After more than a decade of violent screams, intense breakdowns and a distinctive hybrid sound of hardcore and ska, bittersweet sentiments filled the School of Rock on Sat. April 12 when New Jersey hardcore band Folly played their second to last show ever.
Playing for the second night as part of a three day back-to-back performance stint before their bid farewell, Folly played a set far longer than they had ever played in their native state, taking the stage for nearly an hour and a half.
In light of it being one of the final times they would ever play, Folly poured as much passion and drive into their performance as possible, giving fans the show of all Folly shows to remember.
The band played much of their material from Resist Convenience and Insanity Later, as well as some ska from their earlier days and even some new ones, while a crowded room of eager fans took up the entire center floor skanking and moshing.
“Discussion Is For The Pigs,” drew one of the more energetic audience reactions, as frontman Jon Tummillo belted out his usual screams, while sometimes allowing his actual higher- pitched singing voice to come through in what is one the band’s more vicious songs. Fans ate it up as punches and kicks were thrown, and pushing and shoving ensued.
“The Wake” also drew elated reactions from fans, who helped Tummillo sing the catchy chorus of “To think your only God would flaunt you/To think your only God would fight you!”
With barely any breaks between songs for the earlier part of the show, neither the band nor crowd had time to breathe before Folly exploded into a new set of raging guitar melodies and pounding percussion, like with the brutal, “Repeat, I Repeat, Repeat” which had fans surfing across the venue.
Just about every song Folly played was ampliflied to the limit, refining their songs with more melodic vitality and stretching out breakdowns for the added effect.
About halfway into the set, the band transitioned from skacore to straight ska, when they played a track from an early demo, which turned the pit from a warzone to a dance floor, but only momentarily.
As the night continued, Tummillo began talking in between songs, expressing thanks and giving shout outs to friends and supporters who have stuck with the band in their 11 year span. Longtime friend Logan Laflotte was pointed out several times during the set, who earlier had earned the room’s attention as the lead singer of Paulson.
Paulson, an indie band who borders along the lines of powerpop, played their well-known “Calling On You” as well as putting an indie-rock spin on Alice Deejay’s “Do You Think You’re Better Off Alone?” The fellow New Jersey band had the room dancing and getting warmed up for what was to come.
At one point during Folly’s set, Laflotte, along with Tummillo sang a slower, more mellow song together which they disclosed was unreleased.
Toward the end of the show, Tummillo began telling a story of how he once shit his pants when he was a kid, and how it earned him the name “Crapper Jon.” Disgruntled fans who were yearning for more music expressed their frustrations, shouting, “Play some fucking music!” before it became evident there were technical difficulties of some sort. The 10 minute break slowed down the energy and may have been an annoyance to most, but it did allow for people to catch their breath and wipe away the beads of sweat before the few remaining songs.
Folly picked things right back up, playing a couple of new tracks from their March 30th digitally released EP, These Are The Names Of Places We Broke Down In, an album which holds true to its name and features seven tracks. Playing “Anderson, Indiana,” the song was a hit across the room, as fans turned into a sea supporting the wave of crowd surfers.
Minus the bout of repair time, Folly’s relentless energy kept the show thriving, giving fans an experience to remember. Even when Tummillo commented on growing tired, no one in the room would have ever known it, as the band played song after song, each one more lively than the next.
Closing with “Please Don’t Shoot The Piano Player, He’s Doing The Best He Can,” frustrated security guards were unsuccessful in controlling the fans who piled onto the stage. The stage held as many people that it could possibly fit, as Folly continued to play somewhere in the midst of the madness.
It may be the end of Folly, but the band has undoubtedly left their mark on the hardcore scene in New Jersey and beyond, leaving behind an uncontested sound, years of energetic performances, and memories that will live on in everyone who has ever seen or heard the influential band.