Photos by David Rubene
After spending the last couple of nights lost in the amazing world that is Minnesota hip-hop, I was more than ready to get back to my roots and go to a good old-fashioned rock show.
Headlining last night was a personal favorite of mine, The Menzingers. Hailing from Scranton, Pennsylvania, these guys have taken the scene by storm. They have been around since 2006 but it’s clear that they just recently have hit their stride and are finally getting the recognition they deserve. I would be lying if I said I’ve been a fan of these guys since the beginning. Honestly, I hadn’t even heard of them until my brother sent me one of their tracks but I’ve been obsessed ever since then.
The Menzinger’s music is fun but it still has a raw feel to it. The lyrics are about growing up and trying to be yourself in a world that is telling you that you’re doing it wrong. It’s about love and love lost but without being cliche and sappy. Basically, their lyrics fit my life a little bit too perfectly to not be a staple in my daily playlists. With a brand new album out, I was a bit worried that The Menzingers would focus on playing only new songs as promotion for the album. Thankfully, I was wrong. It felt like they were reading my mind when planning out their set list. They seemed to play through all of my favorite songs they’ve ever written within their hour and a half long set.
You could feel the true love in the room. It was one of those shows where you could throw your coat in a corner of the venue and you knew it would be there when you got back to it. It was that type of show where strangers became friends and friends became family. I stood there with my brother and his friends by my side and just smiled like an idiot throughout the set. It was just one of those atmospheres that make me truly enjoy doing this night after night.
The best thing about Rozwell Kid’s set last night was the fact that they didn’t feel like an opening act. Sure, their set was clearly a bit shorter than the other bands but that didn’t effect their energy at all or the energy of the crowd. They were greeted by the same enthusiasm as the other bands of the night and received the same respect from the crowd. There have been too many times where I’ve stood through an opening act and just don’t feel the love coming from the crowd or the love coming from the stage. That was not the case last night and it helped every single band shine bright.
As I mentioned, Jeff has this aura of pure positivity that is next to impossible to explain. He seems like the type of guy that you could easily share a beer with and spill your guts out to. Even though he seems like one of the most personable guys I’ve ever seen on stage, there’s no denying his greatness and legacy. Jeff was the frontman of The Arrogant Sons of Bitches. After that he went on to start the music collective known as Bomb the Music Industry! and has collaborated with far too many of my favorite bands to list. The word “legendary” comes to mind but so does the word “humble”. Even with his expansive resume in the music world, Jeff and the rest of his band seemed truly surprised by the pure size of the crowd and the fact that everyone seemed to be singing every word to every single song.
The music of Jeff Rosenstock is upbeat but still, like the other bands, is about getting through day to day life. The way Jeff and his band presents it in a fun, uplifting spirit just adds to the positive energy that could be felt throughout the packed venue. Even if you had no idea who Jeff Rosenstock was or had never heard his music before, it was impossible to stand there without moving around a bit and without a giant smile on your face. That’s the magic of this guy and that’s why I quickly became overly obsessed with him, his music, and his live show.