A “new” venue? One of my favorite bands that I just can’t get enough of lately? Some amazing friends? Yes please and thank you! What I’m trying to say is that Friday night’s show was just what I needed and then some.
Let’s tackle the venue thing. Billed as “The Lyric” but also as being hosted by The Skyway Theatre, I assumed that the venue had just changed the name of their “Studio B” side room but I was a bit surprised when I reached the top of the steps of this former movie theatre and saw the doors to Studio B closed. My friends and I followed the signs for this mysterious room up a few flights of stairs and found ourselves in a theater room that I honestly never knew existed. It literally felt exactly like the main room of the Skyway Theater only shrunk down a few sizes. A slanted floor, a giant stage with speaker racks hanging off the sides, and a few tables scattered along the back wall, I instantly wondered where this room had been all of my life. The perfect size with the perfect sound and lights, I can’t wait to see what else the Skyway puts in this space. But I digress- you’re not here to read about me geeking out on how much I love the room, you’re here to hear about the music so let’s dig into that portion of the night.
Canadian rockers The Dirty Nil got the night started with a set that seemed as if it lasted only a couple of minutes. Although it was a super short opening set, The Dirty Nil packed a punch with the time they have and treated the audience to a sound that can only be described as “good ol’ fashioned rock n’ roll”. High energy but not chaotic or aggressive, I love how this band is so comfortable in their own shoes and with their own sound. They never try to be anything other than what they are and they truly stay true to their classic rock sounds while bringing a bit of a punk edge to the table here and there. Honestly, this band could have played for at least an hour and I don’t think you would have heard a single complaint from the quickly growing crowd but, after just a few tracks, the band left the stage and made way for Worriers.
There was something oddly familiar about Worriers’ sound. It had a very Laura Jane Grace/ Against Me! vibe to it so I wasn’t that shocked when I read that Laura Jane Grace actually produced their 2015 album. Another super accessible band with their own brand rock n’ roll that leaned just a bit more into the punk side of things, I found Worriers’ stage show to be completely captivating. They honestly didn’t do anything super strange or super eye-catching but there was just something so genuine about their music and the way they played for the crowd instead of at them. With three albums and a handful of EP’s out there, Worriers is not a new band but they are new to me and, based on the chatter around me after their set, were new to many people at the show on Friday night. I truly think this band is going to catch on like wildfire up here in the Twin Cities and I truly can not wait for them to come back to town and get a crowd that is singing along to their infectious tracks with the same amount of passion that this band clearly has.
All of the bands that took the stage on Friday night killed it but headliner The Menzingers absolutely stole the show (which is honestly no surprise if you’ve ever seen these guys live before). Hailing from Scranton, Pennsylvania (yeah, that Scranton– the Electric City), The Menzingers is one of those bands that I could see a million times and just not get bored with them. I honestly had just seen them last month at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas but that didn’t stop me from being overly excited to catch them again on Friday night. As soon as the band stepped on the stage, there was a sense of energy that came across the entire room, and that never faltered even after the final note was left hanging in the air.
The Menzingers’ music is a bit pop-punk, a bit punk, and a whole lot of rock n’ roll. Like the previous bands, they have their own distinct sound that just really can’t be put into words and is something that you just have to hear. The same can be said for the energy that this band brings to the stage, it’s not something my words will ever do justice so you really just have to go and experience it for yourself. Kicking their set off with “America (You’re Freaking Me Out)” and playing through nearly twenty songs that were so perfectly curated, there was not a single moment throughout their set where I found myself growing bored or wanting a different track. That’s one thing that has always kept me coming back for more from this band. Even though they have six full-length albums and a smattering of singles and EPs, they somehow bring the best setlists to the table and always leave me feeling satisfied with the songs they performed. Of course, I would love to stand and watch them play through their entire discography for hours but I also know that’s not going to happen so I’ll take what I can get.
I was clearly not the only one enjoying every second of The Menzingers’ set on Friday night. Although it wasn’t a sold-out crowd, the energy among the people that came out made it feel like it was completely sold out. With some people pushing and shoving their way through the set and some others just hanging out and chilling on the sidelines, there was just this sense of contentedness throughout the room. It didn’t matter what your day had been like or what mess you were dreading for the weekend, there was a smile on your face and a weight lifted off your shoulders as you watched and listened to The Menzingers on Friday night.
Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable
Average Age of the Crowd: 34
Crowd Surfers- 2
Mosh-ability- 6 out of 10
Sausage-Fest Meter- 6 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- None
Broken Bones- None Noticed
Spotted Flying Through The Air- A few drinks, a few bodies
Fights- None Witnessed
Pukers- None Witnessed
Idiots Taken Out By Security- 0
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-
The Dirty Nil – 2
Worriers – 0
The Menzingers – 6
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 9 out of 10
Show on Deck- Flogging Molly / Violent Femmes / Me First & The Gimme Gimmes / THICK
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