By Poppy Tohill
Date / Venue: Thursday March 6th, Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland
Being the complete opposite of a punk rocker myself, I felt a little out of place turning up at the Logan Campbell Centre on Thursday night for an ultimate punk rocking concert featuring PCP Eagles, Alkaline Trio, Less Than Jake, Sommerset and headliners, Pennywise.
Never the less it proved an interesting experience and I really enjoyed observing the outrageous dress code and crowd theatrics.
It's not always easy to be the first act up to perform on a bill of numerous large names. However, PCP Eagles took to the stage first off and provided an energetic-filled set for a small but encouraging crowd.
By the time the reunited hardcore, punk rockers Sommerset took to the stage, the crowd had respectively grown to a somewhat larger audience as they performed a mixture of songs from their albums, ‘Fast Cars, Slow Guitars,' ‘Say What You Want' and ‘The Best Of Sommerset.'
Next up was the American punk band, Less Than Jake who proved the highlight of the entire show for me. Once the rockers took to the stage announcing "It's been ten fucking years since we were last in New Zealand!" the Logan Campbell Centre was packed with an eager crowd. Providing a varying set of songs where the lyrics were actually audible rather than just noise, they put on a great visual performance that epically hyped the crowd and started the mosh pit, death circles and crowd surfing amongst the audience.
Alkaline Trio who prior to the concert I was looking forward to seeing the most proved a little bit of a disappointment. Their drums and bass totally overpowered the vocals and overall their sound seemed quite distorted and the crowd unfortunately seemed a little disinterred in their set.
However, the atmosphere and energy of the crowd quickly changed once headline rockers Pennywise took to the stage. Obtaining an excellent rapport with the audience, they opened their set with ‘Can't Believe It'from their 1999 album ‘Straight Ahead' after admitting that they couldn't believe it's been five years since they were last in New Zealand. Continuing with numerous hits - Perfect People, Same Old Story, Society, Fuck Authority, Bro Hymn and Alien from their countless albums, the band then went on to play some covers. Down Under by Men At Work, Gimme Gimme Gimme by Black Flag and Stand By Me by Ben.E. King all proved popular covers and crowd favourites.
Despite the chanting of "Pennywise" once the band had concluded their set and departed the stage, the band left the crowd eager and wanting more without returning for an encore.
As I left the venue I received a lot of interesting mixed messages from fans as some ran around singing lyrics from their favourite songs, while others discussed their disappointment, highlights and low-lights of each bands performance from the night.
All in all however, I think the majority of fans left satisfied with the performance of their favourite band/s on the night.
A punk rocker or not, it was certainly a once in a lifetime experience and for future attendees of a punk rock show.. just a heads up to not forget earplugs, because it can get pretty loud!