I don’t go to Bogies often, because that was the high school/early college venue for me, with few bands sparking my interest to bring me to Albany’s famed dive venue; Nietzsche’s, eat your heart out.
I found out about this show through Jambase and was surprised to learn the only band listed on the lineup, Firestarter, was not the headliner. In fact there were three bands that played prior to Firestarter – Broken Field Runner (Albany), Coldfront (Canada) and Routine (Albany, playing their first ever show), all who had 20 minute sets. Knuckle Puck, out of Chicago and drawing the majority of the crowd, headlined the night.
Firestarter is an Albany based band with influences from Blink 182, New Found Glory, Silverstein and Starting Line. I was thrown back to the late ’90s and my pre-jamband heyday with the influences ringing loud and clear, and it was alright. Matt Bliss, Firestarter’s lead guitar/vocalist spoke to me about the two year old band, who have done four cross-country tours and four regional tours, generating solid fanbases in pockets around the country, as well as a few Warped Tour shows. For a band this young and with an audience that is flocking to shows and singing every word, their potential is limitless. A new EP, A Life Inconsistent, is due out this summer.
Knuckle Puck, a great rock n roll band name if there ever was one, had a similar sound to Firestarter, but their audience was not just singing/shouting every single word of every single song alongside the band, they were more raucous and lively than before. Crowd-surfing and moshing was the norm for most of the night, just without the flying fists. Being Star Wars night (May the Fourth be with you), the crowd also had lightsabers worked into their fist-pumping action. The dudes in the front row were singing the words right into the face of the lead singer, pushing ever closer towards the lip of the stage, with surfers falling into the pit. I still don’t get moshing, but the crowd was welcoming and full of energy all night.
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The band has a vast following and an intense crowd at that, and while Knuckle Puck is far from my usual listening, it was a treat to see a thriving fan base for a completely different genre pack 200 people into Bogies, one of the last four shows at the venue, which is closing on May 31.
Next up in this Music Marathon: Halestorm and Pretty Reckless at the Palace Theatre.