Streetlight Manifesto must have felt at home in New Jersey this past Thursday in Anaheim. Gone were the enjoyable early evening temperatures, typical of a summer evening in Southern California, replaced instead by an extremely unpleasant heat wave that brought humidity and a brief hint of rain. There was a moment during the show that ironically highlighted the type of night that it was, both inside the venue and out. Tomas Kalnoky, lead vocalist and guitarist, introduced the song Forty Days as a song about hell, and quite frankly, the House of Blues at Downtown Disney might as well have been renamed the House of Inferno, cause it was scorching!
But the heat indoors and out didn’t take away from the experience of seeing New Jersey’s greatest ska export, and those fortunate enough to be in attendance at this sold out show can agree with me on this: The guys brought it for 60+ minutes and completely rocked the house.
A couple of months removed from the release of their latest cover album, 99 Songs Of Revolution, the band performed a couple of fan favorites from albums spanning their entire discography. With songs such as Point/Counterpoint, A Better Place, A Better Time, A Moment Of Silence, and a Moment of Violence from their album Everything Goes Numb as well as a number of other tunes from their latest full length, Somewhere In The Between. There was a little bit of everything for everyone, enough to satisfy even those that just knew the words to the cover of NOFX‘s Linoleum (which was the first song to be played during the encore.)
Streetlight Manifesto’s shows wouldn’t be complete without some banter between the band and the crowd. Kalnoky made it a point to bring up that throughout the five years that the band’s been touring, this crowd and this tour was the best that they’ve ever experienced. Appreciative of the shout-out, the punks with their boots and mohawks, the ska kids with their checkered creepers and everyone in between danced and sang along to the songs that defined many of their lives, many of whom also became self-appointed members of the band themselves that evening.
There were also moments during the show in which Kalnoky singled out a couple that had kissed during a song, calling the moment “cute” as well as pointing out those people in the back that had formed their own mini dance circles, the guitar playing frontman handle the crowd with charm.
It’s hard to find the lows in a show that was so great, but if I had to point out a “lowlight,” it would have to be the lighting that the venue uses during performances. There was a moment during the encore when the band is playing 1234, 1234 in which bright lights were flashed straight into the audience, causing temporary blindness, something that is no more than an irritation to myself but could be dangerous to someone dancing in the pits. The venue did redeem themselves by making water cups available for those that wanted some during, and after the show.
Having witnessed Streetlight Manifesto at their finest, there’s absolutely no indication that this band is slowing down and if their latest album 99 Songs Of Revolution has anything to show, it’s that this band will continue putting out music for a long time. If you haven’t seen Streetlight Manifesto live, do yourself a favor and check them out. No matter where you’re from, you’ll be singing along to their songs in no time.
The band is playing a couple of more shows before joining up with the Warped Tour for four Southeast dates. They will then play a couple of shows throughout the rest of the East Coast before heading out to where they’ll be till the end of August. Check their Dying Scene shows page to find out when and where you can catch them next!