This past weekend, I was lucky enough to catch The Menzingers, Off With Their Heads, and Broadway Calls in Canoga Park, CA (just north of LA). The show was held at the Cobalt Cafe – an all ages venue reminiscent of someone’s basement. The intimate nature of this show – with a stage only a few feet off the ground and no barricade – only heightened the awesomeness of the bands playing. If you are ever able to check out any of these bands live – take my advice and do it. Now.
After a few local openers, Broadway Calls kicked off the show with an energy that proved that the audience was in for a real treat that night. This was my first time seeing them live, and they proved that they are worth checking out. In between kicking ass song after song, they also found the time to banter with the audience (including the latecomer who insisted on requesting songs they had already played). They played a variety of songs as the crowd sang along – and that was only the beginning of the night.
Off With Their Heads took the stage next. I may be a bit biased, since OWTH are one of my favorite bands, but they always put on a great live show. I had seen them in smaller venues before, but nothing like this. The best way I can describe listening to OWTH is that their music makes me want to rip my heart out of my chest and throw it against the wall – and that’s a good thing. Frontman Ryan Young’s vocals are filled with a gritty, raw energy that comes alive on stage. The band tore through their setlist, which included numerous tracks from 2013’s Home (my favorite album of the year) and crowd favorites like “Jackie Lee” (from 2006‘s Hospitals) and “Clear the Air” (from 2010‘s In Desolation). My only complaint was the omission of “Hard to Admit,” but that’s just one of my personal favorites. OWTH’s set got the crowd moving and there was no turning back.
The Menzingers closed out the night. I had seen them open for The Bouncing Souls back in 2012, but was excited to finally see them headline. It was evident that the crowd was as excited as I was once The Menzingers took the stage (which included many members of the crowd jumping up on stage during “Obituaries” and singing along). The Menzingers’ drummer was sick, so Corey Ciresi from Lee Corey Oswald filled in after only learning the songs that night. The set mainly consisted of songs off of On The Impossible Past (my favorite album of 2012 – see a trend here?) and included a few acoustic versions in the middle. The band took time to explain some of the songs – for example, how “Male Call” (off of 2010’s Chamberlain Waits) was about growing up around strong women and how “Casey” grew out of the work of another songwriter whose genius they admired. Additionally, they mentioned that they are working on their (highly anticipated) new album and hope to have new music out soon.
It is great seeing great bands tour together and put on a cohesive show. I highly recommend checking out these bands – on this tour or any other (and OWTH’s will be their last for awhile) if you have the chance! Check out the photo gallery from the show below.