Opening tonight’s show is Cayetana, a 3-piece indie pop-punk act hailing from the fresh streets of Philly. Having been together as a band since 2011, their set is tight and light, like a slightly poppier version of The Breeders, and their fresh laidback sound is a great palate cleanser for what follows.
PUP ramp things up a notch and I must have been the only person in the venue who hadn’t heard of them before because the entirety of the crowd went apeshit from the opening chords of the first song. Every word of every song was being sung back to the band with as much vigour as could be mustered and those that weren’t singing were busy trying to crowd surf over the packed barrier, just to get a bit closer to the guys. With the enthusiasm that was shown by the crowd for the entire 40 minute set, I’d be surprised if PUP aren’t back in the UK soon and headlining venues of this size themselves.
Dunder Mifflin isn’t the only good thing to come out of Scranton, Pennsylvania and The Menzingers are here to prove just that. It’s almost a year to the day since the release of their last album, the critically acclaimed After The Party, and the last time they were in Manchester they played a venue that is a little over half the size of this one. But tonight, on a freezing cold Friday evening, the venue is packed to capacity and the sold out crowd are ready to party. PUP set a high standard with their set and The Menzingers obviously know this and don’t hold back. Barnett, May and Keen bound about the stage at every opportunity and all four members deliver the songs with punk rock urgency mixed with liberal amounts of fun. This translates across to the audience who are behind them all the way, matching them lyric for lyric and bounce for bounce. After what was quite a bleak and depressing January, The Menzingers did a sterling job of starting off February with a bang.