Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Menzingers Rock the Brew City (Concert Review)

If you’re a music fan like me, then you know its a rare thing for a band to put out an album that is near perfect from start to finish. Well, the Scranton, PA punk band The Menzingers did just that. With the release of their third full length and most recent album, “On The Impossible Past” (Epitaph Records), The Menzingers produced a rare gem that has been on repeat since I downloaded the album late last year. On the album “On The Impossible Past”, The Menzingers sing about the carefree good times of growing up as well as some the bad times and tragedies they have experienced. Their clean three-chord sound, catchy lyrics, and strong vocals are captivating making “On The Impossible Past” an instant classic. When I found out that The Menzingers were stopping by my hometown of Milwaukee, WI on their summer tour, there was no way I was going to miss it.

The venue for the show was a small Milwaukee dive bar called The Cactus Club (2496 S Wentworth Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207). Located in a residential neighborhood in Milwaukee’s Bay View area, The Cactus Club has hosted scores of punk/alternative bands throughout the years. Its a dark, smaller venue with reasonably priced drinks, walls riddled with flyers from their previous shows, and a modest stage in the back of the place. It’s an intimate venue to see live music and great fit for The Menzingers.

The Menzingers took the stage and began their hour long set list at around 11:00 pm. They opened up with the fan favorite "Obituaries" electrifying the Sunday night crowd. The Menzingers kept good pace and went from one song to the next without missing a beat. The majority of the songs they played were from "On The Impossible Past" including "Good Things" and the upbeat "Burn After Writing". The Menzingers also played some of their best songs from their second album "Chamberlain Waits". The audience positively responded to their song selection by cheering and singing along with the band, often drowning out the lead vocals. Of course, the crowd demanded an encore and The Menzingers obliged playing their final song of the night, "Casey".

The Menzingers put on a great show. They played a good array of songs and they sounded amazing. The Menzingers performed with very high energy that was magnified in the small venue creating an electric atmosphere. It was a unique experience that took me back to my old days of going to punk shows as a kid. The Menzingers are still on their Summer Tour in the U.S. and they kick off their UK/European tour on July 12th. If you get the opportunity to see them, I would definitely go and see the best thing to come out of Scranton since Dunder Mifflin.

Set List from the show:

U.S. Tour Dates:
5/24 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church SOLD OUT
5/25 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
5/26 Amityville, NY @ Revolution
5/27 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
5/28 Buffalo, NY @ The Waiting Room
5/29 Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
5/30 Detroit, MI @ Smalls
5/31 Indianapolis, IN @ Hoosier Dome
6/01 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean - SOLD OUT
6/02 Milwaukee, WI @ The Cactus Club
6/03 St. Louis, MO @ The Firebird
6/04 Newport, KY @ The Southgate House Revival
6/06 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
6/07 Orlando, FL @ The Social
6/08 Jacksonville, FL @ Phoenix Taproom
6/10 Washington, DC @ The Rock and Roll Hotel
6/11 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus - SOLD OUT
6/12 Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes

UK/European Tour Dates:
July 12 - Tolmin, Slovenia @ Punk Rock Holiday
July 13 - Milan, Italy @ Live Forum #
July 14 - Geneva, Switzerland @ Le Contertemps #
July 15 - St. Gallen, Switzerland @ Rumpeltum #
July 16 - Trier, Germany @ Ex-Haus #
July 17 - Oberhausen, Germany @ Druckluft #
July 19 - Prague, Czech Rep @ Mighty Sounds Festival
July 20 - Jarocin, Poland @ Jarocin Festival
July 22 - Dessau, Germany @ Panic Room #
July 23 - Braunschweig, Germany @ B58 #
July 24 - Bremen, Germany @ Tower #
July 25 - Aalborg, Denmark @ Rock Cafeen #
July 26 - Stockholm, Sweden @ IOGT-huset Skarpnack #
July 27 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ UnderWerket #
July 29 - Frankfurt, Germany @ 11er #
July 30 - Lyon, France @ Warmaudio *
July 31 - Bordeaux, France @ Heretic Club *
Aug 01 - Tours, France @ The Hurricane *
Aug 03 - Folkestone, UK @ Hevy Festival %
Aug 04 - Kingston, UK @ Fighting Cocks % SOLD OUT
Aug 05 - Kingston, UK @ Fighting Cocks % SOLD OUT
Aug 06 - Leeds, UK @ Cockpit  %
Aug 07 - Edinburgh, Scotland @ Bannermans % SOLD OUT
Aug 08 - Blackpool, UK @ Rebellion Festival
Aug 09 - Cardiff, UK @ Clwb Ifor Bach % SOLD OUT
Aug 10 - Cork, Ireland @ Cypress Avenue %
Aug 11 - Dublin, Ireland @ Fibber Magees %
Aug 13 - Paris, France @ La Miroiterie
Aug 14 - Lille, France @ Shaka Laka
Aug 16 - Biddinghuizen, Holland @ Lowlands Festival

# The Arteries
* Apologies I Have None
% Tigers Jaw

Official Menzingers Website:

The Menzingers “Good Things”: