Off With Their Heads at Triple Rock, 3/8/12

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Erik Hess

Off With Their Heads
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis

Friday, March 8, 2013

It's been ten years and hundreds of shows for Off With Their Heads. Friday night, however, stands among the most memorable for the semi-local four-piece. With a line-up consisting of five bands that hit across the full punk spectrum, it was a night of gathering friends, having fun, and just celebrating music in general. All set to the tune of a record release show combined with a tenth-anniversary hullabaloo.

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Slideshow: Off With Their Heads at Triple Rock, 3/8/13
Off With Their Heads return home

Preceded by four openers, all of whom had long-running connections with Off With Their Heads, the band finally took stage at about 12:45 a.m. This wouldn't seem late under usual circumstances, as the band's sets are usually in the 30 to 45-minute range, but Friday was a special night to showcase some of the band's direction changes over time. There were a lot of people to honor and a lot of songs to be played.

When Ryan Young, Robbie Swartwood, Ryan Fisher, and John Polydoros took the stage, they announced the order for the evening. It removed some surprise, but necessarily prepared the crowd for events later on, when Young would call out for an ex-member to come onstage.

Photo by Erik Hess

First, the show started with a complete rendition of the new album, Home, which most of the audience hadn't yet heard. This was evident by watching the sweaty mass on the floor, which would later hit every raised fist and sing-along on cue but struggled with the unfamiliarity of the new material. This was well exemplified when the band hit their eighth song, "Janie." The older song is featured again on Home (with an updated recording), but the familiar words were a call to action for the crowd, raising the level of energy noticeably. That is not, however, to say the swarming pit on the floor didn't enjoy the new stuff -- anything but, as the previously released single "Nightlife" had 'em singing along upon the first chords.

The energy in the room was palpable all night. The crowd was there for the entire line-up, jumping around to acts such as In Defence and The Slow Death and playing along with their antics, but it was clear that Off With Their Heads' visit was the impetus behind their night, and the energy level, flying beer cans, and stage dives increased notably during the headliners' set.

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