After over 2 years away, US rock band The Menzingers came back to the UK, stopping off at London’s Roundhouse to play their biggest ever headline show to date. Seeing the amount of associated band top around Camden that day, I knew we were in for a big one.
The show was opened by Sincere Engineer from Chicago. The Menzingers have been taking them along on loads of their shows across the US, and have now brought them along to the UK and Europe.
Although only half an hour, they still played a blinder of a set, with a big crowd gathering early. They were a really lively band, with people singing along and getting involved. Front person Deanna seemed genuinely shocked by the level of support they were receiving, and they interacted with the crowd well. All in all, a good warm up set.
Up next was the legendary Joyce Manor. And straight from the off you could tell this was going to be a wild Saturday night in Camden. The crowd brought everything to their set, and with songs like Heart Tattoo, Constant Headache and Christmas Card they went wild. It always makes me laugh when you have a support set with crowd surfers – it shows how good they are and how on side the crowd are. And fair play to security, they handled it well.
And then it was time for the main act of the night.
Unlike most bands, The Menzingers didn’t make a new album during lockdown. Instead, they did a reworking of their latest album Hello Exile. Greg also took some time to work on his solo project. And then as soon as they could, they hit the road, playing shows across America and now the rest of the world. Greg also made a solo trip to the UK a couple of months back, playing a mix of his own songs and some Menzingers songs.
So this wasn’t a tour to promote a new album, or to advertise something going on. This was a tour for the sake of doing a tour. And these are always the best kinds.
Opening the set with Good Things was certainly a good choice. Again, straight away the crowd was electric, dancing, singing and moshing along to the music. From song 1, crowd surfers were coming over the barrier into the waiting arms of security. Playing their top Spotify song I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore second is a change from the ordinary, with it being played last in previous tours.
I can only wish I had as much energy as Tom does when I do my day job. That man jumps around the stage like someone possessed, and it’s a wonder he has any voice left to sing the songs he takes lead on, as every time Greg is on the mic he is screaming along louder than the audience. However he has changed from his infamous ‘have fun and be yourself’ top that he used to wear at shows.
I love the Roundhouse as a venue. It’s big enough to create an amazing atmosphere, while still being able to see the show from wherever you are in the venue, and with the added advantage of the upstairs seating. The sound has always been excellent every time I’ve been too, something some other venues need to get a bit better at…
The transition from Who’s Your Partner into Anna was unmatched, and really kept that energy high.
In Remission was the first big finish of the night, before doing the classic walk-off-walk-on and coming back to play Lookers, Ava House and ending the show finally with After The Party. There was one more lot of singing, dancing and crowd surfing, before the night was done.
As always, The Menzingers put on a show like no other. The energy they bring, and that is shown back by the crowd, is something unmatched to anything I’ve seen before. The UK part of their tour is now finished, but if you get a chance to catch them in Europe or next time they come to the UK, you would be a fool to miss it.
As with every show, a massive thank you always go to the staff and security at The Roundhouse, and to everyone else involved in making the show happen.