Fans Old And Young Rock Out With Pennywise In NJ

March 26th, 2015
Starland Ballroom- Sayreville, NJ

     It was a night of throwbacks on Thursday as Pennywise prepared to take the stage in Sayreville, New Jersey. Pennywise, Bad Religion, and Dead Kennedys shirts were the uniform of choice for many fans. Before Pennywise came out, The Ramones and Rancid blared through the speakers. Fans in New Jersey created a night of mayhem for themselves from the moment Pennywise hit the stage. The hugely successful band played their old favorites and added a few cover songs into the mix.
Old and young fans alike reveled in the fast, aggressive sound with small bursts of melody. One little girl of about eight or nine had priority standing in the photo pit for the show, sound headphones and an oversized Pennywise shirt on. Possibly a friend or family member of the band, she was bopping her head and moving her feet to Pennywise’s beat. Lead singer Jim Lindberg, clad in a 7 Seconds shirt and black baseball cap, maintained his energy for the full set, getting so close to the fans from where he stood on stage that it looked as if he might fall over into the crowd.
DSC_1845   Hailing from Hermosa Beach, California, Pennywise sold over three million records worldwide by 2007. This made them one of the most successful independent punk bands in history. The lyrics and message promote a PMA or positive mental attitude and many songs contain political messages and words of inspiration.
The band performed a rowdy cover of The RamonesBlitzkrieg Bop for which they brought out the lead singer of one of the opening bands for the vocals. Another cover of Bad Religion’s Do What You Want kept the crowd moving. The giant open circle in the middle of the floor remained clear for the most part while crowd members skirted chaotically around the outside like a whirlwind. Violence Never Ending, Fuck Authority, Bro Hynn, and Living for Today were also on the set-list. Front row fans shouted requests at the band members, who happily played a few of those requests. It almost felt like a house party instead of a concert.
Guitarist Fletcher Dragge played with the crowd after asking them if they wanted to hear some new stuff, since the last album they released was actually full of old songs. Fans stuck on the early Pennywise albums hadn’t realized the new album was actually a compilation of old songs that hadn’t been previously released. Pennywise has released 11 albums since 1991 and is still going incredibly strong. The band’s loyal following of veteran fans and new fans gained will help to keep them going for years to come.
Review by: Ashley Rodriguez