Off With Their Heads/Dead To Me @ Knitting Factory

BROOKLYN, NY—Hailed as the only punk rock tour of the summer by the night’s self-proclaimed MC, was the summer tour with Off With Their Heads and fellow punk rockers Dead To Me. So out came punks of all walks of life to the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn and took over things in the epicenter of hipster territory. The punk rock mentality was out in its raw form, being upheld by fans and musicians alike, who did what they wanted and things I can’t reveal.

Openers for the night included The Holy Mess, whom I missed by a few minutes. The punk rock band from Philadelphia, switched out with Riverboat Gamblers and The Riot Before on this tour and I was kind of bummed that all these bands couldn’t have done the entire tour together. So through the outside smokers, young punks waiting for the bathroom and of-age fans buying crappy beer, I made my way to the stage and waited for Dead To Me.

Now, I’m not trying to take the spotlight away from any other band that played that night, but I must express the joy I felt in learning Dead To Me was coming back to the New York City area. It has just about been five years that I’ve wanted to see them live, and I can say it was worth the wait. Everything from the venue to the crowd was perfect, and I was anxious to hear what songs would make it into their set list.

They went off into a furry of songs mixing those off of their two full-length releases, keeping the majority of their debut album, Cuban Ballerina, for the end. Songs went by one after another and their set was broken up by short conversations between band and audience. Just when you thought fans would get weary from all the movement in the friendly circle pit, things mellowed out a bit with reggae-infused tracks off of African Elephants. Favorites of mine and obviously of those in the crowd, “By the Throat” and “Visiting Day” made their way into the set by the end of their time. This fall, Dead To Me will be releasing a new album and a few shows have been planned, which will bring them back to the area.

Between sets, people scurried about to have one more cigarette or beer before the last band of the night took over. You could feel the anticipation for Off With Their Heads, and when that MC/comedian fellow bombed after one joke, I thought people were physically going to drag him off the stage. Off With Their Heads hit hard and the music seemed to have gotten much louder and the crowd got rougher, but that’s a rock show for you.

I’m not familiar with their catalog at all, but took note when they teased fans with the idea of playing their EP, Hospitals, in its entirety. Sure enough they did and fans became even more entertaining to watch dance around. The music was loud and fast, and band members were not afraid to say or do as they pleased for their performance. With playing a whole EP, though short, old tracks and their current release, In Desolation, they put on quite a set, and no one could complain about it.