by Matt Kelchner
It’s been a long time since the Movielife last played in Philadelphia. A really long time. Lead singer Vinnie Caruana mentioned in between songs that their last performance was at the Trocadero Theatre in 2003. Now, 12 years later, the Long Island punk band returned, this time stopping at the TLA as part of their reunion tour. A lot has happened since Caruana and the rest of the band last paid Philadelphia a visit. Friday night, in front of a way sold out crowd, it seemed like they never stopped. Along for the ride was Providence rapper Zumo Kollie and fellow Long Island natives Crime in Stereo.
Having a rapper open for two punk bands may seem like a bit of an oddball choice, but it was the best kind. Zumo Kollie, who has been frequently featured on sites like Okayplayer.com, impressed fans as they began to pile into the venue. Song after song Kollie delivered an engaging set that even including a brief shoutout of famed Philly rapper, Freeway. Bonus points for the local love!
Crime In Stereo are no strangers to the Movielife. Besides the fact that both bands share the same turf, the two have intertwined and crossed paths multiple times before. Singer Kristian Hallbert recalled that one of their first shows was opening for the Movielife. With that said, it should be no surprised that Hallbert and the rest of the members of Crime In Stereo were amped to be a part of this special tour.
Right from the get go, Crime In Stereo came out with tons of energy. Their blend of melodic hardcore, a la Lifetime, rang loud throughout the TLA as fans cheered and sang along. Most of their set featured selections from 2006’s The Troubled Stateside and included the likes of “Bicycles in Afghanistan”, “Gravity/Grace” and “Abra Los Ojos”. That isn’t to stay it was the only album the focused on though. Other hits included “…But You Are Vast”, “Animal Pharm” and the crowd favorite “Small Skeletal”. In between all of this they also gave special shoutouts to Philadelphia hardcore band Blacklisted and promoter Joe Hardcore. They wrapped up their set with one final song from The Troubled Stateside, “I, Stateside”.
As the stage began to be set for the Movielife, a large screen slid down from the ceiling to conceal the crew. Only a few short minutes later, the lights were cut and the screen rose back up. Staring at the crowd was just an empty stage, a few amps, a drum kit. Behind it all was a giant black banner with the band’s logo written in white lettering. There was nothing fancy and no flashy surprises. Then the five members that make up the Movielife calmly walked on stage to a roaring sea of fans eager to hear their favorite songs.
From the first notes of the first song, “I Hope You Die Soon”, the night flew by. At the end it felt like the performance was almost too short. But in going back and reviewing the setlist, I came to notice they ran through 19 songs. A majority of the set was comprised of tracks off Forty Hour Train Back To Penn and This Time Next Year. “Barefoot” and “Maybe It’s Nothing” were the two lone selections played from their first full length album It’s Go Time. Also making it into the night were “Hand Grenade” and “Walking On Glass” from their 2001 EP, The Movielife Has A Gambling Problem.
To say that there was one crowd favorite wouldn’t be fair. By the sounds of the crowd singing along, every song was their favorite. But one that was constantly requested was “Single White Female”. The Movielife met that request as the second song of their encore and the follow up to a duet of “Sailor Tattoos” done by Vinnie Caruana and guitarist Brandon Reilly. “Ship To Shore” and “Jamestown” rounded out the encore and finished off the night. After thanking the crowd for coming out and waving goodbye, the Movielife walked off stage.
If you were to ask fans a year ago if they could picture themselves walking away after seeing the Movielife reunite, many would laugh it off. The Long Island group made a lot of dreams come true Friday night and if we had to make a guess, our bet is that it will not be the last time you see these five guys on tour. Just remember that the next time you find yourself walking away from another incredible show put on by the Movielife.