Twenty Years ago, Pennywise released an album that would be genre defining and inspire so many other punk bands for years to come. The album is called Full Circle and is dedicated to founding member and bassist Jason Mathew Thirsk who had died tragically before it was produced and Pennywise have never played this album in full. It is one of the earliest Cd’s I remember ever owning and I loved every track on it then and still do too this day, it is a masterpiece. As if hearing this album in full wasn’t excitement and reason enough for me to be present at the Enmore tonight, supporting Pennywise on this anniversary album tour are The Bronx, one of the all-time best bands I have ever seen, so this should be a night to remember.
The Enmore is full of people and abuzz with excitement for tonight’s proceedings. As the lights dim before the Bronx take the stage a voice comes out through the speakers and makes a speech that at its ends says, ‘no one wants to rock and roll.” Well that was a false statement if I have ever heard one because the people in the place tonight came here to do just that, and leading the charge would be frontman of The Bronx, Matt Caughtran.
After the opening song of Sore Throat, he would start with Heart Attack American and then spend the next two tracks down in the circle pit right up there with the people, right inside the action, and the action was intense. The Bronx just bring a level of intensity with them to every show I see them at and tonight was no exception. The volume is fully turned up on these guys and the sound just explodes off the stage and into your ears, it just fucking moves you.
Making his way back into the circle pit for the second time in tonight’s set, Matt starts by making a speech about Sunday is the Lords day, but he was there at the beginning and wants to let us know how shit really went down and that is starting with the third day when God created Australia. That was followed by Pie Face, then The Enmore and on the sixth it was tonight’s bands Beerwolf, The Bronx and Pennywise and for the seventh it was tonight’s motherfucking show. Now, enjoy being part of creation and don’t worry about the beer he spilt on the mosh pit floor as for it is time to sharpen your sword and with that, shit just erupts around him, it is chaos to watch.
Wow, what a front man and what a band, you just don’t see that much intenseness from a lot of other bands. No ego, just balls tearing in your face punk, it is so fucking great to see and be a part of I couldn’t think of any songs I didn’t hear. They were all there somewhere in the killer set They Will Kill Us All, Rape Zombie, Shitty Future and History’s Stranglers. I could go on and on but if you really want to know then make sure you see the Sydney headline show Monday at the Oxford Art Factory as for it is going to be wild just like tonight’s.
Okay it is time to get into what we all came here for and that is to hear one of the most defining albums in punk rock history played in its entirety from start to finish and that is exactly what we get. Starting things off is Fight Till You Die, the fast paced in your face tempo of the song is the perfect way to open the show, it set things up nicely for the rest of the night and matches the intensity of the previous circle pits. The song finishes and we move right along into Date With Destiny followed by Get A Life given no one time to catch their breath. It was three of the fastest paced songs on the album played back to back, just as it was intended and making for one hell of a great show opener.
Before they play Society, a comment is made how 20 years ago Jim would write a song that is somehow more relevant today than it was back then. Wow, let that sink in for a while then go and listen to the whole album and see how quite a few of the songs written have themes just as important back then as they are today. One of those themes is spoken about before the albums set list end, it is the song Did You Really, this is dedicated to Jason and Jim and delivers a message to never give up, to always keep going no matter what.
So they play what is technically the albums end song but the show is not over, no way. Jim asks some audience members what bands they like and they respond with Circle Jerks and Black Flag, then a small cover of those bands is played. But hey, this is Australia and we are Sydney after all so he leads into and AC/DC chant of Oi Oi Oi and we get into a bit of TNT action following into their great cover of Stand by Me. The after-album set would also feature Pennywise and Same Old Story. Now we all know Full Circle ends truly with the Bro Hymn and given the emotion of the song you are never sure if they are going to play it, but play it they did. This is how the show ends with all the emotion and rawness of such a powerful song, security could do nothing as body after body invaded the stage in great numbers. It was like waves crashing upon the shore as they would go over the barrier and get up on stage from everywhere they could and finish out the set with the band, it was truly an awesome sight to see. No-one does things better than the old school punk bands and tonight Pennywise, along with the Bronx, proved just that.
Review – Chad
Photo Gallery – Christian Ross