After Punk Rock Bowling in Asbury Park NJ, I headed to straight to The Wonder Bar for the sold out after show featuring PEARS, Blanks 77, and The Virus. I made sure to get there early as a line started to form as soon as I got to the dive bar. Even though the show was technically sold out, the bar never really reached anywhere near capacity. I don’t know if it was due to the oh so punk “No Studded Jackets!” sign at the entrance of a fucking street punk show, or if people were just way too fucked up during Punk Rock Bowling (and if the people barely standing/falling all over the pit during The Descendents set was any indication, then yes…)
People were still trickling in the small room as the New Orleans punks took the stage. I’ve posted about them a lot on this site, and like I’ve said before, they’ve easily become one of my favorite bands with their aggressive hardcore punk laced with incredibly catchy hooks and explosive live shows. Opening immediately with “Forever Sad”, the band made the most behind the line of bouncers and barricades as singer Zach jumped into the crowd before returning with his arms around the bouncers.
They tore through the rest of their set playing a pretty equal mix between songs from Go To Prison and Green Star to the small handful of people, who for the most part didn’t really seem to know them but seemed to be digging the music. A fun set, PEARS is consistently one of the best live bands around these days.
Setlist (not in order)
Victim To Be
I Love My Kennel
Next up were New Jersey’s own pogo punks Blanks 77. They easily had the biggest reaction of the night with people pogo-ing,dancing and snarling along with Mike Blank as he pushed up into the barricade and was swarmed upon an army of mohawks.
A solid set as usual, I have to give their newly released “Gettin Blasted” split with The Parasitix a listen soon. I’ve heard those songs live plenty now, and am stoked to finally hear the recorded album.
Setlist (from what I remember, not complete or in order):
Up The System
We Are The Punks
I Wanna Be A Punk
I Don’t Wanna Be
Hey You (I think)
Don’t Give A Fuck
The crowd thinned out a decent amount by the time The Virus started playing probably do to the sheer fact it was late and people could barely stand after the all day fest, but that didn’t hinder the Philly punks at all.
Even though I’ve lived in Philly the past decade now, I’ve never had a chance to see The Virus before even though I’ve been listening to them for many years now, missing their reunion shows. Let me just say, these dudes absolutely kill it live.
While the crowd energy was waning a bit due to pure exhaustion with only a few people dancing and shouting along, the band’s energy didn’t at all. Loud and aggressive as fuck, if they come around your area, do yourself a favor and go catch them.
Looks Like Trouble
Heros (I think)
There’s Nothing Left
Rats In The City