Armalite / The Ergs! / Pink Razors / The Steal - live in Philadelphia (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Armalite / The Ergs! / Pink Razors / The Steal

live in Philadelphia (2007)

live show

My first time at the First Uni featured a lineup front to back that's hard to go wrong with: the Steal, Pink Razors, the Ergs! and a rare appearance from the pop-punk collective known as Armalite.

Hailing from the UK, the Steal were playing their first U.S. show ever here in Philly. While those familiar with the band's pensive but fun brand of melodic hardcore were few and far between, plenty were recognizable of how much a blast it was. The band were electrified and energetic, tearing through nine songs of their 14-track self-titled full-length. They cracked a joke about merely being an English punk band sounding like Kid Dynamite and ending up here (alongside Dr. Dan), and gave us props for streaming their full-length. Good times; hopefully the band sticks around long enough to develop a stronger following stateside.

Set list (8:17-8:38):

  1. Breakout
  2. -----
  3. Waiting for the Simple Life
  4. -----
  5. Little Dip
  6. World Wide World
  7. -----
  8. Clothing Rack
  9. New Friend
  10. Living for the Weekend
  11. -----
  12. The Steal
  13. -----
  14. Wonderstuff
After getting foodstuffs from Wawa, we returned to watch the Pink Razors finish out their set of vocally high-pitched, bi-gendered pop-punk. A fellow staffer once put it best -- that the Razors are best in small doses and it seemed to work well here. We caught just enough of their songs not to become sick of it. Among others, they played "First Degree" and "If I Were Me (What I Would Do)" as well as a cover of the Wipers' "Mystery." A very solid albeit personally shortened precursor to one of the night's easy highlights.

Excruciatingly high-energy and a live thrill, the Ergs! pleased the horde crowded against the stage. Vocals were shouted from every corner of the three-piece's setup and tempos were almost always at full-blast. The band ran through a respectable amount of their wide discography, including "Pray for Rain," which got the biggest reaction, and a fantastic rendition of Gin Blossoms' "Hey Jealousy," taken from the band's recent split 7" with Lemuria. However, the crowd did move plenty throughout the entire 32-minute set. The Pink Razors drummer even came out to assist on the last song. It was a grand ol' time. (Bassist Joe Keller even complimented the Church on its jazz playage over the PA.)

Set list (9:35-10:07):
  1. Every Romance Language (?)
  2. Bike Shoppe
  3. -----
  4. Extra Medium
  5. Kind of Like Smitten
  6. -----
  7. Pray for Rain
  8. -----
  9. Saturday Nite Crap-O-Rama
  10. -----
  11. Running, Jumping, Standing Still
  12. Trouble in River City
  13. -----
  14. Man of Infirmity
  15. Hey Jealousy
  16. Fin
  17. -----
  18. Books About Miles Davis
  19. ?
Appropriately, a good chunk of Dag Nasty's classic debut Can I Say began to play over the PA in anticipation for a set from Armalite. The band played well enough, but they were damn entertaining too. They discussed their vegan cookbook they had on sale and had a birthday military-style role call when the co-vocalists weren't busy fighting for banter time. But performance-wise, they nailed it. Dr. Dan clenched his teeth with a look of intensity as he pounded his bass strings, even in an easier, slightly more melodic and less paced setting than his other bands foster. Vocalists Mike McKee and the loveable Atom Goren excitedly sang their respective parts while drummer Jeff Ziga thrashed away. They managed a near-half-hour-long set that included all but one track off their sole, self-titled full-length. With the last song, Goren discussed his diabetes diagnosis of several years ago and how it allowed him to view everything else in a positive light; with the song ended, Goren summed up his experiences by wishing us the best: "I hope you all get diabetes."

Set list (10:26-10:55):
  1. Dan's Hands Melt
  2. New Wave
  3. -----
  4. Destination: Not at Home
  5. Husker Dave
  6. -----
  7. When Nice People Think Dumb Things, Attack, and Vote
  8. Entitled
  9. -----
  10. Unfinished Business
  11. Other Entertainers
  12. -----
  13. Grace (Or the Importance of Being Impermanent)
  14. -----
  15. I Am a Pancreas (I Seek to Understand Me...)