The Menzingers / Jeff Rosenstock - Live in Philadelphia (Cover Artwork)

The Menzingers / Jeff Rosenstock

Live in Philadelphia (2017)

live show

Being a huge Menzingers fan for a while now I was really excited to see them live. This excitement was increased, however as they were playing the 2,500 capacity, sold out Fillmore in their (relocated) hometown of Philadelphia. This show had all the makings of a really special night.

Before The Menzingers could hit the stage though it was Rozwell Kid from West Virginia. I hadn't really heard of these guys before, but I knew they had an upcoming release on SideOneDummy, and I figured I'd check them out. They didn't disappoint either. Inspired a lot by early Weezer their ear-infectious, and chugging riffs aren't something I'll soon get out of my head. Their lead guitarist was quite the sight to see too, striking a lot of classic guitar poses really channeling his inner Mick Jagger. I don't know if I'll check out their back catalogue, but I will most certainly listen to their new release when it drops this June. A really solid opener, but the thing that I'll remember most is their hilarious banner that read "Jeff's Up Next"

The banner didn't lie either. Up next was Jeff Rosenstock. I had never listened to "Bomb! The Music Industry", but his two solo albums, "We Cool?", and "WORRY." are definite favorites of mine. The latter even being my top record of last year. He opened up with the first two songs from "WORRY." "We Begged 2 Explode" and "Pash Rash" and to no ones surprised almost the entire audience was singing along. They might've been there as much for Rosenstock as they were for the Menzingers. Hey didn't play much of "We Cool?" except for stand out singles "Nausea" and "You, In Weird Cities" the latter, in epic fashion as he crowd surfed while playing the saxophone. The highlight of the set though was when he blasted through five songs, all from "WORRY." That all bleed together as if they're one huge, epic song. He calls this "5 Incredible Songs in a Row" and that's no lie either. These songs are "HELLLLHOOOOLE", "June 21st", "The Fuzz" "...While You're Alive", and "Perfect Sound Whatever". If you haven't heard them I strongly suggest you go give them a listen. I think I'd be doing Mr. Rosenstock a disservice by failing to note how energetic and lively he and his band are. Putting on such a fantastic show if anyone came to The Fillmore last Friday not already a fan of this guy (I'm sure there weren't many) they had to have been easily converted after seeing him play.

Finally, as the lights dimmed and the huge disco ball hanging from the ceiling lit up and started rotating the crowd new who was up next, and they couldn't be more excited. As soon as the Menzingers opened up with After the Party's opener "Tellin' Lies" they had the fans encapsulated. Singing every word back like it was their job they didn't stop with "Tellin' Lies" either. The second song on the setlist was fan favorite "I Don't Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore" which was an absolute blast to see live. Pulling most songs from the new record and 2012 breakthrough "On the Impossible Past" the Menzingers really delivered one of the tightest live shows I've ever seen. I knew they would be great, but they honestly blew me away. Another setlist highlight was "Irish Goodbyes". They only released this song as a single back in 2009 and it's a straight up shout-along anthem. I was equally as surprised and thrilled to see it played live. As the regular set ended and they came back for an encore they opened the encore with the title track, and personal favorite, "After the Party". The next song for the encore was "Casey", one of my favorite songs of all time and I couldn't wait to see them play this live. Everything they were giving the crowd, the crowd was giving back. They were feeding off one another . They closed the encore with "In Remission" a true anthem from 2014's "Rented World". Another song that was a real treat to see played live, as well. They invited Jeff Rosenstock on stage to chug a beer and sing the outro, and you couldn't help but smile when you see guys having a blast and living the dream like these guys are. If I have one gripe from the show I would've liked to see something from "Chamberlain Waits" like "I Was Born" or "Time Tables", but I understand you can't play everything.

You can always tell when a band is doing what they truly love by how they perform live and after seeing the Menzingers I don't think anyone enjoys what they do more than these guys. Selling out The Fillmore in their hometown must've been a real career highlight and they deserve every ounce of success that comes their way. I know it was a truly special night for me and I hope it was for them as well.