By Joe DeBonis
Seeing a band for the second time, especially when that second time is within six months of that first time, better mean that band is damn good live, or they are an all time favorite. I chose to see the Menzingers twice in sixth months because they fell a little into both categories and never did I regret the decision. On The Impossible Past is easily one of my all time favorite albums and any chance I get to scream along to lyrics I know with other fanatics is something I will rarely pass up.
This time around they played at the Launchpad rather than the Gasworks. The change of venues made it feel like a bigger deal simply because there is a stage that the band can stand on at the Launchpad rather than the little thing at the Gasworks. A quality warm up band helped too. I sadly missed the first two bands but Lemuria, the second to last band, was a cool pop punk, indie infused band led by a female singer that had some sick tracks that were easy to get to know. A good warm up band is key to a good show and the Menzingers had done a great job of keeping the crowd interested with this band.
On the other hand though, only having to wait through one other band besides the one I had came to see made the night fly by and within no time the Menzingers had taken the stage and images of the last time I had seen them were flying through my head. I felt like I was shaking in anticipation to finally get to sing along so when the first song wasn’t one I recognized a small bit of panic set in.
I had tried to learn the setlist the Menzingers would be performing to maximize the amount of time I could spend singing but in the end I figured I might as well just accept I was only going to know songs off of On The Impossible Past which turned out fine enough; they played about seven songs off the album. I didn’t have to wait much longer after their first song because for the second song of the night they went right into “Good Things,” the first song off of On The Impossible Past, and everything from the first show washed over me. The instant emotion I felt last time from the song coursed through my veins and I scratched my voice until it was almost sore with the volume of my voice on that first song.
I appreciate a good pop punk/ emo band as much as the next guy, but the Menzingers really stuck with me for some reason and getting to build up all my emotion to scream my voice raw to tracks like “Good Things,” “Ava House,” and “Obituaries” was something I had been waiting to do since the last time I saw them. It wasn’t the same feeling as getting to sing along the first time, but it still felt awesome to look at other people similarly affected by their music and show our adoration by screaming our heads off.
“Obituaries” has to be the second anthem to teenage angst after “Constant Headache” by Joyce Manor. Any song where the chorus is “I will fuck this up, I fucking know it,” leads itself to some powerful feels and when The Menzingers ended their show with that, everyone in the Launchpad was belting out those lyrics as loudly, as aggressively and as passionately as they could. Simply put, there are few people that have gone through life that have not thought those very same things to themselves about some situation or another and I know every single person in the Launchpad that night revisited that low point in their lives and allowed the music to help continue the never ending healing process that comes along with teenage angst.
That whole idea will never get old to me (at least in the near future) and that is why I chose to go see them again. I knew exactly what songs would be played, and I knew exactly what to expect but I still chose to go because I wanted to scream a little in the company of others that were able to admit to themselves teenage angst was/is a thing and having music associated with it makes everything better. It certainly was interesting seeing these 30 something year old guys still singing about teenage problems, but maybe that is part of the mystique of the band and emo music in general. The feelings we have felt will never leave us and the Menzingers just have more to say than the average person, so they take to touring and making music to help the rest of us poor souls out with our lives.