  I enjoyed their set, but this type of music is a bit of a grower for me, so I’d have to check out their recorded work some.

Swingin Utters:

swingin utters

The place started to fill up a bit more as Swingin Utters took the stage, but still mostly empty.  I’ve had the chance of seeing Swingin Utters a few years back play the North Star Bar, and they completely killed it there so I was stoked to finally be seeing them again.  They took the stage, and while the TLA is a lot bigger than North Star (with barricades and the like), the band still put on a incredibly tight set.

It was clear that most of the crowd didn’t know who they were, but the few of us who did were shouting along to each of the songs as they blasted through both old and newer songs off their latest album Fistful of Hollow (which I have but haven’t really had a chance to listen through yet).

Always a good show, I think they would do better headlining their own show in a smaller venue, but I’m not going to pass an opportunity to see these long running punks.

Lagwagon:

lagwagon

I’ve been listening to Lagwagon ever since Let’s Talk About Feelings came out nearly 15 years ago, and listen to them pretty damn regularly but somehow never had a chance to see them (only a few bands fit this category… I’m looking at you Dillinger Four).  I bought tickets as soon as this show was announced in excitement to finally see them.

Lagwagon was touring to support their latest release Hang (which is their thrashiest release to date), and I’ve been playing the shit out of it (and need to have a post up soon about it) and so naturally the majority of songs came off it.  While some of us sang along to newer openers  “Obsolete Absolute” and “Made Of Broken Parts”, it was clear the majority of the smaller crowd haven’t listened to the new album yet, to which Joey Cape even commented “Philly you’re so mellow tonight, you’re scaring me a bit”.  It wasn’t until the band blasted into “Island of Shame” and then “Violins” did a real pit open up and people started screaming along every word.

Lagwagon played an incredibly tight and fun set, playing songs from all of their albums with the biggest reaction coming with their older stuff.  It was pretty rad to finally get a chance to see Lagwagon, they’ve always been a bit volatile about touring/going on hiatus so I’m hoping this won’t be the last.  The TLA was nowhere near capacity (maybe they were at half at most), so I’m thinking a smaller venue and this show would be off the fucking wall.

Setlist:
Obsolete Absolute
Made Of Broken Parts
Island Of Shame
Never Stops
After You My Friend
Falling Apart
Sick
Western Settlements
Heartbreaking Music
The Cog In The Machine
Coffee And CIgarettes
Wind In Your Sail
Burning Out In Style
Alien 8
Making Friends
One More Song
Razor Burn

Encore:
Burden Of Proof
Reign
Angry Days
May 16

MP3:
Lagwagon – One Thing To Live
Swingin’ Utters – Sign it Away

More:
Lagwagon – I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To Lagwagon
Lagwagon – Double Plaidinum
Swingin’ Utters – A Juvenile Product of The Working Class

Menace, The Clap, Hub City Stompers, 45 Adapters Live In Philly (9/14/14)

menace flyer

Two weekends ago I headed to Philly’s Kung Fu Necktie to catch New Jersey’s Hub City Stompers with UK 70s punk oi band Menace.  It was my first oi show in quite some time, and it’s been years since I’ve been to a show with that many Doc Martens and bald heads all in one place.  Good times.
45 Adapters:
45 adapters
First up were Brooklyn’s 45 Adapters.  Self described as “a truck full of Cock Sparrer records crashing into a truck full of Otis Redding records”, these 5 guys took the stage and played a solid set filled with catchy sing-alongs.  Their songs (mostly) had surprisingly positive messages, singing about dressing well, cleaning up after your house, and of course… drinking.  Definitely going to need to check out their recorded work.

Hub City Stompers:

hubcity
One of the reasons I came to the show to begin with, on the flyer NJ’s Hub City Stompers were set to play third, so I left for a bit to grab a quick bite to eat.  When I returned, it turns out HCS wound up playing second, so I missed maybe 5 or 6 of their songs.  Luckily, I still caught more than half of their set, and I’ve been seeing these guys anytime they come around since 2003 or so.

Self described as “ska for people who hate ska” (even though I love it) they tend to be put on a lot of diverse shows, and always wind up either poking fun at that fact or just completely owning it (I remember when seeing them open for Cro-Mags, the singer kept teasing “oh! a ska band on a hardcore show!  Don’t be scared… you really messed up this time Joe Hardcore!!!”)

Hub City Stompers played a solid set to a filled room with a few of us dancing and singing along each word.  Always a good time, check them if they come through your neck of the woods.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order)
Hub City Stomp
Little Julie Swastiska
Where’s My Hooligans
Mass Appeal
Chatterbox
Skinhead Boi (I think)
Johnny Date Rape
I’ve Got A Boot
Hub City Stompers
Night Of The Living

The Clap:

Formed back in the late 1970s in PA’s Lehigh Valley, The Clap is one of the older punk bands to come out of Pennsylvania.  I’ve never heard of The Clap (the band, not the disease) before seeing them, and I will admit, at first I was skeptical.  The trio soon won me over though, with their straight forward punk rock.  The singer said he wouldn’t be able to do some songs due to the fact his kid got him sick, but they powered through a decent set.

Menace:

Menace

The reason most people were there, UK’s Menace is one of the earliest oi bands, even dating back before Sham 69.  The band took the stage, and the crowd while singing along took a bit of time to warm up, but once a pit was opened up it got pretty rowdy (and once Menace played their hit G.L.C, shit hit the fan).  Menace played their sing-along oi punk inviting people to the stage to the small stage to sing along, and seemed to be having a blast as people were stage diving and dancing.

At one point, Menace brought up some of the members of The Clap to help do a cover of the ska song Monkey Man, which had us hopping on the stage and grabbing the microphone to sing along all while skanking throughout the tiny room.

Definitely a good time, it’s awesome seeing such an early and influential band in such a small intimate setting.

Highlights (from what I remember)
GLC
Screwed Up
Insane Society
I’m Civilized (I think)
Electrocutioner
Last Years Youth
Punk Rocker (I think)

MP3:
Menace – GLC
Hub City Stompers – WTFIU?

Don’t You Know, You’re Last Years Youth?
Hub City Stompers – Blood Sweat And Beers
Hub City Stompers – Ska Ska Black Sheep
Buzzcocks – Singles Go Steady

The Vibrators – 25 Years Of Pure Mania
The Clash – London Calling

Taking Back Sunday Live In Philadelphia (9/4/14)

CountdownToKickoff_21_800

I’m going to try and catch up with the show recaps this week since moving has set me so far behind.  But on September 4th, I headed out to Philadelphia’s XFINITY Live to see a free Taking Back Sunday show on their outdoor stage.  As anyone in Philadelphia could tell you, this had all of the makings for one strange show.

For starters, XFINITY live is a multi-bar club that is home to a ride on bull, projectors to watch sports games, and is right across the street from the Philadelphia Sports Complex, which is home of the Phillies, Flyers, 76ers, and The Eagles making it the go to spot to pre-game and afterparty after games.  On top of it, this Taking Back Sunday show was a preseason warmup party to kick off the Philadelphia Eagles season (because nothing says “GO EAGLES!” quite like early 2000s emo.  Let’s start the season off with a whimper and a whine!).  The crowd was a mix of emo kids, punk kids, and just eagles fans who didn’t even really know the band but didn’t hesitate to chant Eagles chants throughout the show.

(NOTE: Old man ramblings ahead.  If you don’t want to hear the tale of an aging punk, then skip this paragraph, you’ve been warned.)  Now, I’ll also admit that I sort of have a love hate relationship with Taking Back Sunday as well.  Back when I was a pissed off punk teenager in high school, I DESPISED Taking Back Sunday.  Rise Against used to be one of my favorite bands back when they only had The Unraveling and Revolutions Per Minute, and twice I tried to see them and both shows were cancelled as a direct result of TBS.  The first time I went to see Rise Against at Warped Tour.  This was before anyone knew who they were and TBS announced they would make a guest appearance.  Van’s needed to make room somewhere and so they booted a little punk band called Rise Against.  Then, I tried to see Rise Against play a record store… but lo and behold!  Taking Back Sunday played a show there earlier in the day, some emo kids weren’t allowed in because it was at capacity, so their parents called the fire marshall and shut down the rest of the shows for the day (TBS was still allowed to play, just not Rise Against).  Not really TBS’s fault, but yeah, my 18 year old punker than thou wasn’t having any of it.  I’ve come a long way since… it’s been over a decade and I’ve actually come to appreciate a lot of Taking Back Sunday’s songs, so to see them live for free, I wasn’t going to miss that. (RANT OVER!)

Taking Back Sunday took the stage with the singer donning a Philadelphia Eagles hoodie, and broke out into “Stood A Chance” off of their latest release Happiness Is.  The place didn’t really explode though until their 3rd song, when they started playing “You Know How I Do” off of Tell All Your Friends.  That’s when the pits broke out, crowd surfing began, and the barricade eventually broke.  They played a solid set, with more new than old, but throwing in “Timberwolves At New Jersey” and “A Decade Under The Influence.”

The show was cut short due to the barricade being broken and the security telling TBS they need to stop playing.  Now, in the scheme of punk and hardcore shows, minus a few assholes looking to pick fights in the pit, the show was relatively tame, but for XFINITY who is used to hosting bands such as Third Eye Blind and All American Rejects, this was probably the craziest they’ve seen in a while.  The show was cut short without the band playing their hit Cute Without the E, but they snuck in “MakeDamnSure” for good measure after being told to stop.

Sucks the show was cut short, but for a free show that was intended to be an Eagles pre-season rally, I’m not complaining.  Definitely one of the stranger vibe shows I’ve been to.

Setlist:
Stood A Chance
Liar (It takes one to know one)
You Know How I Do
Beat Up Car
Timberwolves At New Jersey
Faith (When I Let You Down)
Number Five With A Bullet
What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost
A Decade Under The Influence
Set Phasers To Stun
Better Homes And Gardens
Error: Operator
MakeDamnSure

MP3:
Taking Back Sunday – Timberwolves At New Jersey

Get Your Emotions On:
Lifetime – Hello Bastards
Dag Nasty – Can I Say
Texas Is The Reason – Self Titled EP
Saves The Day – Can’t Slow Down
Saves The Day – Through Being Cool

Dangers, Graf Orlock, Holy, Kids Live In Philadelphia (8/23/14)

dangers flyer

This past Saturday night I headed to West Philly’s Golden Tea House to catch an incredibly stacked lineup in one of my favorite houses around.  The show is played in essentially the kitchen, and things got fucking insane with this lineup.  When I first saw that DANGERS was playing in Philly again, I made sure I was going to be there since they put on the best show I’ve seen all year earlier in January, but with Graf Orlock also on the bill?  Holy shit.

Kids:

First up were PA’s own Kids, who last time I saw was actually with DANGERS as well here in the Golden Tea House.  Last time the band was plagued with breaking strings and ending their set early, but this time around they had a solid, heavy ass set.  Playing incredibly fast and noisy hardcore similar to DANGERS, Kids had a pit immediately break out which was the theme for the rest of the night.  Definitely kicking things off and setting the tone, go see these dudes if they come around your parts.

Holy:

holy

Holy shit.  Nothing could have prepared me for the onslaught crusty powerviolence that was coming from Milan, Italy’s Holy.  These guys had it all: incredible stage (err… kitchen floor?) presence, some of the most aggressive music I’ve heard in a while, and a positive message throughout.  These guys were nothing but thrilled to be playing a small house show, which they said they don’t really have in Milan.

Definitely going to be checking out their albums, if you dig hardcore at all you need to check them out.  Seriously mind blowing.

Graf Orlock:

graf orlock

I’ve been a fan of Graf Orlock for a few years now, and so to finally get to see them live, in one of my favorite houses nonetheless had me ridiculously stoked.  For those who don’t know, Graf Orlock features Justin from DANGERS (and with them playing a show in Manhattan earlier in the day, had him essentially playing 4 sets tonight… holy fuck) plays what they call “cinema-grind”, which is essentially grind with songs about movies and with movie clips.

Just like their recorded work, the band opened up each song with it’s respective movie clip and even though this was their 2nd set of the day, you would never be able to tell with the high energy level.  The singer and guitarist were all over the floor, jumping into and on top of the crowd.  While it seemed like a lot of people weren’t familiar with them, it seemed like everyone dug them while myself and a few others screamed every word while raging across the kitchen.

The microphone cut out a few times (an issue that seemed to plague the rest of the night), but that didn’t take away from any of the energy as they blasted through their set.  Unfortunately I do think it cut their set a little bit short, as instead of playing common closer “The Dream Left Behind”, they skipped right to the Jurassic Park melody and dove on top of the crowd.

Highlights (not in order and what I remember):
Chapter III
Run Over By A Truck
Franky: Buying Dog Food
Jamming In Traffic
Tactical Destruction
Days Of High Adventure
Tactical Destruction (I think)
Captives of the Thuggee (I think)
Dragonaut (Sleep Cover)
Dream Left Behind (ending)

DANGERS:

Dangers
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m convinced that DANGERS is the best live band and one of the most ferocious hardcore bands around today.  I’ve seen them twice this year (both at the Golden Tea House) and I can honestly say that both shows have been my favorites so far of the year.  They just bring a ball of raw energy with them that reminds me why I started listening to hardcore and punk rock many fucking years ago in the first place.
Need proof?  About halfway through DANGERS set, we quite literally broke the P.A.  That didn’t stop frontman Al from launching himself in the crowd for the remainder of their set screaming along every lyric with the crowd, and we were fucking loud.   “We don’t need a microphone, we scream loud enough on our own.”

Dangers took the floor, noted that they played a show in Manhattan just beforehand, and that they were excited to be playing The Golden Tea House again because we remind them the whole damn point of driving over 4000 miles to play a small house show (also commenting on how the bathroom tile has changed and looks nice, which I’m pretty impressed with Al’s memory on that one.)  They opened up with one off their latest EP Five O Clock Shadows At The Edge Of The Western World, and then completely set shit off with “Power Chord Blues” that had the entire room into a giant sing along pile-on.

Al was all over the place, climbing the banisters, constantly on top of the crowd, in the crowd, and essentially making a DANGERS show much more of a community experience than just watching a band.  Seriously, if you miss DANGERS when they come around, you are seriously fucking up.  Even without a microphone (and even without playing “We Broke The P.A”), they still put on one of the best shows, period.

Also, some exciting news: Ghostlimb, Dangers, and Graf Orlock all are recording new music.  Fuck yes.

Setlist (From what I remember and not in order):
The Mourning Routine (I think)
Power Chord Blues
Half Brother, All Cop
My Wonder Years Never Got Cancelled
(D)anger(s)
Midnight Traffic (I think)
Five O Clock Shadows At The Edge Of The Western World
Stay At Home Mom
I’ll Clap When I’m Impressed
Pyramid Of Empties
Opposable
Goliath

MP3:
Dangers – I’ll Clap When I’m Impressed
Graf Orlock – Chapter III

More:
Dangers – Messy, Isn’t It?
Dangers – Anger
Dangers – Demo
Ghostlimb – Bearing And Distance
Graf Orlock – Destination: Time Today
Graf Orlock – Destination Time Tomorrow

United Nations Live In Philly (8/3/14)

united nations

I’m posting this one way after the fact because for the past few weeks I’ve been in Spain and access to a computer for me has been limited.  But a few weeks ago I headed to Philly’s Boot and Saddle to catch Geoff Rickley’s (of Thursday) grindcore/screamo/hardcore band United Nations.

The band was on tour supporting their newest album The Next Four Years, and played to a pretty packed crowd for a 21+ Sunday night show.  Maybe it was the smaller, more intimate setting of Boot and Saddle, but Geoff seemed much more interactive with the crowd and on point with the quips and jokes than I have ever seen him before.

Poking fun at everything including themselves “our real passion is selling t-shirts.  Music lets me live this dream”, the punk scene “using google analytics, we learned that we are reaching our target demographic, which are white crust punks who grew up in Connecticut mansions”, and of course the fucked up state of American politics which for one song Geoff donned a Ronald Reagan mask while draped in an American flag while giving another mask to the crowd.

The music was fast and aggressive, and while energy-wise the crowd was low key (minus a small pit that broke out during one song, which Geoff commented “Ah yes, the quintessential push pit… no punk show would be complete without one”, the band had an amazing stage presence, and is definitely a band you need to catch if they happen to play one of their rare shows.

Setlist (might not be in order)
False Flags
Communication Letdown
Serious Business
Meanwhile On Main Street
Model UN
Resolution #9
Fuck The Future
Pity Animal
Revolutions At Varying Speeds
No Sympathy For Sinking Ships
O You Bright & Risen Angels
Nevermind The Bombings, Here’s Your Six Figures
F#A#$
Music For Changing Parties
UN vs UN

MP3:
United Nations – The Spinning Heart Of The Yo Yo Lobby

More:
United Nations – Self Titled
Thursday – Full Collapse
Converge – Jane Doe

The Offspring, Bad Religion, Pennywise, The Vandals Live In Philadelphia (8/2/14)

Last Saturday, sort of on a whim I headed to Philadelphia’s Electric Factory to catch The Offspring play Smash in it’s entirety, Bad Religion, Pennywise, and The Vandals (aka Warped tour 1998).  I was having a hard time resolving it in my mind going to a punk show that was +$60 which is just absurd to me, so I was afraid the whole thing would be artificial, etc.  I decided fuck it and I’ll just go and have fun… punk cred be damned.

I bought a ticket from someone outside who had an extra, and lo and behold it was a fake (what a piece of a shit).  I lucked out though because the couple in line behind me heard what happened and had an extra, and gave it to me for free.  You, super couple are my heros and seriously made my day and week and gave me hope that there are good people out there for every piece of shit.  Thank you.

The Vandals

The show was outside on Electric Factory’s Summer stage and the rain stayed away so we can bring the circle pits.  First up were The Vandals, who before the show I was the most excited to see.  I’ve loved The Vandals for many years and only got to see them once back at a warped tour in the early 2000s, and only partially their set.

The Cali punks took the stage and immediately broke out into “It’s A Fact” off of The Quickening which had a small amount of people singing along and dancing to.  Yes, the majority of the giant crowd didn’t know who they were (a shame), but neither they nor us fans really gave a shit.  They gave some ridiculous stage banter as they blasted through their hits, and took “requests” from the crowd to which they replied “we don’t actually care what you want to hear, we HAVE A SETLIST.”  Good to see The Vandals haven’t changed at all.

Setlist:
It’s A Fact
Cafe 405
People Who Are Going To Hell
Oi To The World
I’ve Got An Ape Drape
I Know, Huh?
Anarchy Burger
And Now We Dance
My Girlfriend’s Dead
Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen cover)

Pennywise:

Holy bro party.  Next up were Pennywise who admittedly I haven’t really much too since Full Circle, so I didn’t know most of their newer stuff (aka anything after Full Circle) and was probably the least excited for them.  But I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was of course a special place in my punk rock heart for Pennywise, the amount of times I’ve skated in the early 00s to Fight Til You Die and Bro Hymn, so when they played the older stuff, I was dancing away (even if they didn’t play Fight Til You Die).

Someone through a shoe on stage, to which Fletcher poured his beer in and drank from.  With both a look of disgust and applause from the crowd, it was clear Pennywise was here to party.

Setlist:
Pennywise
Rules
My Own Country
Same Old Story
My Own Way
Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones cover)
Restless Time
Unknown Road
Perfect People
Fuck Authority
Society
Bro Hymn

Bad Religion:

I’d say most of the “punk” crowd was there for Bad Religion, and I have to say I was originally more excited about them as well than Offspring.  Another band I never really got into the later stuff (see a trend here?) I was hoping to hear some off Suffer and their older jams, and I was not disappointed, with them even playing my favorite “You” second.

Greg and company surprisingly kept the preaching to a minimum for a Bad Religion show, perhaps letting the message of the music speak for itself.  They did a block of songs off Suffer which had us oldsters losing our shit the way us oldsters do (aka pits and lots of ibuprofen).

Setlist:
A Walk
You
Generator
New Dark Ages
21st Century Digital Boy
True North
SkyscraperSupersonic
Sorrow
You Are The Government
1000 More Fools
Best For You
Do What You Want
Infected
Dept Of False Hope
American Jesus

The Offspring:

The Offspring have been at it a long time, and the fact that they were playing their critically acclaimed Smash in it’s entirety had people who would usually not go to see The Offspring or a punk show in general coming out.  I’ll admit, I didn’t have high hopes for the band or the show, but holy shit was I blown away.  The energy was insane with giant pits throughout, and I mean, it’s fucking Smash.

The band took the stage to the intro “Time To Relax” before busting in Nitro (Youth Energy), and really didn’t let up the rest of the show.  The crowd was loud, Dexter was nailing the vocals and the band played through Smash and then added a few bonus songs at the end while they took an “Intermission” (as that track played from Ixnay On The Hombre).

They took the stage again and blasted into All I Want and then proceeded to play a few hits from their catalog (mostly off of Americana).  I did not hear my favorite Elders off their Self Titled, but honestly I wasn’t expecting to.  I’ll be honest, one of the most fun shows I’ve been to in a while.

Setlist:
Time To Relax
Nitro (Youth Energy)
Bad Habit
Gotta Get Away
Genocide
Something To Believe In
Come Out And Play
It’ll Be A Long Time
Killboy Powderhead (Didjits cover)
What Happened To You?
So Alone
Not The One
Smash
Self Esteem

Intermission
All I Want
You’re Gonna Go Far KId
Staring At The Sun
Why Don’t You Get A Job
Americana
(Can’t Get My) Head Around You
Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)
The Kids Aren’t Alright

MP3:
The Offspring – Elders
Bad Religion – Fuck Armageddon This Is Hell
The Vandals – N.I.M.B.Y

More:
The Offspring – Self Titled
Bad Religion – How Could Hell Be Any Worse?
The Vandals – Live Fast Diarrhea