This past Friday I was faced with a bit of a dilemma, as there were two shows I wanted to see at the same time. My beloved World Inferno Friendship Society was playing at Philly’s Trocadero, but Direct Hit and Philly locals Holy Mess were playing the more intimate coffee shop The Pharmacy. I opted to go to The Pharmacy show for a few reasons… cheaper, wanted a smaller intimate show, but probably most importantly, potentially the last time I get to see The Holy Mess. There were rumors that it was their last show, and they made the announcement official on their twitter last week.
I got there right in the middle of Pkew Pkew Pkew, who’ve I’ve never heard of before but played a solid set of pop-punk in the veins of The Copyrights. Toronto punks singing songs about skating as adults, pizza, and being broke (you know, the typical pop-punk topics) they put on an entertaining set and have me listening to their albums now. Tight stuff, give it a shot if you dig straightforward pop-punk.
I’ve caught Direct Hit a few times now and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite pop-punk bands around, but after seeing them open for NOFX a few months ago, I really wanted to see them in a small, barricade-less venue again. Direct Hit clearly was feeling the same, saying it was nice to be able to “suck again” after they played a few huge stadium shows opening for Blink-182.
Direct Hit was touring to support their latest Fat Wreck release Wasted Mind, and their setlist was obviously heavy with the new tracks. The crowd stayed rowdy throghout the entirety of the set, making the small “can only hold 6 people across” room a chaotic and fun whirlwind.
Joking with the crowd about how there was no pressure to play well, how they are allowed to talk on stage now and how they’ve only been spit on once in their entire life and of course it was in Philly, Direct Hit kept things light hearted and fun.
I really enjoyed the new songs live, they definitely had more of an edge to them then they do on the album, and while I do like the album a lot I felt like it was a little overproduced, so it was good to hear them in their raw form. A solid set, Direct Hit is one of the best bands playing pop-punk these days, go check them out.
Setlist (from what I remember, not in order):
Paid In Brains
Was It The Acid
Infinite Pills and Infinite Alcohol
Do The Sick (I think)
Snickers Or Reeses
They Came For Me
Lastly were Philly’s The Holy Mess, a staple of Philly punk for years now. I’ve seen them in plenty of houses, dive bars, church basement, etc. Unfortunately the band confirmed that the rumors were true and this would indeed be their last show.
Deciding to forgo the stage and play right on the floor, it felt just like a house show as The Holy Mess. Furthering the house show feel was in typical Holy Mess fashion the band announced that they didn’t have a setlist, but mostly played songs off their last 3 releases (newest Trash Age EP, Comfort In The Dischord, and Cande Ru Las Vegas).
There was clearly an energetic yet bittersweet feeling in the air, but the band played a really tight set, and before I knew it they were announcing that they were about to play their last song, a song off Trash Age.
A solid show as usual, here’s to hoping they change their mind. While you probably won’t get a chance to catch them live (unless they decide to reunite for a show here and there… and in an age where Danzig reunites with the Misfits, who the fuck knows what will happen) but for the time being, definitely check out their albums if you dig bands like The Menzingers. So long fellas, it’s been real.
Setlist (From what I remember, not in order)
It’s All Fun And Games Til Someone Gets Heard
Liza And Louisana
Asleep In A Room Full Of Dog Shit
Captain We’re Drinking
For The Press
Flesh Of The Fresh, Blood Of The Dove (I think)
Caught Like This