Words & Photos by Chad Wells (and his 12 year old daughter Presley Jayne)
I think the last time I stood in a half mile long line outside a venue with a predominantly teenaged audience was on Valentine’s Day in 1997 for Marilyn Manson’s “Dead To The World Tour.” Before I start to sound like an old man reviewing the “teenybopper” audience rather than the performance itself let me say that these were some energetic and very devoted, young, well-behaved but intensely joyous, mostly female fans who were there in droves – most wearing the band’s t-shirts or the logos of Frank’s well known former band (I don’t really need to say it do I? Maybe if I type it three times, they’ll appear in their Black Parade garb like some Emo Beetlejuice).
Dave Hause and The Mermaid opened the show with a set full of Throwrag meets Flogging Molly meets Bryan Adams meets Social Distortion power rock. There was a bit of a sea shanty vibe but it was way more 80s soundtrack rock than anything else – and it ruled. Playing whilst the hot and low evening sunlight blazed through the multiple open garage doors lining the outdoor patio at the A&R Music Bar (a dive bar, in the most prefabricated and safe sort of way), Dave and the Mermaid whipped the crowd into a frenzy of big sing-alongs, some motivational speaking and a great big “FUCK YOU” to our current President.
There were definitely a few Dave-votees who showed up for Dave and left as soon as the last chord of the Mermaid’s set rang out, but those holes in the crowd were quickly quadrupled by a fanbase that wanted nothing more than to be close to Frank, to feel the air move off the amps and to pogo, jump, sway and sweat their little hearts out to Iero and The Patience’s post-post-postpunk sounds. Think, “what if Fugazi was a band fronted by a guy from a really enormously famous band from the era when MTV still played a good amount of music instead of a band fronted by a guy who was in a really enormously famous underground band who would’ve jumped out a window before being on Total Request Live”. That’s the Patience. Part Stooges, part Sunny Day Real Estate – somewhere between The Ramones and Alkaline Trio there lies a little stretch of expertly played and written, heartfelt punk rock. No frills. No bullshit. No flashy stage clothes. Just greasy hair, vintage guitars, tattoos, an old Army Jacket and a bunch of riffs and hooks. Well played, Iero. Well played.
Frank Iero and The Patience
Dave Hause and the Mermaid