The Menzingers / Fake Problems - live in Orlando (Cover Artwork)

The Menzingers / Fake Problems

live in Orlando (2013)

live show

The Menzingers / Fake Problems / Restorations / Captain We're Sinking
June 7, 2013

Many tours find themselves weighed down by snore-inducing openers or feature extremely talented opening bands supporting headlong bands with no appeal. However this is not the case for the recent tour featuring four punk heavy-hitters in Captain We're Sinking, Restorations, Fake Problems and the Menzingers. Although these bands have each found their own distinct sound, the idea for them to tour together makes perfect sense. And as if there needed to be any more proof of how great this lineup is, the Social was packed with a sold out crowd despite competing with two other Orlando shows the same night: The Front Bottoms at Will's Pub as well as Cheap Girls, Make Do and Mend and Diamond Youth performing at Backbooth.

The night opened up with a set from Captain, We're Sinking. The band features Bobby Barnett, brother of The Menzingers' Greg Barnett, but their placement on the tour can be chalked up to skill, rather than nepotism. The band tore through their set, which consisted mostly of songs from their recent full-length The Future Is Cancelled The crowd shouted along to highlights from the new album like "Montreal," "Adultery" and "The Future Is Cancelled Pt. I." The band also threw in two older songs in "Foster Brothers" from the With Joe Riley 7-inch and "It's A Trap!" from their EP of the same name. The set showcased their powerful lyrics and dual vocals from Barnett and Leo Vergnetti, while also demonstrating the talents of their rhythm section. Captain, We're Sinking's performance proved that they have what it takes to become the next big band to strike a chord with a larger audience in the same way that the Menzingers have.

Setlist (not sure of order at all):
Foster Brothers
Here's To Forever
You Have Flaws
It's a Trap
Beer Can
Here's To The Future Pt. 1

Next up were Restorations, who made a name for themselves with a full-length from Tiny Engines before moving on to SideOneDummy for this year's LP2. I am less familiar with their material, but their set consisted of a few songs from LP2 like "D" and "Let's Blow Up The Sun" mixed in with an older song or two. Restorations mentioned that they had never played Orlando before, but they still had quite a few fans in the audience singing along. What separates Restorations from many other bands they are associated with is their three-guitar lineup, and their ability to play riff on top of riff, creating a very unique sound. The band proved that they are worthy of the attention they have been garnering in the last couple years as well as the move to a bigger label. Although I went in not knowing much of Restorations' material, their set opened my eyes to their skill and I will definitely be digging deeper into their catalogue.

Fake Problems, who were the only band at the show not from Pennsylvania, entered the stage next to play to their home state of Florida. They received a warm reaction from many in the crowd and had the room moving and singing along as they played through songs primarily from their two most recent full-lengths, It's Great To Be Alive and Real Ghosts Caught On Tape. The set showcased Fake Problems' versatility and agility, from dancier tunes in "5678" and "Diamond Rings" while also playing rockier fan favorites like "The Dream Team" and "Born And Raised" from their first full-length How Far Our Bodies Go, which is often ignored during their sets. The crowd was positively responsive to their set, and at one point Tanner Jones of You Blew It! was thrown out of the show by security for breaking the venue's no crowd surfing rule. Fake Problems also gave the crowd a preview of two new songs, which could appear on a new full-length that the band have begun demoing. Fake Problems ended their set with "Grand Finale," which was able to live up to its title.

The Dream Team
Don't Worry Baby
Old Friends (New Song)
Born and Raised
Diamond Rings
There Are Times
Try (New Song)
Songs for Teenagers
Grand Finale

By the time the Menzingers took to the stage, it was clear that the crowd was excited. The pit area had filled up with fans who were ready to belt out the words to whatever songs the Menzingers were going to play. The band opened with "The Obituaries" from last year's On The Impossible Past and from that point on the crowd's enthusiasm never settled down. The rest of the set consisted of songs from On The Impossible Past and Chamberlain Waits, but the band threw in "A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology" early into the set which pleased the crowd greatly. The Menzingers seem to have an uncanny ability to write songs that are universally loved by their fans and it showed, as there was not one moment when you couldn't find nearly everyone in the audience screaming the words along with singers Tom May and Greg Barnett. The band ended their set with Restorations' bassist, Dan Zimmerman, filling in on guitar while Barnett took to the mic to hype up the crowd. The band then took a very quick break before filling back out to play an encore consisting of two covers. They performed The Lawrence Arms' "Are You There Margaret? It's Me, God." along with Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet with Butterfly Wings." The crowd did not appear to be disappointed with the lack of original songs in the encore and sang along to the songs as if the Menzingers had written them themselves.

Not quite sure of the order:
The Obituaries
I Can't Seem To Tell
A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology
Good Things
Ava House
Sun Hotel
Home Outgrown
Burn After Writing
Who's Your Partner
I was Born
Time Tables
On The Impossible Past
Nice Things
Irish Goodbyes

Are You There Margaret? It's Me, God. (The Lawrence Arms cover)
Bullet with Butterfly Wings (Smashing Pumpkins cover)

If anyone attended the Orlando show unsure of why any one of these bands were placed together on this tour, there is a good chance that they were won over by the end of the night. All four bands proved that they have the skill and dedication it takes to be the type of band that breaks through to a larger audience. The night proved that there are still at least four reasons to be very excited about the future of punk music.