By Mike Shomaker, DC Music Live
The Menzingers are climbing precipitously amongst the ranks of punk acts and a packed Rock N’ Roll Hotel last Monday night proves that. Since their release of On The Impossible Past (Epitaph, 2012), the Philly-based punk rockers have quietly but determinedly risen from the minor leagues—house parties and sparsely filled bars—to selling out legitimate rock venues across the country. Around 10 p.m., the two-story venue that has nothing to do with a hotel erupted as The Menzingers took the stage.
It was a familiar setting to their show almost exactly a year ago.
Last summer, the dual-fronted quartet took the stage at the famed Black Cat for their first ever performance in the District. Sometimes playing in a new city can be deflating and discouraging, especially for up and comers. Stepping out in front of a sea of unfamiliar faces ready to scrutinize every misstep is nothing short of terrifying. But The Menzingers, full of energy and youthful rambunctiousness, took command of the crowd as if it were a hometown show. Three measures into their upbeat opener, “Good Things,” rowdy fans were hurling themselves over one another towards the front, tumbling onto the feet of lead singers Tom May and Greg Barnett, who seemed unfazed by the Animal House-like environment.
Monday’s show was no different.
Lights, loud guitars and a lot of sweat filled the main room. At no more than two feet tall, the stage provided for a more intimate environment, i.e. a chance for fans to literally connect with the musicians if hurled with enough force. The raucous crowd, having been warmed up by Fake Problems, Restorations and Captain, We’re Sinking!, exploded into unfettered exaltation as the The Menzingers ripped into their opener, “The Obituaries,” a punk sing-a-long that set the bar incredibly high for the rest of the show. Their set comprised a solid blend between albums, Chamberlain Waits and On The Impossible Past with one or two thrown in from their first record, A Lesson In The Abuse Of Information Technology. They delivered a flawless, fist-pumping, ear-bursting hour-long set that could have easily gone on another hour without losing the attention of a single audience member.
In just two and a half years, The Menzingers have become a household name, touring alongside punk giants like Anti-Flag, Against Me! and Less Than Jake. This summer, they’ll embark on a European tour with heavy hitters, Tigers Jaw and The Arteries.
Be sure to check out The Menzingers’ new record, On The Impossible Past.
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