JEFF Rosenstock is an American musician and songwriter who has been creating music for almost two decades. While he has been in many bands over those years his recent solo project has probably been the most successful and interesting of the lot.
His most recent gig on Friday at the Star and Garter, Manchester, just goes to show how far he has come in this time, while retaining the raw energy and emotion that has kept his music so personal and gained him such a huge cult following.
The Star and Garter itself is the perfect type of venue for Jeff and the band. Its cosy pub aesthetic meant that it was homely and compact enough to keep the set low-key and intimate, whilst still fiery and full of rage.
As soon as the band came on stage it was impressive to see how quickly they managed to get the crowd going. Bodies were flying everywhere and never was there a moment someone wasn’t surfing across the crowd, it seemed.
Immediately anthems like ‘Get Old Forever’ saw the crowd riled up in a way that only good, raw punk can rile you up. They continued adding to this raucous atmosphere with tunes like ‘Festival Song’ in which the whole audience could be heard screaming along.
The bands banter with the crowd was notable as well, as it proved to be funny and almost as engaging as some of the tunes. They even made a point of explaining how they loved being able to talk to a crowd where people actually understood the, having been touring Europe for a while.
As the set goes on it’s nice to hear slower songs like ‘To Be A Ghost’ thrown into the mix. It gives everyone a moment to catch their breath, only for it to be instantly stolen when half way through the song it starts to pick up again.
The night goes on and as the set begins to close fan favourite ‘Nausea’ proves that this is a dedicated fan-base who won’t calm down. The song gets the crowd going again like it was the first tune of the set, and as Jeff’s voice breaks on the line “I feel amazing when I’m all alone” the emotion that seeps through can be heard in all the voices also breaking simultaneously in the audience.
Overall the set is full of big hits and cult favourits. It’ll be very interesting to see where Jeff is in a few years from now, and what he’ll be doing then, because even after being in the business so long his music still seems as fresh as ever.