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PENNYWISE @ Metropolis Fremantle gets 8/10


Pennywise Straight Ahead @ Metropolis Fremantle
w/ Strung Out, No Fun At All
Sunday, February 16, 2020

8/10

There’s nothing that quite proves punk is not dead like a packed-out venue on a Sunday night for punk bands with an older following. With a line up of three bands that perfectly complemented each other, Metro Freo went off.

No Fun At All

On-again, off-again Swedish outfit No Fun At All kicked things off fast-paced, frenzied, and with a shit-tonne of energy, setting the bar for the night high. Opening track Spirit was a highlight of the set, and Perfection got lots of love from the punters too with heaps of them singing along. Frontman Ingemar Jansson knows how to work the crowd, rocking hard while smiling with glee but also kinda comical in his earnestness with those Walter White glasses. No Fun At All’s setlist was a great way to start proceedings with classic 90s punk vibes that fans of the band sung along to in a heaving pit, while also being the kind of band whose live performance will convert you into a fan if you weren’t familiar with their music prior. Humble, busy, and a real good ‘Uncles of Punk’ type band.

Strung Out

Strung Out delighted with a setlist that was both curated to make a perfect taste pairing for a Pennywise show, as well as keep their super fans happy. Most of the songs were from that golden age of skate punk where motocross, skate, and surf videos were definitely where these bands got their core group of fans from in the mid-to-late 90s. With only one song, Daggers, from their latest album Songs of Armor and Devotion (2019), frontman Jason Cruz even first checked with the crowd that they didn’t mind a new song. They didn’t mind. The rest were all classics. Velvet Alley to open plunged you right into Strung Out glory, with the combo of Bring Out Your Dead, Firecracker and Matchbook the very best way to round off a stellar, satisfying setlist. And, of course, how can one fail to mention that they played Analog? Probably their best song, the heaviest on this setlist by a fair bit, and fuck me, did the humans of Metropolis lap it up.

Pennywise

And well, what to say about Pennywise? The crowd were so amped up after the opening acts that they were moshing before Pennywise even made it onto the stage. Being the Straight Ahead 20 year anniversary tour, the setlist was no surprise, but the band have this uncanny way to make you appreciate songs that you’ve already known for decades with the vigour and energy with which they still perform them live. There’s something special about getting to see a band you love perform an album in full, the meaning of the songs heightened with extra impact by being performed in the order with which they were originally intended as a package.

Pennywise

One of the most consistent punk bands live, they brought the same high-energy, punch-in-the-face show they always do, and ageing punks flew through the moshpit like their 15 year old selves who first got into this music back in the day. The whole Straight Ahead cocktail was performed flawlessly, Jim Lindberg’s typically passionate delivery boosting the show to another level. To wrap things up, the band added Fuck Authority, Society, Same Old Story, Down Under (always a favourite when performed in Aussie) and Bro Hymn to the setlist, much to the crowd’s delight.

Pennywise are always a treat when they make it to our shores, and teaming up with Fat Wreck Chords legends Strung Out and No Fun At All made this a special, memorable live show.

MELISSA KRUGER

Photos by Karen Lowe

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