It’s been two years since Philadelphian heartland punks The Menzingers last graced Manchester with their presence, during which their profile has grown from relative obscurity to see them become one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed acts in the genre. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that tone of tonight’s show was celebratory, as the band ran through all their greatest hits so far – at typically breakneck speed – in front of a sold out crowd.
Opening with the rousing, siren wail guitars of ‘I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore’, the first track off their latest record Rented World, the band continued to fire out song after song at relentless pace, including crowd pleasers ‘I Was Born’ and ‘Burn After Writing’. Despite the intensely personal and angst-ridden nature of their lyrics, nearly a line went by that wasn’t shouted back at the foursome by the front rows; ‘The Obituaries’, perhaps their bluntest ode to self-doubt – its chorus simply repeats “I will f*ck this up/I f*cking know it” – nevertheless proved to be one of the biggest sing-alongs of the evening.
The rest of the set comprised mainly of cuts from their 2012 breakthrough album On the Impossible Past, including ‘Good Things’ and the anthemic ‘Gates’. Main set closer ‘In Remission’ was an obvious highlight, its grungey riffs and chaotic climax making for an effective finale, before returning for a short encore of two fan favourites: the lovelorn ‘Casey’ and the obligatory ‘A Lesson In The Abuse Of Informational Technology’. Cramming as many songs as they could into their almost ninety minute set, The Menzingers live show is an energetic, emotional spectacle, and one that no doubt left fans hoping they won’t be waiting two more years to experience it again.