Wednesday after a day of abusing my body snowboarding, I headed to Philly’s beloved First Unitarian Church basement to catch one hell of a lineup. Any of these bands on the bill would be good enough for me to go to the show, having Off With Their Heads, Morning Glory, and Direct Hit all together was just a god damn mind melt. Unfortunately I missed almost all of The Headies, but the last two songs I was able to catch were sick. So I’ll need to make a point to catch those dudes.
I’ve been completely obsessed with Direct Hit as of late. Their album Brainless God turned me from “hey, that one hardcore split they have with Hold Tight is kinda cool” to “holy fuck these guys rule”. I caught them once before open for The Copyrights back in July, and while I didn’t know any of their songs by that point, their pop-punk set blew me away. This time, I knew the songs and was ready to get rowdy.
The band took the stage, and broke out into “The World Is Ending (No One Cares)” which had many of us in the crowd shouting along. Direct Hit is incredibly refreshing to see live. You can tell they are legitimately having a blast on stage, love what they’re doing, and are here to have a good time.
Playing songs from the both Brainless God and and Domesplitter, the band played a tight set even though they were plagued with a few technical difficulties. Regardless, they powered through without missing a beat, with one of the guitarists throwing his guitar down, saying “fuck it” and just singing along every word.
Probably my favorite set of the night, definitely check them if they come around… or if their side project Galactic Cannibal comes around, check them out too, you lucky son of a bitch.
Setlist: (Not complete or in order)
The World Is Ending (No One Cares)
Getting What He Asked For
Back To The Tower
A Message To The Angels
They Came For Me (I think)
Formed from the ashes of Choking Victim years ago, Morning Glory was one of the more prominent crack rock steady bands (Leftover Crack, INDK, etc). It’s been a few years since I’ve last seen them, and they’ve actually recorded another full length semi recently called Poets Were My Heroes.
The band took the stage, and a small but dedicated group of us started skanking, singing along, and piling on while Ezra kept jumping into the crowd. As usual Morning Glory played a fun and solid set even if they didn’t play Gang Control and most of the people in the crowd weren’t sure who they were. Oh god, I’m getting old.
Everything’s a Song To Me
Last Caress (partial Misfits cover)
So You Wanna Be A Cop?
Always Alone (Off With Their Heads cover)
Off With Their Heads
Straight up, Off With Their Heads are one of the hardest bands around there. They’re always recording new music, and they always seem to be on tour, even though I realized it’s been 2 years since I last saw them. I’ve seen them play all types of venues in Philly from headlining the smaller Barbary and house shows, to the larger Electric Factory supporting bands such as Bad Religion and The Bouncing Souls. It only was appropriate to finally see them headline a show at The First Unitarian Church basement.
The band took the stage and opened with “Nightlife” off of their latest album Home, setting off the crowd into a huge sing along. At one point, the band played “Theme Song” from their Hospitals EP, and after we completely went off in the crowd, Ryan said “fuck it, that was fun, let’s just do the entire album”. Fuck yes.
The new songs translated pretty well live, but some felt a little out of place (such as the slower “Don’t Make Me Go” and “Altar Boy”). Still, it’s always a good time to see Off With Their Heads, and good to see them on a headlining tour again after supporting so many bands the past few years. Oh, and they played Ten Year Trouble, a song I’ve been requesting forever but they’ve stated in interviews they don’t like playing live.
Setlist (Pretty complete, although not in order)
Focus On Your Family
Your Child Is Dead
Hard To Admit
Heroin In NYC
Don’t Make Me Go
Clear The Air
Ten Year Trouble
Fuck This I’m Out