45 minutes of inspiration that will last a Lifetime.
While it might sound a bit strange, I can actually remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about Lifetime’s unexpected break-up. I had a show booked with a now-defunct Pennsylvania punk rock band called the Overdrives (two gold stars to anyone who got to witness the band's greatness). I had just been given a copy of Lifetime’s Jade Tree debut, Hello Bastards, a month prior, and needless to say I was absolutely crushed when I heard from a member of the Overdrives that Lifetime had broken up. Lifetime was fast becoming one of my favorite bands during that point in my life, and the realization that I would never be able to experience them in a live setting was a very unsettling feeling. In the following years, I have managed to see just about every band I have ever wanted to see, but I still couldn’t help but feel cheated that I had never been able to see Lifetime.
A year or so ago, a lot of bands started to do reunion shows. Bands like Coalesce, Turmoil, Trial, Damnation AD, and plenty more including hardcore powerhouses Kid Dynamite and Gorilla Biscuits got back together for one last blaze of glory. I started to get optimistic thinking to myself, “okay, if all these other bands nobody thought would ever get back together decided to play one more show, why not Lifetime?” Sure enough, after a high profile Alternative Press article on the band, Lifetime announced that they would reunite for Hellfest. In the months following the substituted weekend shows, Lifetime announced they would be coming to the West Coast.
Tonight was a very special night for me, as I am sure it was equally as special for everybody at the Troubadour. It was made blatantly apparent how influential and respected Lifetime is by the sheer number of band members and label representatives in attendance. When Lifetime hit the stage it was like I had entered a time warp. The atmosphere wasn’t like that of a Kiss reunion concert, featuring 5 washed up assholes milking their fans for every last cent in their pockets. Lifetime played tonight with utter sincerity, and they even had a Shirts for a Cure table set up featuring Lifetime, Kid Dynamite and Loved Ones shirts for sale, with the proceeds being donated to charity. Tonight I witnessed a band who had been more or less broken up for the past 8 years play a set of songs with the same youthful energy many witnessed when Lifetime was regularly touring and inspiring people with their music. I would just like to send out a formal thank you to Lifetime and everybody else involved with putting these shows together. It was honestly a dream come true to be able to sing along to these songs live. Since their tragic break-up, we have seen Lifetime become even more recognized posthumously. The band has announced they will be playing sporadic shows on “special occasions,” so I hope there will be more opportunities for people like me in other areas of the country to share Lifetime's music and message one more time. Tonight I witnessed 5 guys who gave everything they had on stage for 45 minutes, and who truly give a fuck about making indie music a positive and rewarding experience.
Set list In no particular order:
- Rodeo Clown
- (The Gym Is) Neutral Territory
- Irony Is for Suckers
- What She Said
- Knives Bats New Tats
- Turnpike Gates
- Young Loud and Scotty
- Francie Nolan
- 25 Cent Giraffes
- Hey Catrine
- Bringin’ It Backwards
- How We Are
- Theme for a New Brunswick Basement Show
- Cut the Tension
- The Truth About Lars
- The Boys No Good
- The Verona Kings
- Somewhere in the Swamps
[originally posted on punkrocks.net