Published in Drum Media (WA) | 11.04.13 | Issue # 333
PENNYWISE, FACE TO FACE, THE MENZINGERS
2 April, 2013
Having made their live Perth debut at Soundwave 2012, The Menzingers opened the show to a handful of dedicated and passionate fans. Those who knew the words screamed their lungs out, while newcomers up the back no doubt made a note to check them out later. Their Epitaph debut, and one of the best punk rock releases of the past couple of years, On The Impossible Past, translated impeccably well into the live arena.
To someone unfamiliar with SoCal punk rock, Face To Face would just be another name among an endless sea of bands. But to those plugged into the scene, they’re heroes. Equipped with suspenders, loafers and slicked-back hair, their feel-good harmonies left plenty of room for sing-alongs. Unfortunately, most of the crowd didn’t take advantage of the opportunity. “You guys are a bunch of fucking buzz kills tonight,” frontman Trever Keith yelled. It seemed some harsh truth was exactly what everyone needed, because by the time the band reach set closer,Bright Lights Go Down, he had injected a shot of adrenalin into the heart of the moshpit.
Twenty-five years is a long time to be playing music, even longer if it’s with one band. Firmly embedded on their backdrop, Pennywise were sending out a message that their 25th anniversary was reason to party. With original vocalist Jim Lindberg back onboard, there was extra reason for rejoice. Labeling and promoting the tour as a “reunion”, however, seemed a little rich, considering Lindberg had only been out of the band for three years and one album.
It wasn’t long after opener Wouldn’t It Be Nice that there was enough sweat in the room to fill a small pool, with the front row pushing up against the barrier and screaming like rioting prisoners. Twenty-five years and 10 albums – it seemed unlikely they would manage to cover enough ground to sum up the band in an hour-and-a-half, but they did so, and even had time for a Black Flag cover and punk versions of Stand By Me and Down Under. Guitarist Fletcher Dragon had a go at singing the first verse and chorus of AC/DC’s TNT – he should really stick to guitar. Interestingly enough, they didn’t play any songs from 2012’s All Or Nothing, which features Lindberg’s replacement, Zoli Teglas.
With Lindberg back behind the wheel and a solid 25 years in their rear vision mirror, Pennywise’s legacy to punk rock became all too clear as the final echoing crowd chants of Bro Hymn faded their set out.
Written by Daniel Cribb