Night Birds/Neighborhood Brats - Live In Los Angeles (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Night Birds / Neighborhood Brats

Live In Los Angeles (2018)

live show

For me, 2018 was full of some fantastic concerts and festivals, but the show that took place on December 5, 2018 was a hell of a way to end the year. It had been two years since Night Birds toured the West Coast and they had finally scheduled a headlining show in at the Zebulon Cafe in Los Angeles that featured Neighborhood Brats as well as local bands Maniac and Form Rank. So when this show was announced a few months back, I knew I could not miss it.

Los Angeles punk band Form Rank started the night off. The five piece’s set was full of hard-hitting (somewhat) melodic tunes that were full of really cool riffs. You could tell that the band definitely has potential. After them was the nicely dress band Maniac. And while Form Rank really skewed towards the aggressive punk style, Maniac was sort of on the opposite side of the spectrum. The four-piece’s half-hour (or so) set had a much more power pop/indie influence to it. They too, put on a pretty good performance.

If you weren’t already aware, Neighborhood Brats released their fantastic full-length Claw Marks this year. I was so stoked to see that they were playing this show, not only because the new songs are great, but also because even though they are a somewhat local Southern California band, this was the first time I was going to see them. And to be frank, they were pretty amazing. When the four members took the stage, I noticed right away that Mike West of Rats In The Wall on bass duty was, which was a really cool surprise. Neighborhood Brats’ set consisted mostly of songs from their new album like “Night Shift,” “Dear Angelo,” and “Nina’s Ghost,” but they did throw in some older tunes like “Suburbia” and “Fast & Loose.” Lead singer Jennie Angelillo sang every song with a ton of intensity and enthusiasm while she was making crazy hand gestures, running, jumping, and kicking all over the stage and guitarist George Rager absolutely nailed it playing all the complex guitar riffs and solos, while taking on back vocals duties as well. For me though, the highlight Neighborhood Brats’ performance was when they played “Misery Parade” — my favorite track from their new album. Their performance was full an energy and overall fantastic.

Neighborhood Brats’ Set List:

Night Shift

We Own The Night

Late Stage Capitalism

Dear Angelo

Dumpster Values


Misery Parade

Complete Mess

Nina’s Ghost

Comfort Women

Birth Right

Fast & Loose

Once Neighborhood Brats finished up, the time had finally come for Night Birds to take the stage. The only other time I had seen the band was at Punk Rock Bowling 2016. This time was much different though. This was the first time seeing them in a club, as the headliner, as a five-piece, and after their stellar record Roll Credits was released. The band started their set by playing the new instrumental “Pull The String.” Once they finished, lead vocalist Brian Gorsegner walked up on stage to jump right into their killer (metaphorically and literally — judging by the lyrics) “My Dad Is The BTK.” Throughout the performance Night Birds were a well-oiled punk rock machine. It was so amazing to hear Brian’s intense vocals and see him stomping around on stage while guitarists PJ Russo and Mike Hunchback took turns shredding through the riffs in each song along with bassist Joe Keller. The band’s setlist was pretty wide ranging. They played older songs like “Prognosis Negative” and “Killer Waves” and newer songs like “I’m Wired,” “Onward To Obscurity,” “In the Red/In the Black,” “Left In The Middle,” and “Radium Girls.” A major highlight of the show as a whole for me was when they kicked out “Maimed For The Masses,” which I think will always be one my favorite punk tracks ever.

What happened towards the second half of Night Birds’ performance was truly spectacular. The band played their classic instrumental “Escape From New York.” Then Brian Gorsegner once again got back up on stage, and just like the order on Born To Die In Suburbia, the band played the song “Born To Die In Suburbia” followed by “Modern Morons.” It was somewhere at this point in the show where a massive circle pit broke out. Those that had enough energy to maintain their position towards the front of the stage got the chance to yell lyrics into Brian’s mic when he aimed it into the crowd, while the band went into full overdrive mode. It was quite the site see in person. And to top it all off, the band ended the night with a cover of “I Wanna Live” by the Ramones.

Night Birds’ Set List:

Pull The String

My Dad Is The BTK

Prognosis Negative

I’m Wired

Life Is Not Amusement for Me

In the Red/In the Black

Onward To Obscurity

Left In The Middle

Maimed For The Masses


Escape From New York

Born To Die In Suburbia

Modern Morons

Radium Girls

Midnight Movies

Bad Biology

Killer Waves

I Wanna Live (Ramones cover)

If it isn’t already apparent, this was easily one of the best shows that I got to attend this year. The opening bands were great. Neighborhood Brats were a real treat to finally see. I really hope to see them play again. Night Birds, as expected, were spectacular. I just hope it won’t be another two years until they come back out here. Again, this was an awesome way to end a year of shows. I couldn’t have asked for more.

You can see some pictures of the show on the Punknews Instagram.