Live Coverage || Pennywise, Satanic Surfers, Bishops Green, Off The Hook @ Astra Kulturhaus (Berlin), 23/8/2016

Looking back, I doubt I've ever been to Berlin without going to a single show. Round five was definitely the most rewarding so far. After my basic plans for this trip fell out, I luckily saw a Pennywise show event and on an impulsive thought, I booked a ticket. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made.

The first band to go on stage was Off The Hook. Their in-your-face hardcore was quite intense and the Gods of good sound were in their favor. Despite not fitting that much to the bill sound-wise, by the end of their set they had about 30 people who really seemed to have a good time. (7)

Up next was Bishops Green. By that time, the punk kids were already in the premises and turned the front of the stage into a dancefloor. In their 45' set, the band did a great job warming up the crowd for the bands to follow. Their good stage presence, combined with a clear sound, proved that punks really know how to have fun. (7)

If you know me, you know that I won't move to the front unless one of my favorite bands is playing -but even then, it's not always the case. Not only did Satanic Surfers bring me to the front of the stage, but they also made me wish I knew more of their lyrics. The energy of the band was flowing in the room, as kids sang along and kept moving. That's also when the first crowdsurfing of the night occurred. After almost an hour onstage, they announced that there wouldn't be an encore, but three final songs instead. The Swedes were an absolute highlight of the evening, hands down one of the best bands I've seen this year. (9)

If you told me five years ago that I'd go to a Pennywise show and enjoy myself to the fullest, I would've given you a funny look. However, the tables turned and from the second the band stepped on stage, it was pure madness. People of all ages singing along at the top of their lungs, circlepits in motion, beers flying, people flying, pits expanding, people getting slightly injured or passing out; you get the idea. Pennywise is a veteran band that knows very well how to entertain the audience. With that being said, it's no wonder their 70-minute set consisted of all the hit songs we expected to hear, plus a lovely (almost) a capella rendition of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me". And any person with a vivid imagination can figure out the mental reaction that the final song, "Bro Hymn", triggered. Enough said. (8)
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