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PennywiseLive-Music-Hall, Cologne, Germany
8th August 2018
Pennywise - European tour 2019 - Special guest: Antillectual

In the ever-turbulent world of Punk Rock music, New York City claims THE RAMONES and Los Angeles proudly boasts PENNYWISE, the most significant Hardcore band to emerge from SoCal Punk’s second wave. A thriving, ground-breaking Punk Rock band for over 25 years, the Hermosa Beach group has seen members come and go but it’s relentless, in-your-face, middle finger in the air, anthem-chanting sound has never wavered one iota. The genesis of PENNYWISE can be traced back to the South Bay 1988 when Punk couldn’t be less popular, and Metal ruled the roost. The four original members of PENNYWISE immediately crafted a style all its own - a tidal wave of California Hardcore, melodic surf Punk and optimistic anthems that went against the “seek-and-destroy” ethos of its era.


The melodic Punk Rock trio from The Netherlands was accompanying PENNYWISE as a last-minute addition on the European leg of their tour. The band has formed around the beginning of this millennium and so far they have released four albums and a handful of EPs, the latest being ‘Engage!’ from 2016. A new single ‘If you’re not outraged’ indicates a new album is on the way for this year. /

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Music & Performance
At 8pm sharp, ANTILLECTUAL walked on stage and kicked off their set. Front man and guitarist Willem was visibly happy to open up for one of his personal heroes, even though only few people actually came inside the Live Music Hall, as the air was much fresher outside. This changed gradually, as the melodic Punk of ANTILLECTUAL and their clear political stand against racism, fascism and right-wing parties kept drawing people closer. Bass player Toon also exuded an insane amount of energy, whirling back and forth on stage and interacting constantly with the crowd, which made them sympathetic. At the end of their forty minute support slot, Willem invited everyone back to the merch stand, as well as to the next scheduled gig in Cologne at the Sonic Ballroom on Sept. 13th, 2019.

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 6.8 / 10

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Since their formation in pre-historic 1981, PENNYWISE would go on to build an international following through relentless touring. A no-nonsense band best-known for its pounding rant ‘Fuck Authority’, searing soul-searcher ‘Alien’ and its ode to brotherhood, ‘Bro Hymn’, an autobiographical song that pays tribute to its founding bass player, Jason Thirsk, after his tragic death in 1996. The band recently enjoyed its most significant success to date with the release of their album ‘Never Gonna Die’ in 2018. Find out more about the band via or

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Music & Performance
Finally, after 30 excruciating minutes of waiting time in the suffocating heat inside the hall, around 9:10pm it was time for band of the evening. The four band members of PENNYWISE took the stage and opened their set with ‘Peaceful Day’ from their 1995 album ‘About Time’. This immediately made the present old-school fans feel relieved that the band would not deny the existence of its repertoire of older songs. Of these, PENNYWISE played plenty, as ‘Rules’ and ‘Pennywise’ from their self-titled debut album from 1991 also made it onto the setlist. The Live-Music-Hall was now packed to its limit, and oxygen became a scarce commodity. This did not discourage the people in the mosh pit to celebrate each of the band’s songs in style with flying beer cups and plenty of circle pits and crowd surf opportunities. In the song breaks, all band members engaged in relaxed banter between each other and the audience.

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Guitarist Fletcher Dragge praised Corona’s capabilities as a counter to severe hangover, adoringly calling it “Mexican Piss Water”, all while admitting to be struggling with weight ever since he discovered alcohol. An undisputed highlight in the setlist was the the band’s uber hit ‘Fuck Authority’ towards the end of the set, which was celebrated fiercely. After a mere 50 minutes of playtime, the band waved goodbye and disappeared, only to re-appear fortunately a few minutes later for a three-song encore. Especially the cover ‘Stand By Me’ and the all-time classic ‘Bro Hymn’ was fiercely celebrated by the audience, although everyone was soaking with sweat and painfully deprived of oxygen. The virtual curtain then fell around 10:25pm, with the audience repeating the catchy chorus of ‘Bro Hymn’ for several minutes.

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All in all it was once again of those magic nights, which - despite the tropical climate inside the Live-Music-Hall - prove that Punk is not dead yet, and won’t be any time soon.

01. Peaceful Day
02. Fight Till You Die
03. My Own Country
04. Rules
05. Same Old Story
06. Perfect People
07. Violence Never Ending
08. It’s up to me
09. cover song (Minor Threat cover)
10. Pennywise
11. Society
12. Broken
13. Time Bomb
14. No Reason Why
15. As Long As We Can
16. Fuck Authority
17. Every Single Day
18. Stand by Me (Ben E. King cover)
19. Bro Hymn

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.5 / 10

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All Pictures by Tanja Schilling

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