LIVE REVIEW: The Menzingers @ Webster Hall

Menzingers Webster

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Menzingers Webster
The Menzingers at Webster Hall, shot by Greg Pallante for Bowery Presents

Last Friday I rushed from my part time job to Webster Hall and made it just in time to catch The Menzingers‘ headlining show. A larger venue than they have played at in the past, I was really curious to see how these angsty pop-punkers would rise to the challenge. I am a relatively new Menzingers listener, but my obsessive personality definitely made up for lost time since their newest album, Rented World, dropped mid-April. The album is a perfect extension of the beloved sing-a-longs from their previous albums, and is chock full of catchy and head-banging tunes.

As I made my way up to the balcony to get a good view of the stage, I peered over to a sight of a sea of men in their late twenties waiting patiently as the members’ guitars were being tuned. With a Modelo in hand, a wave of alcoholic beverages and band-tee’d backs catapulted into the barricade while the lights dimmed. Without so much as a “Hi New York, we’re the Menzingers,” or a “Thanks for coming blah blah blah,” they dove right into their two most popular tracks: “I Don’t Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore,” and “Good Things.”

I found myself surrounded by the emotional family members of the band, screaming my favorite Rented World jams right alongside them. The Menzingers barely took a breath in between songs, each one crashing headlong into the last. Their energy was captivating, and so exciting to watch from above as the crowd and band’s energies bounced back and forth. One of the only pauses they took throughout the show was to explain how in awe they were, and that it was “the best night of their life.” They’ve always had a big, enthusiastic fanbase, but the scale of a sold-out Webster Hall crowd clearly blew their minds.

After all those mosh-worthy moments, The Menzingers closed out the show with one of their more heartfelt tunes, “Transient Love,” which was a fitting finale considering the song’s wistful lyrics. The guys returned for a three-song encore, which included “Gates” from 2012’s On the Impossible Past, the title track from their 2007 debut LP A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology, and 2011 single “The Obituaries.” How appropriate. After realizing it was only the second night of their Rented World tour, I finally understood how overwhelming having a sea of people screaming their new lyrics back at them must have been. It was a joy to share mutual exhilaration with such an appreciative act.

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