February 28, 2018

Jawbreaker played Brooklyn Steel

Jawbreaker are in the midst of a three-night, sold-out run at Brooklyn Steel as part of their newly announced reunion tour and those who've been patient over the past twenty years are sure to relish in the moment.

In some ways, it's rather shocking to see just how much of a legendary status Jawbreaker has maintained in the twenty plus years since they played their last show. They've never quite fit into a mold that's been easy lock down and categorizing their sound is sure to upset a vast majority of their loyal followers. Taking elements of the 90s pop-punk boom led by Green Day and Rancid and mixing in the heavier, ambitious guitar work of Soundgarden, Jawbreaker covered a ton of ground while staying true to themselves. They're a sharp blast of punk, but with an indie-rock sensibility and had the internet been what it is today during their prime, it's hard not to imagine this reunion capturing a Coachella headliner slot. Kicking off the night with "Boxcar" was a bold move, but one that truly paid off as the momentum remained high throughout the night with fans screaming along to nearly every word that came out of Blake Schwarzenbach’s mouth. In just under an hour and a half, there was hardly a wrong note and the band sounded as empowered as ever. While on record, Blake's vocals feel a bit buried in the mix, live they were pushed to the front and the tracks felt resurrected with new life and meaning. In fact, everything sounded a bit bigger and even louder than I anticipated and the band played with such youthful energy, it was hard to believe that this was only their seventh show in over twenty years. Their vigor and compassion onstage is unmatched and the power conveyed with each song felt primal. Even as the night progressed, the energy remained high and by the time we got to the final melee of "Jet Black," "Accident Prone," and "Condition Oakland," the band had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Taking a break from the more straightforwardness of song of their other songs, this final combination saw the band take new risks with massive payoffs. Schwarzenback's guitar work reigned supreme during these numbers and proved that their cult-like status has been well earned over the years.

Set list:

01 "Boxcar"
02 "Jinx Removing"
03 "Housesitter"
04 "Sea Foam Green"
05 "Save Your Generation"
06 "In Sadding Around"
07 "Chemistry"
08 "Sluttering (May 4th)"
09 "Ache"
10 "Jet Black"
11 "Accident Prone"
12 "Condition Oakland"
13 "Want"
14 "Kiss the Bottle"

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