The last time I saw Patrick Kindlon perform was when Self Defense Family were opening for Thrice and Touche Amore at Terminal 5, and he was cracking self-deprecating jokes throughout the set about how out of place their slower, more experimental music was compared to the rest of the bill. But when he returned to NYC with his band Drug Church to headline a sold-out show at Market Hotel on Saturday (3/26), the vibe couldn't have been more opposite. With Self Defense Family, Patrick gets to toy with a seemingly limitless arsenal of far-out ideas, but Drug Church seem to have one goal in mind: to have as much fun as fucking possible.
Playing a nice selection of highlights from this year's Hygiene, its equally killer 2018 predecessor Cheer, and a few other cuts from throughout the band's career, Drug Church started their set turned up to 11 and it was all rise from there. Stage divers were crashing the stage from the start, the band was as locked-in as humanly possible, and Patrick was stalking the stage, commanding the crowd, and delivering his roaring, raspy hooks like the force of nature that he is. As great as Drug Church's records are, their truly explosive live show is the absolute best way to experience this band. It was next level.
Patrick mentioned on stage how grateful he was that Drug Church were playing their biggest headlining NYC show yet, and he also mentioned that they couldn't have done it alone, and gave a generous shoutout to all three opening bands: Chicago's LURK (who I unfortunately missed), the Hudson Valley's Soul Blind (whose '90s-style look and sound could transport you directly back to the grunge era), and Wilkes-Barre's One Step Closer, who Patrick called one of the best melodic hardcore bands going, and he said he's sure the room would not have been as packed without them.
Having released their debut LP This Place You Know on Run For Cover last fall, OSC were riding high off the strength of one of 2021's best punk albums, and they delivered a no-nonsense set that made good on the promise of that great record. The band were razor-sharp and full of energy, with all three guitarists/bassists jumping around as much as they could without missing a beat, and vocalist Ryan Savitski had all the power needed to front a great hardcore band, while sounding as impassioned and emotive as he does on the album. Their set relied most heavily on the new album, but the wildest moment came when they ended with "The Reach" from their 2019 EP From Me To You, which saw the band joined on stage by Soul Blind's singer and which had stage divers hitting the stage from the moment OSC played the song's first note.
The tour continues in Philly tonight (3/27) and has upcoming dates in Atlanta, Austin, Los Angeles, and more through late April. If it comes near you, go see it. All remaining dates on the tour poster below. OSC's This Place You Know available on white or orange galaxy vinyl here, and a new limited orange vinyl pressing of Soul Blind's Third Chain EP is up for pre-order.
Some videos and Drug Church's setlist below too...