Live Review: The Menzingers, The Front Bottoms & Above Them – NQ Live, Manchester – 20/09/2012

There sure is no better time than fresher’s week to check out some of your favourite punk bands. Huddling from the over excited new students and spontaneous biting cold, a gathering ensues in the small venue now known as NQ Live (the initials of which are impossible to decipher).

First up on the stage are the gruff layered melodic punk stylings of Above Them who provide a set that is both tight and impressive to watch. With their chunky sounding guitars and pounding drums, they manage to pull off a powerful aura around them. The addition of new guitarist Adam Bilboa from Manchester punk band Leagues Apart, seems to have really strengthened their sound and performance equalling an endless list of possibilities for the band. All in all, by the end of their set they are given the warmest of applauses and have earned themselves some new fans. (3.5/5)

Speaking of warm reactions, indie folk punk pop band The Front Bottoms are greeted with the cheeriest welcome from their hardcore fans. Their seemingly dancey and catchy acoustic numbers spread a fever that causes endless sing alongs which have the ability to wrap around the unfamiliar, who swallow the enjoyable electric surge that is just too hard to ignore. The sparks of this performance cause a wildfire of smiles from the band to the audience. (4/5)

The anticipation for tonight’s main feature is a ridiculous sight to see amongst such eager fans. Having released one of the best records of 2012, The Menzingers from Scranton, Pennsylvania walk casually on to the stage and unfurl the goods that satisfy the ravenous appetite of the ears. The majority of their set consists of material from their latest ‘On the Impossible Past’, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t especially since the album is full of hits that sound too huge for the small sweaty environment they are played in. The likes of songs such as ‘Good Things’, ‘Gates’, and ‘The Obituaries’ are instantly snatched up by the tongues of their fans who can’t help but sing along. Older songs such as ‘I Was Born’ and ‘Sunday Morning’ add an extra special charm to this buzz filled atmosphere making you be in absolute awe and wonderment with this very special punk band. After a brief intermission, fan favourites ‘Rivalries’ and ‘A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology’ are played with the most amazing streak of unity and intimacy with all those present. By the end of it all, you wish that such a single moment could go on forever but all that you can do for now is cherish that memory and replay it in your mind until the next time The Menzingers come into your town. (4.5/5)

4/5

Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)

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