Live Review: Pennywise, Anti-Flag, Blindspot

13 October 2015 | 1:13 pm | Simon Holland

"If you were growing up in WA in the '90s and ever resented wearing a school uniform for even a moment, punk rock was the way to live."

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There is a point in the life of every youth where you uncover a band that strikes a chord somewhere deep within and manages to define and direct your beliefs from that point on. Some people went on to become hippies, some become disco, but if you were growing up in WA in the '90s and ever resented wearing a school uniform for even a moment, punk rock was the way to live.

The roots run deep, evidently, as a packed house of disaffected adults showed up at 8pm sharp to support local punk heroes Blindspot. With the beers flowing and the pit ready the boys tore into it with Average Guy, Beautiful Girl, the anthem for the ever-so-slightly downtrodden. The fanbase picked up the singalongs from the get go. Grabusabeer and the slighty heavier and crustier My Mate Nick formed the highlights of a solid and well-received set.

Pennsylvanian punkers Anti-Flag are a huge act in their own right and commanded the stage such. The lads kicked off with The Press Corpse and Turn A Blind Eye before getting crazy with Police Story screamed through a megaphone, the crowd divided for a 'Wall of Death' that quickly melded into a floor-wide circle pit for Fabled World — the light and poppy song with a strong a strong anti-government message sending fists in the air.

This Is The End and Brandenburg Gate followed before drummer Pat Thetic showed remarkable trust as he fed his kit piece by piece into the crowd and joined bassist Chris Head to close the show at ground zero with Die For Your Government. Thetic and his kit managed to survive intact — the complete reverse of Fletcher Dragge's guitar in 2000 which was torn apart. Ah, how times have changed.

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"Perth. It's about time." Boom, just like that, Jim Lindberg announced the show and Pennywise launched into Peaceful Day. As the opening chords rang out cheers went into the air — it had been 20 years since the release of About Time but the lyrics flowed freely from the crowd, permanently embedded with fond memories from times gone by. Waste Of Time, Perfect People followed in quick succession before arguably the strongest track on the album, Every Single Day, triggered a frenzy. "Uh.. don't do that," Lindberg announced mid-lyric as a daring crowd member dangled from the upstairs mezzanine before dropping into the crowd below. Same band, same venue, in November 2000, some crazy fucker leapt onto the stage from about the same spot — guess that kind of insanity has lost its edge. Same Old Story and the classic closer Killing Time were the highlights to close the trip down nostalgia lane.

Pennywise were far from done however as they unleashed a cover of Bad Religion's Do What You Want, followed by Pennywise and perhaps a taste of things to come with Society. It wouldn't be a Pennywise show without a Bro Hymn closer. The support crew mobbed the stage, roadies donned guitars and rocked out. The epic chorus rang loud and clear as the Australian leg of the About Time 20th Anniversary Show came to a close. As good as About Time is, the countdown is now on for the Full Circle tour.