The Menzingers @ Scala, 12/10/2016

Philadelphia punk rockers the Menzingers play a massively fun set at London’s Scala on a cold and rainy October night with support of Hot Mass and Roger Harvey. 

The band kick off their set to a packed out Scala with their newest single Lookers and what will hopefully be a brand new album coming soon. But fear not, new song or old, the crowd is ready to have the time of their lives. Nothing is more exhilarating than watching a band not only own a room but having everyone in it hang at their every word. Not a song goes by that isn’t shouted along to from start to finish.

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Ten years on the road may have left their marks, but in the end the boys from Philly are still the same scruffy punkers they were in 2006 – a little more experienced, but just as much fun to see live. “Sha la la la Jersey girls are always total heartbreakers. Julie from the Wonder Bar I wonder where you are.” echoes through the room and you realize that with their new song, Menzingers dip into that Americana songwriting that makes you wish to live in a New Jersey small town with your blue-collar boyfriend (or waitress girlfriend) wondering how you’ll ever make it out of there. Like The Boss himself and a good old Gaslight Anthem record, Lookers is infectiously catchy and showcases the band’s songwriting skills.

The great thing about a live Menzingers set is that it’s always so much fun. They don’t take themselves too seriously while still making everyone in the room feel understood in a way that no one else can. Their messy sound comes to live on a stage like this and a magnificent mess it is – a sea of jumping fans in front of them and a sense of joy all around.

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And in the middle of a short silence the crowd starts chanting the iconic lyrics of The Obituaries “I will fuck this up, I fucking know it.” The band seem heart-warmingly surprised by the eager welcome they have received in the English capital. For as unrelatable their lyrics may seem to English fans on paper, in reality we can all feel the inherit spirit of the songs and relate it to something we have experienced.

The encore opens with Gates for which support artist Roger Harvey joins them on stage. After the realization that there’s more time left than expected, Greg, Tom, Eric and Joe decide to play another two songs – a cover of Kate Is Great by New Jersey punk instition the Bouncing Souls and In Remission from their last album Rented World.

In the end, what we all really want is for the Menzingers to be the soundtrack of our lives.

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