Tag Archive for philly

Alkaline Trio Plays Goddamnit Live In Philly (5/7/15)

Alkaline-Trio-Past-Live-Tour-Poster-e1418406288744

This past Thursday, I headed to Philadelphia’s TLA to catch the first night of four where Alkaline Trio was playing all of their studio albums live.  What they’ve been doing were playing two albums a night, playing their first then most recent, then 2nd and 2nd most recent and so on.

Since I really only love their earlier punk Goddamnit and their Self Titled compilation (which kills me they didn’t play live), I opted to only go this night, but was stoked to see them play their first studio album live.

We got there a bit late after the first opener, and right as Alkaline Trio started playing their latest album My Shame Is True.  While not sold out, the place was pretty packed.  I’ll be completely honest, my knowledge of Alkaline Trio is pretty limited,  I I don’t really know their latest album, but plenty of people in the crowd were singing along, and the songs actually were pretty enjoyable even for a jaded punk like me.  Songs like “She Lied To The FBI” and “I Wanna Be A Warhol” particularly stood out.

Finally, after wrapping up their My Shame Is True Segment, Alkaline Trio said they were going to play an old one, and they used to play songs off this album with bands like Ink & Dagger (hell yeah) at Philly’s old Stalag 13.  The second the opening chords of “Cringe” started, it was obvious that this was the reason most people were here.  The place instantly erupted, and a giant pit broke out that continued throughout the night.

After ripping through the entirety of Goddamnit with only a few brief pauses between, it was over before you I knew it and the band was leaving the stage only to come back and play my one of my personal favorite songs by them “My Friend Peter”.  Definitely a solid show, I’m glad I got to see them do Goddamnit in it’s entirety.  Now please do a Self Titled tour?

Setlist:
She Lied To The FBI
I Wanna Be A Warhol
I’m Only Here To Disappoint
Kiss You To Death
The Temptation Of St. Anthony
I, Pessimist
Only Love
The Torture Doctor
Midnight Blue
One Last Dance
Young Lovers
Until Death Do Us Part

Cringe
Cop
San Francisco
Nose Over Tail
As You Were
Enjoy Your Day
Clavicle
My Little Needle
Southern Rock
Message From Kathlene
Trouble Breathing
Sorry About That

Encore:
My Friend Peter

MP3:
Alkaline Trio – Cringe

More:
Alkaline Trio – Self Titled
Smoke or Fire – This Sinking Ship
Saves The Day – Can’t Slow Down

The Dead Milkmen Play An Acoustic Library Show In Philadelphia (5/3/15)

Dead_Milkmen

I’ve been to a lot of shows in my life, and I’ve seen the Dead Milkmen a handful of times, from playing a free park show to playing a memorial tribute.  Sunday’s show was by far one of the strangest shows I’ve ever been to in general.

It was announced that The Dead Milkmen would be playing a free show in Philadelphia’s Logan’s Circle sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia as part of a book signing and reading they were having of an author.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’ve seen them play some strange places before so I felt pretty confident it would be like any other Dead Milkmen show.  Way wrong.

I got to Logan’s Circle and there was clearly no show happening there, so I headed to the library across the street.  I asked the librarian about the show, and they informed me that the show was moved indoors to the 4th floor, and to just take the elevator up there.  Ok…

I got to the 4th floor a few songs late, and peered in the conference room to see a crowd of people sitting in seats with a few people standing up against the wall while The Dead Milkmen played an acoustic set.  There weren’t any microphones minus the podium that speakers used that Rodney would occasionally shout into while he sang pacing the front of the conference room.

The crowd was made up of an interesting mix of punks who looked just as confused as I was, and people there strictly for the library event, including multiple elderly couples who looked just as confused as us punk fans as the Dead Milkmen played their offbeat satirical tunes, while many babies and toddlers clapped along.

The Dead Milkmen opted to have create their setlist on the spot by pulling song titles out of an envelope, sometimes going into a brief explanation of the song itself (“Some history about this song.  It’s possible to bronze bodies like you would with baby boots, but sometimes the body would collapse in the process.  This song was written because I made the mistake of telling Joe about this.”)

Whether pacing around, singing in the bathroom so the people who took a bathroom break could hear, or busting out the melodica, The Dead Milkmen played a light hearted and fun set to the intimate and varied crowd.

At one point when I was standing up against the wall with a bunch of other fans in the middle of the set, an elderly librarian came up to us and asked us if we would like seats… so yeah, definitely not your every day Dead Milkmen show, but it’s definitely one to remember.

Highlights:
Stuart
Beach Party Vietnam
Punk Rock Girl
Meaningless Upbeat Happy Song

MP3:
Dead Milkmen – If You Love Somebody, Set Them On Fire

More:
The Low Budgets – Aim Low, Get High
The Low Budgets – Leave Us A Loan

Bane, Backtrack Live In Philadelphia (4/23/15)

bane flyer

This past Thursday, I headed out to Philadelphia’s small bar Voltage Lounge to see one of my favorite hardcore bands of all time, Bane.  The place was decently packed when I got there, and I got there in time to catch Long Island hardcore dudes Backtrack.

Backtrack:

backtrackband

Backtrack is one of the bigger names in hardcore today, and it definitely showed once they took the stage.  A pit immediately broke out with people raging throughout the entirety of their set and didn’t let up.  7 year running Backtrack play a style of hardcore that takes it’s roots from NYHC bands like Madball, yet blends it with a faster youth-crew era style at times.

Personally, not my type of hardcore (I’m not a fan of the more metal infused breakdown hardcore), but they put on a solid and enjoyable set regardless with tons of stage presence and energy.  If you dig bands like Turnstile or Suburban Scum, you’d dig these guys.

Bane:

bane

I’ve seen Bane a shit load of times, and I’m always still insanely excited every time I see them.  Worcester’s Bane is one of the few bands who seem to truly love what they do, and play every show with a lot of heart and passion.  For a band that has been at it for 20 years now, this is beyond fucking impressive.

As Bane was setting up and mic checking, they started to sing along with the between sets music track “Lean On Me”, getting the entire crowd to sing along and having lighters thrown in the air waving back and forth: not your usual site at a Bane show.  That didn’t last long though, once they opened their set with “My Therapy”, we erupted into a frenzy of two steps, stage dives, and sing alongs, which only intensified as they segued straight into “Ali Vs Frazier”.

Usually when bands play songs off later albums, they don’t often get a big reaction (especially if you’ve been cranking out songs as long as Bane has), but everything off Don’t Wait Up was met with enthusiasm.  Of course, the song that got the biggest reaction was “Can We Start Again”, and people were jumping off speakers at this point.

Little side note: vocalist Aaron took some time to talk about how nothing on tour (and life) is certain, where they’ve played places they expected to be dead to be insane, and places the reaction are usually good to be low key, but that Philadelphia always goes off and is insane.  Usually I would think a band says that at every show, but I’ve seen Bane elsewhere, and there always is a good reaction in Philly compared to other places I’ve seen them.

Setlist:
My Therapy
Ali Vs Frazier
All The Way Through
Count Me Out
Non-Negotiable
Some Came Running
Swan Song
Calling Hours
Can We Start Again
Super Hero
Final Backward Glance

MP3:
Bane – Non-Negotiable

More:
Bane – Don’t Wait Up
Bane – Holding This Moment
American Nightmare – Year One
Chain Of Strength – The One Thing That Still Holds True Today

Cave Moth, Fantasy Panther Live In Philadelphia (4/21/15)

cave moth fantasty panther

Tuesday night, I was suffering from a pretty bad headache and just overall felt under the weather. Figuring the only cure was incredibly loud grindcore, I headed out to Philadelphia’s Kung Fu Necktie on a whim, as I found out about the show about 4 hours before heading out.

I got to Kung Fu Necktie and the place was pretty much empty, minus a handful of people, making it a pretty low-key grind show (oxymoron?) which was actually pretty rad.

Fantasy Panther:

fantasy panther

Featuring ex-members of Pennsylvania’s weirdo-psycho-hardcore-whatever you want to call them An Albatross, Fantasy Panther plays heavy as shit grind, all while keeping true to their punk roots by throwing in plenty of melodies to contrast with the technical aspects typically found in grind (just listen to their song Dystrophy as an example).

I’ve seen these Philly locals a bunch of times now and Fantasy Panther always puts on a tight and energetic set, regardless if they’re playing to a packed room or just a few people on a Tuesday night.  Blasting through the majority of their under a minute songs on their LP, they also threw in some newer ones I haven’t really heard before.  Always fun, go see them live if you get a chance.

Cave Moth:

cave moth
I’ve never heard of Florida’s Cave Moth before, but they play incredibly experimental noise, blending a variety of styles, leaning very heavily on their grind influences during this set.  With many of their recorded songs being fully electronic white noise, they were playing their more structured songs.  I use that term incredibly loosely by the way, even their “more structured songs” remained incredibly experimental and technical.
Cave Moth seemed excited to be playing, and while their music might be too experimental for some there were definitely a few in the small handful of people there getting into their noise grind.  If you dig your grind more technical, give these dudes a listen.

MP3:
Fantasy Panther – Marionette

More:
An Albatross – We Are The Lazer Viking
An Albatross – Eat Lightning Shit Thunder
Phobia – Cruel
Some Girls – The DNA Will Have It’s Say
Graf Orlock – Destination: Time Today

The Suicide Machines, Break Anchor Live In Philadelphia (4/9/15)

suicide machines tour

“Yeeeah, weeell I can’t wait to tell you all about…” how this past Thursday I got to go to Philadelphia’s Union Transfer to catch ska-punk legends The Suicide Machines who are currently on tour playing their first album Destruction By Definition in entirety.  I know what some of you cynical punks are thinking: “great, another band reuniting to try and relive their glory days and make a quick buck.”  And to you I say lighten up, it was incredible.

I got there a bit late missing one of my favorite ska bands still at it, Hub City Stompers who always put on a great show, but I got there in time for Break Anchor.

Break Anchor:

Break Anchor is the latest band featuring Jay Navarro (singer of The Suicide Machines) and their music is pretty straight forward punk rock.  Break Anchor put on an energetic show with fans circle pitting throughout the majority of their set.  They had a decent amount of younger fans, which was good to see.

The Suicide Machines:

I caught The Suicide Machines back when they played Riot Fest East with bands like 7 Seconds, The Descendents, and Hot Water Music… and The Suicide Machines easily had the biggest reaction of the night.  I had high expectations for the same energetic reaction and I was not let down.  The band took the stage with one of the members of The Pilfers playing trombone, and the second they broke out into opener “New Girl” a giant pit broke out that didn’t let up for the rest of the night.  Older fans and younger fans were going all out and screaming every word as The Detroit punks played through their acclaimed Destruction By Definition. 

Navarro, even playing a set with Break Anchor just before still was incredibly high energy, and legitimately seemed excited to be playing these songs again.  After playing through the entirety of the album, the band came back for an encore and played a bunch off their follow up album Battle Hymns.  An incredible set and show, if you get a chance to see them on this tour, do it.  I felt like I was 16 again skanking and circle pitting all damn night.

Setlist:

New Girl
SOS
Break The Glass
No Face
Hey
Our Time
Too Much
Islands
The Real You
Face Values
Punk Out
The Vans Song
Insecurities
Inside/Outside
Zero
So Long

Encore:
I Don’t Wanna Hear It (Minor Threat cover)
Someone
Hating Hate
Give
Hope
DDT

MP3:
Suicide Machines – Islands

More:
Have Nots – Serf City
Against All Authority – 24 Hours Roadside Resistance

Los Crudos, Pure Disgust, The Stasi Live In Philadelphia (3/30/15)

This past Monday, I headed to Philadelphia’s infamous First Unitarian Church basement to catch recently reunited Chicago latino hardcore legends Los Crudos.  Los Crudos was donating all of the proceeds of the show to The Attic, a Philadelphia LGBT youth center.

I missed openers Latex, but got there in time for Philly’s own The Stasi.

The Stasi:

the stasi

I’ve seen The Stasi a few times, but it’s always been in smaller house shows.  The band took the stage with their banners hanging from the wall, and immediately blasted into a no frills, no bullshit hardcore set.  Playing incredibly fast and aggressive punk rock with lyrics alluding to the oppressive East Germany secret police force of the same name, The Stasi put on an insanely energetic set.

The singer was all over the place, rolling on the ground, jumping into the crowd and generally making good use of the stage.  If you dig hardcore such as Government Warning, definitely give The Stasi a listen.

Pure Disgust

pure disgust

I’ve never heard of DC’s Pure Disgust before, but they had a solid following opening up a pretty big pit and singing along throughout their set.  Pure Disgust played oi influenced hardcore, almost sounding like if Coke Bust and Blitz had a child together and played a pretty tight set.  I’m going to have to give their recorded work a listen.

Los Crudos:

 

los crudos

A Los Crudos show these days are rare and the crowd energy was high as the Chicago punks took the stage.  For those who don’t know, all of Los Crudos songs (minus one) are written in Spanish, and deal with racism, immigration, gay rights, and other political/humanitarian issues.

Once the band broke into their first song the church immediately erupted with punks from all backgrounds stage diving and piling on.  Dedicating songs to women in punk, the nameless immigrants who make this country run, and the LGBT crowd, it was interesting to hear singer Martin go into detail about the backgrounds of the songs and the struggles of growing up in a predominately white straight subculture (Martin is also the singer of queercore Limp Wrist).

Loud, fast, and energetic, Los Crudos is one of those historic bands that completely changed the face of hardcore, and influenced countless of people who were otherwise feeling marginalized.  It was awesome to be able to see them live.

MP3:
Los Crudos – Asesinos
The Stasi – On Standby For Guilt

More Punk Rock:
Limp Wrist – Self Titled LP
Government Warning – No Moderation
Bad Side – Looking For A Bad Time

 

The Queers, Richie Ramone Live In Philadelphia (3/26/15)

This past Thursday, I headed to Philly’s dive Kung Fu Necktie to catch Richie Ramone and The Queers.  The show was running really late, so I left for a bit and got there in time for Richie Ramone.

Richie Ramone:

richieramone

For those who don’t know, Richie Ramone was the third drummer for The legendary Ramones during the 80s, playing on albums Too Tough To Die, Animal Boy, and Halfway To Sanity.  Besides being the only Ramones drummer credited to completely write songs, Richie also has been touring for his solo releases.

I had the pleasure of catching him live during a blizzard last year, and was pretty stoked to be seeing him and his backing band again.  Richie took the stage and switched between drumming while singing, and just doing vocals.  Richie Ramone and crew played a lively set, with people singing along throughout to most of The Ramones hits.  Sneaking in a few solo songs as well, the place finally got moving during “Wart Hog”.  Always a solid and energetic set, go see Richie Ramone live if you get a chance.  His ability to sing while drumming, and then switch roles to be an energetic frontman is impressive.

Highlights:
Blitzkrieg Bop
I Just Wanna Have Something To Do
Wart Hog
Somebody Put Something In My Drink
Smash You
Havana Affair

The Queers:

queers1

The Queers have been at it for a long time, and remain one of the more immature, brash, and fun punk bands around.  Playing a more surfy Ramones influenced punk sound, it was clear that the place was pretty hyped for The Queers as a pit broke out through the majority of their set.  Joe kept the banter to a minimum, playing without much of a real setlist and taking requests, saying this was a warm-up show for a bigger fest they were doing out west.

Always a good time, the band sounded tight as usual.  If you dig real pop-punk at all, go catch these guys live.

Highlights:
Daydreaming
Like a Parasite
My Old Man’s A Fatso
Born To Do Dishes
Punk Rock Girls
Hi Mom, It’s Me
Granola Head
White Minority (Black Flag cover)

MP3:
The Queers – Little Rich Working Class Oi Boi
The Ramones – Smash You

More Punk Rock:
Ramones – Rocket To Russia
The Misfits – Walk Among Us
The Vibrators – 25 Years Of Pure Mania

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