Jeff Rosenstock Live In Philly (12/15/17)

What up peeps?  It’s been a busy month for me hence the lack of posts, including a bunch of shows I went to, traveling out west a bit, etc) but I’ve been going to a bunch of shows in the past week.  This past Friday I headed to Philly’s infamous First Unitarian Church basement to catch Jeff Rosenstock of Bomb The Music Industry and Arrogant Sons of Bitches fame.

Ever since he started playing music “solo” (make your own air quotes, as he seems to have a solid lineup now… sounds similar to another old band of his), he’s gotten really popular and almost a cult-like following at this point, so in the basement was sold out and packed.  And anyone who’s ever been to a sold out show at the church knows even in wintertime it’s like stepping into a damn sauna, but with like a bunch of people who think crystal deodorants totally work.

I didn’t realize it until I got there, but Jeff Rosenstock and company were playing their last year release Worry in it’s entirety.  A bit unusual for an album that’s only 1 year old (isn’t there a rule against playing albums in it’s entirety before you break up and then decide to cash in on a 10 year anniversary album tour?)  but then again, Rosenstock has always done things a bit differently.  Whether it was making albums in demo studio applications (you can hear the pop throughout BTMI’s Album Minus Band) or starting the whole pay what you want for albums way before Nine Inch Nails made it popular, Jeff Rosenstock was never one afraid to experiment.

Their flag which they flew proudly behind them.

I was incredibly excited finding out that Worry was going to be played from front to back.  While his albums I Look Like Shit and We Cool have a more indie/Weezer-esque vibe to them minus a few songs, Worry is easily my favorite he’s done since BTMI, and was sort of a return to form in a lot of ways with some of the songs easily sounding like they could have come off of BTMI’s Vacation and even had a ska number and hardcore song thrown in reminiscent to early BTMI/Arrogant Sons Of Bitches days.
The band took the stage to a roar of applause from an enthusiastic crowd and kicked things off immediately with “We Begged 2 Explode”.  I’ve seen him and his bands many times over the years (I’m dating myself here, but from ASOB through BTMI to Antarctigo Vespucci and his solo stuff) but after seeing him earlier this year at Philly’s large Livenation venue The Fillmore supporting The Menzingers, it was good to see him in a smaller D.I.Y space again.  I might be biased, but I’ll take a small shitty D.I.Y venue any day of the week over some state of the art venue with a multi-thousand dollar sound system and special effects and I honestly think that you gain something with that intimacy without barricades.

The set was a whirlwind as they ripped through Worry with all of the songs getting a strong reaction, and by the time they were done with the album they threw in a few more mostly from We Cool but also Carol Of The Bells to get into that Christmas spirit and also Teenager off of Summer.  With plenty of stage banter and interacting with the crowd, Jeff Rosenstock always throws a fun show.  Really glad I got to see Worry in it’s entirety, and if you’re not familiar with his solo stuff, that’s an excellent album to start off with.

We Begged 2 Explode
Pash Rash
Festival Song
Staring Out The Window at Your Old Apartment
Wave Goodnight To Me
To Be A Ghost
Pietro, 60 Years Old
I Did Something Weird Last Night
Blast Damage Days
Bang On The Door
Planet Luxury
June 21st
The Fuzz
While You’re Alive
Perfect Sound Whatever

Hey Allison
Carol Of The Bells
Beers Again Alone
You, In Weird Cities
Polar Bears Vs. Africa

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