Swingin' Utters / The Menzingers - live in Minneapolis (Cover Artwork)

Swingin' Utters / The Menzingers

live in Minneapolis (2010)

live show

When a band has been around for more than 20 years, usually shows become a rare thing and tend to be located near the band's mainstay. And in some cases, a band that's been around that long usually doesn't deliver like the fury they would in their heyday (H.R. from Bad Brains is a famous case). But with the case of the Swingin' Utters, you can't really tell. This year has been a busy one with them; they've started to record for their first time in six-to-seven years, and have been doing massive touring. Earlier this year they toured the western half of the U.S. and now will continue to tour the rest of the country with parts of Canada as well with Europe in sight in November. This half of the tour, they kicked things off at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis, Minn.

So due to some weather trouble halfway down on my trip, I had to miss the first band the Dirty Hits (sorry). Please check them out if you can. Really good Minneapolis punk. They remind me a little of the Arrivals, sound-wise. So because of that, I grabbed a drink and a burger while waiting for the Menzingers.

Next up were that very band, the Menzingers. They sounded great, in spite of one guitar having problems during the second half of the set. This was my second time seeing them live. The first was Fest 8, where the entire set was just a bum-rush by the crowd onto the stage. Different crowd this time, but they were into the band, just not quite as much. They had a good mix of songs from Chamberlain Waits and A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology. Definitely a pretty good band that will be getting even bigger in the next few years.

After that was the Utters. The band took the stage and started things off with one of their more well-known songs, "Pills & Smokes" from their self-titled album. Singer Johnny Bonnel was very, very energetic. Throughout the set he was hopping around the stage, hitting his head with his microphone, spitting, and having the audience sing into the mic on parts of songs. A few songs in, his head started to bleed (from the mic bashing) and and audience member said that he was bleeding. He replied, "It doesn't matter." He pretty much came off as a mix of Henry Rollins and Milo of the Descendents (black-rimmed glasses) with a wild stage presence. They played an excellent mix of old and new songs, including all three off of Brand New Lungs and a few from their upcoming album. Guitarist/vocalist Darius Koski said there was no release date for us yet and added "Fuck you! We're artists!" Anyways, they're great live. Koski had a few problems with a guitar pedal, but it was very unnoticeable. For the encore, they started out with just Bonnel and Koski with each other doing a rendition of "Fruitless Fortunes" before the rest of the band came out for two more songs.

So basically, Swingin' Utters are a great band to check out live. I did have a few initial reservations about the set list, as they did a live album a few years ago for Fat Wreck Chords' Live in a Dive series and feared it'd be a very much similar set list to that album (it happened with me before with Lagwagon); however, it wasn't. Great show, excellent bands...what else is there to say. The Utters still have it after 20 years of being a great punk band.

Set list:

  1. Pills & Smoke
  2. Brand New Lungs
  3. Untitled 21
  4. Tell Me Lies
  5. Nowhere Fast
  6. Don't Ask Why
  7. Bent Collector
  8. Petty Wage
  9. Long Way
  10. Five Lessons Learned
  11. Jackie Jab
  12. Windspitting Punk
  13. Time on My Own
  14. 15th and T
  15. Lepers, Thieves, and Whores
  16. Sign It Away
  17. Back to You
  18. Angels Pissing on Your Head
  19. Kick It Over
  20. Teenage Genocide
  21. Forward to Fun
  22. Next in Line
  23. Fruitless Fortunes
  24. Dirty Sea
  25. Catastrophe