The Menzingers Tear It Up at House of Independents

Pop Break Live: The Menzingers, The Flatliners, and The Worriers at House of Independents in Asbury Park, NJ

Words and Pictures by Patrick Gilrane

On December 2, 2017 the Menzingers returned to Asbury Park N.J. playing to a capacity crowd of rowdy fans at The House of Independents. Also on the night’s roster, the Toronto Ontario based punkers The Flatliners as well as The Worriers from Brooklyn NY.

While the Menzingers hail from Scranton PA their pretty much considered locals in the Asbury Park music scene. The Menzingers were formed in 2006 and include band members Greg Barnett on guitar and vocals, Tom May on guitar and vocals, Eric Keen on bass and Joe Godino on drums. The Menzingers are an Epitaph Records recording artist who are touring in support of their latest album After The Party which dropped in Feb of 2017.

The Menzingers took the stage in a very casual, matter of fact way with the band simply strolling onto the stage and were met by a crowd already on the edge thanks to opening artist The Flatliners. The opening song “Telling Lies,” a song about growing up and the related struggles set the tone for the entire night, the crowd surging forward toward the stage driving some fans to the safety of the balcony. The Menzingers have a sound all to their own with Greg Barnett’s unmistakable vocals, Tom May’s cutting guitar riffs and a blue-collar message one can easily relate too. The set went on with the band and crowd feeding off each other’s energy, the music pushing the crowd who answered with a constant flow of crowd surfers and stage jumpers going overhead. In the end the Menzingers would leave the crowd spent, delivering a blue-collar knockout punch of local punk rock at The House of Independents Asbury Park NJ.

Providing support for this show was a punk band from Toronto Ontario Canada called The Flatliners. The Flatliners are a veteran band formed in 2002 and are a Dine Alone Record’s recording artist whose latest album Inviting Light comes on the heels of their Juno nominated release Dead Language and was released this past April. The Flatliners band members are Chris Cresswell on guitar and vocals, Scott Brigham on guitar, Jon Darbey on bass and Paul Ramirez on drums.

This was my first time at a flatliners gig so they were a bit of a mystery to me, but not to the crowd in attendance. This band has a reputation as being rather influential in the ska/punk scene in their native Canada, which intrigued me. The band hit the stage and immediately got down to business with a few songs off their new album to get things moving. I watched as the crowd came to life slowly building, getting tighter to the stage, louder, crowd surfing, screaming along with the music! The band worked through a blazing set of mostly newer music before surrendering the stage to the Menzingers.

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The Flatliners did more than support this show, they set the tone for the entire night with their brand of hard driving punk rock delivered in a no nonsense in your face manner!

The show openers were a Brooklyn based punk band called the Worriers whose latest album Survival Pop was released in 2017 by Side One Dummy Records. The band members are Lauren Denitzio, Lou Hanman, Mikey Erg and Audrey Zee Whitesides. The Worriers were a welcome addition to this show and had a great mellow punk sound that the crowd seemed to enjoy.

In closing this was a awesome gig with a big thanks to House of Independents Asbury Park for providing a great venue, and The Menzingers, Flatliners and the Worriers for the great music.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites