A rainy Saturday night did not deter ticket holders from the sold out Union Transfer show with Scranton-formed/Philadelphia-made The Menzingers.
Openers Daddy Issues and Tiny Moving Parts performed to engaged audiences, but the main floor become a packed crowd standing shoulder to shoulder in anticipation for the indie punk rockers.
The first few notes of “After the Party,” the title track of their 2017 album, sent the crowd into a wild uproar. The front row was pushed up against the barricade as crowd surfers were tossed over.
The Menzingers have focused on themes of looking back and getting older with After the Party. As the four piece reaches their 30s, the miles they put on their old jean jackets — to paraphrase “After the Party” — have resulted in a change of scenery and some maturity. They’ve traded gigs in the basement and couch crashing in Chicago for sold out shows on a headlining tour and spots in festivals like Sea Hear Now and Fest, but they’re still true to their sound in their growth.
Contrary to the chorus of the next song, “Good Things” from their 2012 album On the Impossible Past, not all good things must fall apart: The enthusiasm from a strong start, in the show and their career, carried on as The Menzingers shelled out a setlist of heavy-hitters and sing along anthems spanning their discography.
After a few crowdpleasers including “Rodent in the Wall” and “Lookers,” cofrontman Tom May shouted, “This one is about a place on 7th and Mifflin!” before launching into “Ava House,” also from On the Impossible Past, which pays tribute to the now defunct DIY performance space where the band got their start. The song slowed down the set and fewer people sang along, but it was a appropriate nod to the making of The Menzingers.
The band cheers’d a couple’s recent engagement with champagne, performed deep cut “The Shakes” for the first time on the tour upon special request, and gave a shout out to their friends and family who have supported them on their journey.
“We started over 10 years ago, and I can still see some of the same faces,” said May.
A decade long run in music puts the group five full-lengths deep with the people around them aging too, but, as the band says in “Midwestern States,” “the party ain’t over” and neither was the show.
The band left the stage after what was said to be their final song, but reverb filled the room as to tell the fans to stay put. As the noise faded, the crowd began to chant, but not for the band. ”F- Tom Brady. F- Tom Brady. F- Tom Brady,” the audience roared. A final “F- Tom Brady” came from stage, before the band played their final three songs.
Through the entire performance, the onstage enthusiasm matched that of the jumping, pushing and head banging fans with sprints and leaps between the drummer and their microphones.
The Menzingers closed with “Tellin’ Lies,” and the crowd sang back “Where we gonna go now that our 20s are over?”