Face To Face / Blacklist Royals – Trocadero Theatre – Philadelphia, PA – 6/8/13

Life seems to go full circle.  When I was in middle school going into high school, I thought I was this “punk rock” kid.  I had the music down, the attitude, and the style.  As I got older and got into girls, my style changed to the pop-punk music where all the songs were about girls and broken hearts.  Yet, I still had the DIY/punk attitude.  It wasn’t until about a year ago someone mentioned to me about a band called Blacklist Royals.  This band rekindled my punk rock heart.

Maybe it was because I became stale with all the songs about girls or maybe I wanted music that touched on different issues because of being in my mid-twenties.  As we grow old, our outlook on life changes.  Somehow this small band from Tennessee helped me with this, but also making me feel young again.

I talked about Blacklist Royals’ first album Semperi Liberi on here and how it became my gateway drug back into the punk rock music scene.  I’ve been waiting to see them live, now that I have, they didn’t disappoint.  Playing mostly new songs and only about three from the first album, these guys put on a great show.  I don’t know if it was the venue, because the Trocadero does have good sound, but Blacklist Royals sounded very good.  I mean it was crystal clear sounding.  Even my friend, who didn’t know who they were, said, “I can see this being big.”  This brings me to my next point.  These guys have an album done and ready to go, but seems like labels are sitting on it.  From what I have heard of the album, labels need to get off their asses and get on this album.  I know the industry has been a downhill, but if marketed right, I see this band having big potential.  I hope to see this album out before the end of the year, and if you see that they are playing your area, go catch before everyone starts jumping on the bandwagon.

The headliner and veterans of the night was Face To Face.  Going back to middle school and high school, I won’t forget when I first heard Face To Face.  It was off of Five Years on the Streets, a Vagrant Records compilation.  For people that don’t know, before all the free music on the internet, people had to search high and low for new music.  Compilation albums were a perfect place to start, and still are in my opinion.  This compilation got me into a lot of good bands like the Hippos and Face To Face.  The opening song “I’m Trying” became one of my favorites and still is.  It was my first taste into punk rock, but with meaningful lyrics.

It is amazing after all these years I still love that song, and also Face To Face is still going strong.  For a group of guys in their forties, they still are energetic.  They did not slow down once while playing.  Playing a good portion of all their albums, I think everyone in attendance went home satisfied and also with big heads.  Trever Keith couldn’t stop praising the Philadelphia crowd.  Overall, these guys have been doing this for years and I’d say they got it down to a science.

I will say that anyone that missed this tour, missed out.  It truly was a punk rock package.  Each band just played fast, hard, and with heart.  It feels good to have this music back into my life again.



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