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The Menzingers, Live in London

Pennsylvania's finest dazzle in London

The Menzingers returned to the capital for a sold-out show in Camden. Here's five things we learned while watching them...

Sometimes all you need is great songs

While there is certainly a lot of appeal in the larger than life characters that inhabit the world of rock music, for all the Kiss’s of the world there is an equal amount of incredible bands that just boil down to four dudes playing songs. This is very much the case with The Menzingers and their strength very much lies in their simplicity. Their set tonight is essentially a case of non-stop songs with very little breathing room, and certainly no bells or whistles. Yet there is no need for flashy gimmicks and this show proves how captivating a band can be simply with songs alone, and prove - if any more reason even needed - just how ridiculous Gene Simmons recent ‘rock is dead’ argument really is.

The raw emotion of their songs are full of punk rock spirit

The argument of what punk is or isn’t has been had far too many times, and if you’re to visit select internet forums or browse over YouTube comments, it certainly suggests that there will always be plenty of blue faced teenagers hammering their keyboards to keep the debate going. Regardless of your individual definitions of what punk is, the thing that undeniably makes The Menzingers such a vital punk band is the heart at the core of this band. Every single note played and lyric sung is full of undeniable conviction, and their music offers a tangible realness that make these songs so special.

There’s an honesty to their music that can appeal to anyone

The set is so full of highlights that it is hard to pick out individual moments, pretty much every song being greeted by the sort of warm reception that most bands can only attract from their biggest hits. The shout along refrains of “When I get home, I’m not talking to anyone” of Irish Goodbyes, and “I will fuck this up, I fucking know it” of The Obituaries could have been plucked out of anyone’s head. It is this relatable nature of their music that makes it so clear why these songs have a place in so many people’s hearts.

There is a real sense of community and being a part of something in the room tonight

The crowd reaction and resulting atmosphere in the room tonight is nothing short of wonderful. There’s no agro or ill feeling that can rear it’s ugly head at a show after one too many beers. In it’s place is a room packed full of people with arms in the air and singing along so loud the often eclipse the band themselves. Regardless of the day people were having before they entered the room, be it great or terrible, you get the sense that everyone is leaving with a huge grin on their faces.

The Menzingers are a very special band

Some shows are good, some shows are bad, but a handful of bands are capable of putting on a show that is truly special. The Menzingers are one of those bands. The minute the band arrive on stage and launch into I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore it stirs a one of a kind feeling in your stomach, and it’s a feeling that stays present throughout the band’s set. It’s the sort of show that offers the sort of unique high that nothing else can compete with and is testament to what a powerful and wonderful thing music can be.