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Live Review: Pennywise, Anti-Flag, Local Resident Failure

28 September 2015 | 11:50 am | Mark Hebblewhite

"People keep writing Pennywise off but somehow the band manages to exceed expectations."

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Newcastle's Local Resident Failure have been on a bit of tear lately with some impressive support slots and a brand spanking new LP in the form of This Here's The Hard Part. Accordingly, the quartet blasted through a good chunk of the record and seemed to achieve the impressive result of reaching people who may not have been bothered to check out "new" punk bands since sometime in the late 1990s.

Anti-Flag were a little disappointing. Sure, they churned through the requisite anthems (including This Machine Kills Fascists, Turncoat, All Of The Poison, All Of The Pain) and their playing was flawless. But for a supposedly revolutionary left wing band there wasn't an ounce of danger or spontaneity anywhere in their set. But then again maybe this reviewer's just sulking because they didn't play The Bright Lights Of America.

On their last tour Pennywise were plagued by terrible sound and seemed to be going through the motions. This time around they absolutely killed it. Usually anniversary celebrations of certain albums are cheesy but Pennywise ripped through About Time (20 years old, kiddies!) with an admirable fury. Standouts included Perfect People, Every Single Day, Freebase (dedicated to Kanye West of all people) and of course the big "hit" Same Old Story. The boys finished off the evening with a clutch of standards (Society, Living For Today and the ubiquitous Bro Hymn) and even some surprises (Bad Religion's Do What You Want and Violence Never Ending off the Yesterdays platter). In short, Pennywise remained on top of their game. Jim Lindberg sounded invigorated, Byron McMackin remained a demon behind the kit and the Fletcher Dragge/Randy Bradbury combo created a wall of sound. People keep writing Pennywise off but somehow the band manages to exceed expectations. Now all we need is to convince them to add some All Or Nothing era tunes to the set.