When your friends are buying starter homes with their accomplishments, driving 3.5 hours on a Tuesday for a show can seem childish and embarrassing. Yet this past Tuesday night I made the trek to Asbury Park’s House of Independents to catch Jeff Rosenstock play a sold out show. As expected, the 500 person venue was decently packed but not unbearably so when I got there, which was right in time for Rosenstock.
It felt very reminiscent of when I would drive out to the (real) Asbury Lanes to catch Bomb The Music Industry or travel hours when I was in college to see The Arrogant Sons of Bitches completely destroy the stage during a set opening for a band like Big D or Streetlight… Jeff’s music has always been incredibly relatable to me and my life over the years, and still continues to be as so much has changed and yet stayed the same… but I digress. Last time I caught Jeff Rosenstock, it was in Philly 2 weeks before he surprise released POST, at the First Unitarian where they played Worry in its entirety.
With their now iconic banner of the American flag in rainbow colors donning a 420 and weed logo behind them, Jeff and company took the stage and kicked things off with the opener of POST “Usa” before transitioning to “Melba” and “Beating My Head Against A Wall”, which even though has only been out for about 7 months had everyone in the crowd shouting along.
Video by youtube user:soleil nigro
At one point, the band was experiencing some gear issues, so Jeff decided to play a song by himself and took a request from the crowd to play the BTMI song “Stand There Until You’re Sober” off To Leave or Die In Long Island. It was amazing to see him do a Bomb song again as BTMI has been and still is one of my favorite bands for years now and honestly I haven’t heard a BTMI song live since 2012. I was actually surprised that the majority of people in the crowd didn’t know it or BTMI at all, but that just goes to show you exactly how successful his latest project has been winning over new fans on its own accord, which is pretty damn respectable.
They continued to rip through their set, and sounded really tight as they played songs consisting mostly of their last two releases of Worry and POST, with a few from We Cool thrown in (along with the BTMI song and the song he wrote for a Cartoon Network show which is apparently a thing). Perhaps predictably, songs like “Hey Allison” and “Nausea” got some of the biggest reactions of the night. What has now sort of become a mainstay at their shows, when they did “You, In Weird Cities” as part of their encore, Jeff switched to the saxophone and ran throughout the crowd into the balcony to play the closing solo from there.
This was easily one of the most fun sets I’ve seen him do with this band, and hoping they hit up Philly possibly later this year again.
Beating My Head Against A Wall
Wave Goodnight To Me
All This Useless Energy
Stand There Until You’re Sober
Craig Of The Creek
Polar Bears or Africa
…While You’re Alive
Perfect Sound Whatever
Let Them Win
You In Weird Cities
We Begged 2 Explode