Jeff Rosenstock – Rebellion, Manchester – 4th October 2018

Secret Meeting score: 80

by Joseph Purcell

Jeff Rosenstock’s third solo album, -POST, captures the mood of 2018 like no other. His passionate brand of pop punk shoots straight from the hip and speaks to the anti-Trump factions as clearly as it does the anti-Brexit brigade.

As expected, the former Arrogant Sons of Bitches’ frontman – dressed in a vest and cut off denim shorts – carries even more spit in the live arena. Charging through a 23 song set that covers all three of his solo records – plus Craig Of The Creek, his theme tune for Cartoon Network’s latest hit kid’s TV show – he certainly brings the party to what is another wise gloomy Manchester evening.

USA’s opening verse – ‘Dumbfounded, downtrodden and dejected / Crestfallen, grief-stricken and exhausted / Trapped in my room while the house was burnin’ / To the motherfuckin’ ground’ very much sets the tone, and TV Stars is somehow even more spellbinding. But in a show of highlights, We Begged 2 Explode – taken from 2016’s magnificent album, WORRY, is perhaps the gem in Rosenstock’s well studded crown. Backed by piano and a room full of rowdy Mancunian voices, the song is elevated before he leaves the stage very much at the tip of the evening’s crescendo. 2018 may have been a politically bleak year, but music always responds – and no one has nailed the public angst quite like Jeff Rosenstock.

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