When someone gives you a label, sometimes you should just embrace it. The Menzingers do just that. They accept their label of being the Bruce Springsteen of punk and even blast The Boss before taking the stage. They let you know they’ve heard all the comparisons and readily accept it. What they also do is bring their punk anthems from the past decade and a half to you and serve it hot.
And for the 75 minutes the Menzingers were on the stage last Friday night, they were bringing that heat to a very cold Harbour Event & Convention Centre. As a backdrop for punk shows, the space isn’t going to make anyone miss the old Smilin’ Budda. The Harbour Centre should stick to being an EDM nightclub. Despite all of that, the Menzingers delivered.
The set list was as to be expected, laying heavily on the new material from their recently released album, Some of It Was True, but they had made sure they kept their old fans in mind with a smattering of older songs.
We sang for “Anna” to return to Philadelphia, knew it was just me and you “After the Party”, and got drunk before we did the dishes with “Casey”.
I was hoping to hear “Ultraviolet”, which stands out on Some Of It Was True for the way Greg Barnett pushes himself as a vocalist. Alas, I was not to be on this night but instead, I got to sing my lungs out to various other album favourites, including the title track and “There’s No Place In This World For Me”, both of which had me dancing in my little square foot of the Harbour Centre’s floor.
The sing-along nature of the whole show had led to new friends being made. One group merged with another as we turned to each other to share our favourite chorus. It felt like being with a bunch of really good friends who all loved the same band. When the chorus to “The Obituaries” started, we were prepared. At the top of the collective lungs, we sang, “I will fuck this up, I fucking know it.”
When I looked around, I felt a sense of belonging as we belted out the lyrics together. Despite a chilly evening, the warmth of the Menzingers soothed our souls.