The spirit of old-school punk returns to Philly as The Menzingers slay their hometown show - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Philadelphia’s own punk rock heroes, The Menzingers, returned to their hometown for an unforgettable night of raw energy, emotional anthems, and an unbridled connection with the crowd this past Sunday at Franklin Music Hall. The tour is a celebration of the band’s eighth and latest album, Some Of It Was True, and a tribute to their untiring presence in the punk rock scene. Newcomers Microwave, Cloud Nothings, and Rodeo Boys opened the night showcasing the sonic diversity of punk in today’s era.

The tune “Walk of Life” by Dire Straits played while The Menzingers came out to take their positions — a light and funky blues song that juxtaposed the heavy punk riffs everyone was getting ready for. Without hesitation, they kicked off the show with “Hope Is A Dangerous Little Thing,” a high-energy favorite, followed by “I Don’t Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore.” With a natural ability to balance intensity and vulnerability, their songs, like “There’s No Place In This World For Me,” are lyrically raw and passionate, while the guitar riffs and beating drums keep the mosh pit moving.

The Menzingers at Franklin Music Hall / Photo credit: Ben Wong

The Menzingers at Franklin Music Hall / Photo credit: Ben Wong

The Menzingers deliver heartfelt punk rock

The Menzingers took a little time off after their 2020 album, From Exile, and they decided to shake it up a bit for the new one. Some Of It Was True is the band’s first live album, recorded with the intention of sounding identical to how one would hear it at their concert. The tracklist reads like a setlist. The tour itself is the yin to the new album’s yang, giving fans the chance to enjoy their songs in their purest form.

While this was only the fourth night of the tour, this was their seventh performance at Franklin Music Hall (previously known as the Electric Factory from 1995 to 2019). The venue has always been an iconic place for punk bands coming up, adding a bit of depth to the feel of the night. Vocalists Greg Barnett and Tom May both shared stories about their first experiences at what once was the Electric Factory. Tom said his first show was Alkaline Trio, a celebrated band from the late 90’s punk era. Greg described driving from Scranton as a teenager to see the Bouncing Souls. Those moments paved the way for the band’s existence. Years later, in 2013, The Menzingers put out a split EP Electric Split with the Bouncing Souls. The historic venue gave Sunday’s show an additional level of hominess, as the band shared their journey through the highs and lows of their eighteen-year career. The audience was transported back to an era when crowd surfing and getting hurt was just the norm.

They closed out the night with “Tellin Lies,” followed by “Casey,” a heartfelt encore that made this homecoming show a truly unique experience for everyone in attendance. Maybe there was someone in that building that night who will splash onto the scene someday, sell out their hometown venue, and describe seeing The Menzingers in Philly as the moment they became inspired to make their own punk music and carry its essence into the next generation to come.

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