Following the release of their 5thstudio album ‘After The Party’ nearly a year ago, The Menzingers return back to Europe to tour the album for a second time. Embarking on a 19 show tour of Europe and the UK, tonight they bring some of the most current and upcoming US punk rock acts to a sold out show at the Manchester’s O2 Ritz.
Opening the 3 band strong line up,Cayetanabrought a refreshing take of indie rock with hints of punk thrown in. The trio from Philadelphia somewhat lacked energetic stage presence but this was made up for by the humorous crowd interaction between songs and seamless band composition. A short but sweet set, showcasing numbers such as‘Too Old For This’and‘Mesa’from their latest release‘New Kind of Normal’warmed the crowd up for the night to come, overcoming small technical issues to provide a great set.[7/10]
Pup’sfuture was merely hanging in the balance a few years ago with vocalistStefanfighting a battle with a serious throat condition. 3 years later, the band have toured nonstop, following their ever growing success of their 2016 studio album‘The Dream is Over’. Opening with ‘Doubts’ sets the bar for their set as the crowd crush against the barrier with the first crowd surfers of the night. Old fan favourites‘Guilt Trip’and‘Reservoir’pay homage to their debut self-titled release, balancing the set with both new and older songs.‘DVP’brings things to a close with the same amount of energetic chaos they started the set with. A blistering set of constant frenzy both off and on stage clearly shows that they have the potential the headline rooms of this size a lot sooner than they think.[8/10]
With a few moments for the room to catch their breath, The Menzingers burst onto the stage with album opener ‘Tellin’ Lies’. The room erupts, starting the steady stream of crowd surfers which never seemed to stop the entire night. The power of having two vocalists is put to full effect, offering a dynamic that not many bands can do, let alone perfect as ‘Good Things’ and ‘My Friend Kyle’ show they can achieve this not only on record but live. Fan favourites ‘I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore’ and ‘Lookers’ sees the sweaty crowd test their vocal chords to the limit, leading into an encore with the crowd demanding more. ‘In Remission’ draws the night to a close, highlighting that they’re rising to the top of punk rock and with good reason. A sold out show in front of a wide variety of age groups shows that punk isn’t nowhere near dead yet. [9/10]
Leeds Stylus, situated on the almost American college-like grounds of Leeds University is teaming with pop punks tees for tonight’s show. The line up is a surefire contender for tour of the year and reads like a past, present and future of the pop punk world. Those in attendance have also managed to make this a sold out show, and even though it’s not the largest venue for a band like the almighty Wonder Years, one has to feel lucky to be in possession of a ticket for such a stellar line up in such an intimate venue.
There is small crowd forming towards the front of the stage for an act that is currently the talk of pop punk/hardcore circles and the boys in Tiny Moving Parts make no bones about showing those huddled down the front their appreciation. Singer/Guitarist Dylan Mattheisen darts back and forth, all whilst jamming out some of the most intricate guitar lines to grace the genre. They bound through tracks from latest record Celebrate with geeky cool but crowd pleaser Birdhouse, with it’s insanely catchy introductory riff puts the band up as nominee for performance of the evening. (8)
Next up we get Hertfordshire crew Trash Boat who are no strangers to tours like this, having supported icons New Found Glory in late 2015. It’s stints like that, that have helped mold the band into the force of nature they have become in the live arena and tonight is no different. The band rage through an anthemic Tring Quarry and quiet-loud rager Brave Face to a faithful response from their audience. They then invite Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell up for an intense rendition of Strangers which acts an excellent pre-cursor for what is to come later on. (8)
Main support of the evening goes the Canada’s PUP who have clearly amassed a sizable following from latest record The Dream is Over and show their gratitude tonight by delivering a blistering set. They start in rousing fashion with first album cut Guilt Trip which leads right into a gutsy rendition of Reservoir. The real strength of a band like PUP in the live setting, is their truly unique sound, sitting somewhere between snotty gang-vocal led punk rock and spiky indie rock. There are huge hooks aplenty this eve with the Fireworks-like My Life Is Over And I Couldn’t Be Happier and the bounding Sleep In The Heat provoking mass chant-alongs from the audience. Frontman Stefan Babcock displays effortless charm and vocal capability too on enigmatic cut The Coast, before winding things down with set-ender If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You../DVP. PUP’s star is clearly on the rise and with performances like this it isn’t hard to understand why. (10)
And now for the band at the helm of this tour classic, ladies and gents, it’s The Wonder Years. They are surely the patriarchs of the modern pop punk scene and they have managed to pull of something quite special in latest album No Closer To Heaven which is represented well tonight. They kick off with the title track of said record, gently easing the crowd into the set before launching into Suburbia.. classic Local Man Ruins Everything, the Leeds crowd bellowing every word right back at frontman Soupy. The three man guitar onslaught is something that allows the band to really replicate the grand scale of their more recent output, displayed on tracks like the massive I Don’t Like Who I Was Then which really reaches new heights live. As mentioned previously, tonight’s set is clearly a showcase for newer material and tracks like the slow build of Cigarettes & Saints and the stormy seas of Cardinals go hand in hand with Greater Generation material like There, There effortlessly. It’s always daring to play the majority new material, but the boys pull it off here and the crowd who laps up every moment. The Philly boys send the audience home happy with a scintillating Came Out Swinging and it’s enough to prove that regardless of the formidable line up this evening, they aren’t quite ready to be dethroned as reigning kings of pop punk. (9)
US Alt-Punkers PUP have released the video for track Sleep In The Heat. The frenetic tune taken from latest record The Dream Is Over acts as a continuation of the previous video for track Guilt Trip, bringing in Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard to play a younger version of frontman Stefan Babock.
Check it out below!
The band head out on tour with The Wonder Years and Tiny Moving Parts next year with dates as below :
28 DUBLIN, IRELAND Workmans Club
29 BELFAST Empire
31 LEEDS Uni Stylus
01 LONDON KOKO
03 BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
04 GLASGOW QMU
05 MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
07 PARIS, FRANCE Le Backstage
08 ANTWERP, BELGIUM Kavka
09 UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS De Helling
10 ESSEN, GERMANY Café Nova
12 MUNICH, GERMANY Sunny Red
14 ZURICH, SWITZERLAND Dynamo
15 MILAN, ITALY Legend Club
17 BARCELONA, SPAIN Sala Boveda
18 MADRID, SPAIN Moby Dick
These Minnesotan lads have brought many strong emotional feelings onto their record, but now Tiny Moving Parts have amplified this with a new music video for their emotive track ‘Common Cold‘. Check out their music video below to see what’s what!
The band will be coming back to the UK/EU, opening for The Wonder Years during their Jan/Feb run. You can check out the dates below!
The Wonder Years announce their UK tour for January/February 2017 in support of their new album No Closer To Heaven. A special 02 Pre-Sale for tickets will be available from tomorrow whilst general sale is scheduled for this Friday.
The band have also announced that they will be offering VIP Tickets to fans who buy GA, to witness a special intimate set and a chance for fans to witness The Wonder Years setup before the show. The tour has also been announced to include PUP on the 31st January – 5th February dates and Tiny Moving Parts who will be appearing across all dates of the tour.