Review and Photos by Francesco Albanese
This past Wednesday (May 17th ), Hampton Beach was graced with some big names in music today. Pierce the Veil and Sum 41; two names any punk/pop punk fans are quite familiar with. The respective legacies of the bands fit in perfectly at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, a venue that is no stranger to big names in entertainment.
Along for the ride, the powerhouses brought along post-hardcore band Emarosa and indie/pop newcomers Chapel.
First up on the bill was Chapel. The duo comprised of lead singer/guitarist Carter Hardin and drummer Kortney Grinwis had a lot to offer with their blend of pop, electronic, rock, and indie elements that make for a great start to any party, or in ths case, show. Keep them in mind when you’re driving along the beach/coast/body of water this summer looking for something to listen to.
Next up we had Emarosa. These live wires kept the room electric with their stage presence alone. Lead singer, Bradley Walden, found himself among the crowd on multiple occasions during their set, and the crowd welcomed him with open arms. Aside from their showmanship, the notes poured out of each strum, drumbeat, and word was full of passion and fire that has kept this band going for years. Hit songs like “Sure” and “Helpless” would have anyone singing along for days. While singing about heartfelt and emotional content, the audience still found it in them to dance and jump along to the catchy and powerful melodies of each song. Catch these crowd pleasers next time they come to a venue near you.
Then finally came our first headliner of the night, Sum 41. The Canadian-born punk rockers are back on a mission to remind the kids of their pop punk roots and remind the veterans that these guys aren’t slowing down any time soon. Among the 12-song set was a perfect showcase of the band’s repertoire of classics, hits, and new jams. It’s as if someone asked, “Give me a playlist of what Sum 41 is all about,” this set would be the perfect playlist. The boys opened with their classic hit “The Hell Song” an instant crowd pleaser by any means, followed by “Over My Head, Better Off Dead.” Then they dove right into new jam territory with the single “Fake My Own Death” from their 2016 LP release of “13 Voices,” along with “Goddamn I’m Dead Again.” Next up were old favorites, “Motivation,” “We’re All to Blame” and “Walking Disaster,” which overcharged the crowd’s batteries. What came next was a most welcomed surprise, a punk cover of Queen’s triumph anthem, “We Will Rock You,” which can only be summed up in two words: hell, yes. Finally, the band had to say goodbye, but not before giving the crowd, “Still Waiting,” “In Too Deep,” and “Fat Lip” as the perfect parting gifts.
Next up was the other moment everyone was aching for, Pierce the Veil. Now as people who have seen these guys before, they know that these guys know theatrics and showmanship, which is why an unnamed person in a jumpsuit and skull mask with glowing eyes came out to greet the crowd first before getting it started. Accompanying the band was a light show of epic proportions that made the venue come alive. Just like the band before, PTV mixed a perfect setlist that united longtime fans and new fans in one welcoming swoop. Kicking it off with “Texas Is Forever” and “Bulls in the Bronx” gave way for some of the most in sync and loud vocals you’d ever hear in your life from a show of this genre. It’s a testament to the loyal and diehard fans that this band has been able to cultivate. Coming up next were “A Match Into Water,” “Today I Saw the Whole World,” “Yeah Boy and Doll Face,” and a new favorite “Floral & Fading.” Halfway into the set and the crowd was still fully charged, just raring to go. Next up the band gave their rendition of “Issues” by Julia Michaels before going into “Stay Away From My Friends,” “Dive In,” and fan favorite “Caraphernelia.” But the band and crowd’s time together sadly had to come to an end, giving way to a home stretch made up of “Circles,” “Hold On Till May,” and “King for a Day.” The swell of emotions left by the band on their way out just goes to show, no matter how many people or how big the venue, Pierce the Veil are loyal to all of their fans, giving them a show as if they were at Wembley Stadium.
By Francesco Albanese
Ah, the comforting sounds of a great show waiting to happen, and for some, the comforting smells. The tracks on the loudspeaker are your favorites, and the smell of beer coming from cans and the floor (and of course my pants if you’re lucky enough to get it spilled on you). These signs are amplified when the combination of artists performing is perfect; you know, when you go to a show for all the artists and not just the headliner. We were lucky enough to attend one of these shows with punk/rock band the Menzingers on their stop at the Royale in Boston with Rozwell Kid and Jeff Rosenstock.
First on the bill we had Rozwell Kid. The indie rock quartet that’s only been around since 2011 seriously wowed us with a happy attitude and tight showmanship. If you’re looking for something new to let your ears chew on, give these guys a listen.
Next up, Jeff Rosenstock. This man has been going strong since he was the lead singer of the former ska-punk group The Arrogant Sons of Bitches and other projects. Recently, he’s begun a solo career with his 2012 debut release of I Look Like Shit. On the tour, Rosenstock, along with himself, brought along a 5- piece band to assist in his solo career. From what we saw, these guys have been in the game a long time and don’t need any advice from anyone. They tackled genres from hard shoegaze to a quick U-turn to ska-punk, and a quick detour to 50’s doo-wop. Put this guy on your musical radar for sure.
And of course, we finally have the Menzingers. The quartet from Scranton, Pennsylvania (yes I see you “The Office” fans) came out to a roaring crowd clamoring for their best. To catch up the folks wondering, “who or what are the Menzingers?” they are a beautiful mix of punk with rock fit for the modern music world. It’s a little hard to pinpoint exactly if they’re punk or rock, but that’s why you love them. They bring a fresh sound to two genres that fans of either will be pleasantly satisfied. The band sauntered out greeting an already wild crowd to a new favorite “Tellin’ Lies” off their most recent record “After the Party.” They continued with favorites like “Nice Things,” “Mexican Guitars,” “Good Things,” “Burn After Writing,” and “Obituaries” all from the 2012 release of “On the Impossible Past.” Fans didn’t let up as song after song played; they just kept getting more and more energized for more. This continued finally until the last song of the night, “Bad Catholics.” Just before we knew it, the show was over, but the impression the band left on us would stay as we wait in anticipation for their next show in the future. From a Menzingers fan to potential fan, I can promise you will not be disappointed with what these guys have to offer, and continue to offer in the future.
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