Sunday, February 24, 2013

Downlow, Straphangers & Society's Blood at PennSkate February 23, 2013

Johnny Loftus, aka Johnny Clap, aka Johnny Crisis, aka Johnny Humble 
celebrating the opening show at PennSounds, within PennSkate.

Kicking things off was Society's Blood

Society's Blood

Either Society's Blood vocalist is also a magician or I need to learn way more about photography. Most likely the latter. Still, I wish I knew how I only caught one leg and a blur of an arm. Crazy picture. 

Society's Blood
(love the Mack Trucks Bulldog)

Society's Blood version of metallic PA HC was a perfect start for this new venue. They played tracks from their "Hellbound and Hopeless" demo, which they generously handed me after the show! Get yourself one! Worth your time. You'll be hearing tracks on Up To No Good Radio that I am sure old man Johnny G. will tag with the "scrappy" title as he does with anything in this genre!

Society's Blood

Much thanks goes out to Society's Blood for being the first to break in PennSounds @ PennSkate.

Society's Blood

After the show I reminisced about some old Lehigh Valley venues, such as the Acorn and 4G's with Society's Blood vocalist. Oddly enough he brought up my old band Jessica without knowing I was in the band back then. Nice to know someone else appreciated the version of LL Cool J's "I Need Love" that we reworked.

Looking forward to seeing Society's Blood many more times!

Next up was NJ/NY's Straphangers


Last I saw the Straphangers was the Burners in Bethlehem PA approximately three years ago. 

The Straphangers were the perfect second band to play. Society's Blood broke the ice. Within a few songs of the Straphangers set, it was like this was an old venue, with a bunch of old friends, in a scene, sharing the love of hardcore punk! 


The Straphangers are one of the coolest bands. Personable, fun and they kick ass. Emily is one of the strongest front women in hardcore history and when you combine her style with the drummers guttural vocals, it is perfection!


This is a retooled lineup of the Straphangers since I witnessed them a few years back. As much as they impressed me back then, last night they blew me away! 


"Queens By All Means" is their CD from 2012. Speedy, quick, hardcore that is as tough as any NYHC band, as metal as Kylesa and as hardcore as Attitude Adjustment. 


I love the fact that the guitarists in the Straphangers throw in the bomb drops! This band kicks ass. Get the damn CD.  

The band threw in a cover of S.O.D.'s "Pussywhipped" that apparently went over better in Allentown than it did in Philadelphia the night before!

Downlow NYHC wrapped things up in classic fashion. 

Joe Downlow

Joe likes to talk between songs. Information we learned: Joe hates armpit hair (Chewbacca), the PA (especially the monitors), he loves Up To No Good Radio (mutual), that he wanted to throw out his own guitarist and bring in the female guitarist of the Straphangers, that he had an operation and that Downlow is the first transsexual NYHC band (he's joking), doesn't recommend skating for old folks like himself (real operation), he hates that things are made in China rather than the USA and that Joe has a hard time keeping it clean even when talking to kids! Joe, as I have learned, finds it hard to edit himself, could care less about your sensitivities and is therefore, keeping it real, for real. I am sure this frequently gets him into trouble as he is a character somewhere between vintage Andrew Dice Clay, a Jerky Boys prank phone call and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. All this makes for one hell of a fun show, especially when you have a kick ass set of musicians backing you up.


The band rips in classic NYHC style and Downlow has a lot of fun when they play! 

This first show at PennSounds/PennSkate by Strain productions will stand out as one of those memorable evenings. I have to thank everyone. The people who came out to support the event, the bands, the amazingly friendly people at this show, Chris and his awesome family, the kids in the pit, Johnny Loftus, the rest of the Up To No Good Radio crew.  This was a fun show, that produced memories that will last forever. Thank you!

Chris PennSkate 
Sorry for stealing your soul, but thank you for setting this venue up!

Straphanger Pit Cameo

  Ruler of Pit

Chaos in the Pit

If you want to get booked at PennSounds/PennSkate/Strain contact John Loftus:

Frank FOE

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