KOKO – 19th April
There are some bands you don’t have to worship to be completely heart-struck when they ravage a set before your eyes – anybody who grew up with a skateboard or sneers at polished Vans in Shoreditch will understand what I mean when listening to The Menzingers live. Despite The Flatliners warming up the crowd to potential burnout, there still remained wave after wave of sweat fuelled combustion throughout The Menzingers’ set, starting with age anxiety belter ‘Tellin’ Lies’. The front barrier became stacked with bodies screaming in harmony, a gruesome scene so beautiful you could cry.
Slipping back into familiar territory on ‘I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore’, it was, again, a sweaty mess. You should have felt guilty for not diving into the pit of mismatched denim-cladded warlocks and uni students sporting suspiciously white skate shoes. It tells you a story of how confused punk music is today, but like with all such gigs little fuck was given about what you looked like.
‘Good Things’, and ‘Obituaries’ were played early and did the foreseeable trick of pulling heartstrings as the room filled with razor throat screams from a front crowd so buzzing you would be scared to imagine what it might have been like if the back benchers joined in. The show was rammed with songs off an album released only two months ago, notably ‘Midwestern States’ and ‘After the Party’, and the reception consisted of just as much passion as any of their older stuff. This, if not a sign of a band at the top of their game, is the essence of a great gig; a performance not being dragged into the pit of fan service.
It must be said that although that The Flatliners had enough potential to steal the night when it came to championing soul lifters such as ‘Carry the Banner’ and ‘Resuscitation of the Year’, The Menzingers will continue to defy our ears with beautiful anthems that break decibels and mend hearts on a daily basis. Let’s hope we’ll be soon seeing both bands on tour together again.