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Concert Reviews, Music

Concert Review: The Menzingers, Lemuria, PUP, Cayetana @ The Opera House

By: Rebecca M. Williams (@rebeccapeppers) –

The Menzingers. (Photo: Krystle Merrow/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

The Menzingers. (Photo: Krystle Merrow/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Philadelphia act Cayetana kicked off the evening with their all female, distorted surf rock. The trio started out stiff but quickly loosened up, as did the crowd – they blasted gritty but sweet melodies, with an ever-gracious presence that made the charming act a perfect opener. They started off with an emotional tune, which showcased the hard-hitting vocals of Cayetana’s frontwoman. The band flawlessly flowed into a high energy, kick-drum carried set, which all three women smiled throughout. Their set ended with gratuitous praise of Toronto-born punk act PUP, which graced the stage next.

Torontonians tend to look out for their own, and PUP is no exception. The crowd welcomed the foursome home gloriously, with an electrified crowd and enough stage presence to bring down the walls of the historic Opera House. PUP serves up red-hot, stage-stomping punk, and an ever-churning mosh pit met their enthusiasm. (They offered up two passes to Riot Fest to whoever could do a front-flip off the stage – that really got the crowd going.) Skilled lead guitar and full force vocals have launched PUP into Toronto punk fame, and the crowd put these hometown heroes up on a much-deserving pedestal at the Opera House.

After amp troubles and what seemed to be a mini power failure, popped up garage-rock act Lemuria finally took the stage. The trio features female vocals backed by double harmonies, with a quick, ever-changing tempo and a clean, moving bassline. Hailing from Buffalo, the trio rarely spoke and flowed from one song to the next with minimal in-between banter. The set felt like one very long song, which was intriguing at first but eventually caused the crowd to lose interest.

Then, after what felt like the most drawn-out sound check ever, Philadelphia punk all-stars the Menzingers graced the stage. They opened with the single off their new Rented World album, “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore”. The crowd joined in to sing along with the chorus, and they maintained the turbulence on the floor throughout their set. The setlist was expertly crafted – a downfall of many touring bands that have a new album out is that they disappoint the crowd with too many new tunes. That was not the case here – they played a perfect mix of tracks from their new album, along with picks from their other anthemic albums like On the Impossible Past and Chamberlain Waits. The set was diverse and delightfully long, and when they announced their final song, the entire crowd knew not to budge until an encore satisifed them. They closed out the night with a memorable performance of their punk anthem, “The Obituaries”. The Menzingers are a punk rock powerhouse, and the energy they bring on stage is one of a kind. The Opera House buzzed with youthful electricity from opener to closer, making the Menzingers a must-see punk act.

Check out our photos from the show here. 

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