American punk-rocker Jeff Rosenstock has been revered in the world of punk music for a long time now.
The singer-songwriter returned to Brisbane’s Crowbar (9 September) on the back of his third album, ‘WORRY.’, for an unforgettable show.
Opening was Brisbane trio Sweater Curse, who’ve only been together for a short time but attracted a sizable crowd. While clearly nervous, the band roared to life when playing their brilliant, bittersweet indie-rock. With songs like these, Sweater Curse is destined for big things.
Melbourne singer-songwriter Jess Locke followed with a set of softly-sung tunes. Jess is a great lyricist, painting great images with lines like: “Green lights turn into red, stop the traffic that’s inside your head.” The crowd was captivated by Jess’ songs filled with big emotions. Judging by the applause, her upcoming album will be highly anticipated.
The excitement for Jeff Rosenstock was palpable the moment he stepped on stage. From the very first line of opening song ‘We Begged 2 Explode’, fans shouted the lyrics back and moshed hard. Without pausing, the explosion continued as Jeff and his band rushed into the joyous punk of ‘Pash Rash’.
Jeff and his band put all of their energy into performing. Songs like ‘Wave Goodnight To Me’ were passionately sung, with Jeff swinging his arms manically and flicking sweat everywhere. Speeding through five furious songs without stopping left Jeff panting, letting his bandmates banter with the crowd as he caught his breath.
Like Jeff’s energy, the crowd’s spirits were high enough to raise the roof. His songs inspired the massive moshpit to pile on top of each other, with some fans being lifted up to surf over everyone. During the Springsteen-esque ‘Beers Again Alone’, the mosh turned into a bar-room choir, the crowd swaying with their arms around each other.
‘HEELLLLHOOOOLE’ saw friends and strangers hugging and screaming together: “We don’t wanna live inside a hellhole”, but their beaming faces showed they were in heaven.
After closing with the breakneck ‘You, In Weird Cities’, featuring Jeff’s Bomb The Music Industry bandmate Matt Keegan on trombone, the crowd chanted for more. Jeff returned, fulfilling a fan’s request for ‘80s Through The 50s’. With one last burst of energy, everyone gave their all for ‘Get Old Forever’.
Jeff rocked hard. The crowd moshed hard. And the two combined when Jeff leapt on to the crowd, raising him to the ceiling as he howled the last lines.
Throughout the show, Jeff rode higher than that moment. It’s the first show I’ve ever seen a performer not sing to the crowd, but cathartically scream with them. Jeff Rosenstock gave his all; his gift of a perfect memory will last long after his contented fans catch their collective breath.