The Menzingers returned to Bethlehem, PA as part of their two day Pennsylvania tour, the other show being in Lancaster, PA at the Chameleon Club. The last time Menzingers graced Bethlehem with their performance was when they opened for Weezer at the Sands Event Center, this time the Menzingers are headlining and to the venue not more than a 5 minute walk away from the Sands. From Phildelphia, Ramona opened the show to a decent sized crowd and already a good amount of fans. The three piece played a heartfelt set that showed tastes of pop-punk, indie, and skate punk. Doing these two shows definitely brought exposure to Ramona, but from the reception of the crowd, Ramona is on track to become a well known band outside the Philadelphia scene.
With some members having played in Bethlehem in some capacity, it was no surprise to see fans in the crowd rush the stage when Iron Chic came on. From beginning to end, Iron Chic had the crowd singing along to every song. Songs from their album Not Like This dominated the setlist, but Iron Chic covered their whole discography within their 45 minute set and got the crowd ready for when Menzingers take the stage.
Another Side One Dummy Records band on the bill following Iron Chic was Rozwell Kid. Having grown a reputation for their live show, Rozwell Kid gave one of the most energetic performance of the night. The energy on stage can only be witnessed in person and doesn’t do it justice by explaining it. It is best to just attend any show they are performing on. As for their music, it will appeal to any person that likes rock, pop, indie, or for the best comparison, what Weezer could be if they stuck to the Maladroit sound. Rozwell Kid are still building a name for themselves, but if they keep up their stage presence I think we will see them on a lot more.
The Menzingers closed out the night with a mighty performance. From the start of “After The Party” to the end of “Casey”, Menzingers brought back the energy the Lehigh Valley has been missing at punk shows. Sure Musikfest Cafe isn’t a basement like Pirate’s Cove or a DIY space like The Globe or Secret Art Space, but for a band like The Menzingers it was a perfect size for the crowd to have room, but still feel like they are seeing a band in a DIY space. Also the lack of security and barricade kept the space feeling like it was just you and the band. With the hype still reeling in on their latest album After The Party, the setlist was mainly focused on that album with the rest of the songs being from Rented World and On The Impossible Past. However, the crowd was treated to their latest song “Toy Soldier”, which still had the crowd moving. Bethlehem is in between where Menzingers are from, Scranton, and where they are currently located, Philadelphia. Even though it isn’t a usual market to stop in for them, it was nice to see a band like The Menzingers bring back the punk feeling this town has been missing. Hopefully Bethlehem will be graced again with that feeling from the Menzingers in 2019.