Teenage Halloween played their first show since Covid at 18th Ward (pics, review)
NJ punks Teenage Halloween's self-titled, Don Giovanni Records-released debut album was one of our favorite albums of 2020, and we've been itching to hear them play those songs live ever since it came out. They've done a couple great livestreams that gave a taste of the power of their live show, and a music video that did the same, but it wasn't until yesterday (6/27) at 18th Ward Brewery in Brooklyn that we finally got a chance to see Teenage Halloween play their new songs in person.
It still wasn't a proper Teenage Halloween show -- they played half-acoustic and with no drummer -- but any fears that this would be a softer set were erased the second Luk Henderiks started singing. Luk is a powerhouse, and their soaring, gritty, anthemic vocals filled 18th Ward from the moment the set began to the moment Teenage Halloween walked off stage. At one point, Luk forgot their own lyrics and joked, "as you can tell we've had a year off," but other than that, you really couldn't tell. Just judging by the livestreams and now this set, Teenage Halloween seem to get better and better with each performance.
As much as I'm still wanting to see a full-band show, it was also cool to see Teenage Halloween this way. They're a punk band, but they really have an underlying singer/songwriter vibe, with great melodies and detailed lyricism, and it was a treat to hear how clearly that came through with this setup.
Like they did during their recent Audiotree session, they played basically every song you'd wanna hear off the album and also played the new song "Burn," which bassist Tricia Marshall sings lead on. (Afterwards, Luk got the crowd doing a "TRICIA! TRICIA!" chant.) "Burn" already feels like a staple in the band's repertoire, and it's got me excited for whatever they do next.
The set was part of New Colossus Festival's free Summer Sundays series at 18th Ward that started as an outdoor-only, Covid-friendly series in April (this show also included Growing Stone, Johnny Dynamite, Dolly Spartans, and Emily Weekes). It was a beautiful day, but maybe because of the rain in the forecast, or because Covid restrictions are much looser now, the whole show was held on the stage inside the brewery, which is a very cool environment to see a show in. It felt like The Fest or SXSW; nice to get a taste of that vibe in NYC, especially after a year and a half with no shows.
More pictures and a couple of videos of Teenage Halloween's set below...
@brooklynveganTeenage Halloween playing "Clarity" off their excellent self-titled 2020 album at 18th Ward. #teenagehalloween #livemusic♬ original sound - brooklynvegan
photos by Amanda Hatfield.