Pennsylvania Natives Bring Night of Punk to the Rubber City
by Devon Anderson
When the chance to go out and see Pennsylvania natives, The Menzingers, came across my social media feed, I clicked “Interested” and then “Going” within seconds of each other. Even though I have only been following the band for about six months, I knew I didn’t want to miss the chance to see them at the incredibly intimate venue that is Musica, on a stage I could touch all night, and be that close to so many people experiencing the magic that only live music brings. It wasn’t a question. I was going.
I was fortunate enough to locate a friend almost immediately upon entering the venue, and I was overwhelmed by how many people there were inside at only a half hour after doors. I knew it was going to be a killer show. And, it was more so than I could have imagined.
Curtail opened up the stage at precisely two minutes to eight, and as a frequent concert-goer, I appreciated their promptness. They seemed to bring the right amount of energy to the stage to get the crowd good and amped. Nice and loud without overdoing it, Curtail’s energy had everyone ready to party.
If Curtail wasn’t enough to get the place moving, Surfer Blood completely sealed the deal. With high energy guitars, pulsing drums, and strong vocals, Surfer Blood held their own on stage, offering the crowd a nice heaping helping of rock and roll, West Palm Beach style. Both supporting acts were perfect choices to bring The Menzingers to Akron, who took the stage to a more-than-a-little raucous welcome.
I was right in the front, touching that stage, surrounded by people starved for a night of musical debauchery, and they got exactly that. Tearing through a massive twenty-two track setlist, The Menzingers absolutely quenched any thirst we had for the kind of relatable, incredible music that does so much more than speak to the ears—it speaks to the heart. The pit was packed with moshers, crowd surfers, and the occasional wide-eyed rookie who had no idea what they had gotten themselves into. Ah, yes, there’s always one.
Feeding off the energy of the crowd, the Menzingers ripped through fan favorites, “I Don’t Want to be an Asshole Anymore” and “Thick as Thieves,” while the crowd sang every word to every song right back in a collective voice of admiration and good old-fashioned love for the music and the band who delivered it. Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down” was an amazing tribute to another artist gone too soon. My personal favorites, “Burn After Writing,” “Midwestern States,” “Lookers,” and “After The Party,” are burned into my memory as treasures of the night. Any night you leave a venue covered in sweat—and not sure which is yours and which belongs to a friend—is a good night as far as I am concerned. And that kind of night is exactly the night Akron deserved, and got, on Saturday, October 14. I am more than ready for the next one.
(Photo courtesy of The Menzingers)