Arriving in Dallas last night for the 25th date on their 26 date tour, Pennywise played to an eager crowd as they celebrated their quintessential 1995 album About Time. Supporting acts Runaway Kids, Unwritten Law, and Strung Out opened the show.  Arriving a little after 9pm, I missed Runaway Kids, but caught the last 2 or 3 songs of Unwritten Law’s set. The band sounded tight, as they should with 24 shows behind them, and did an admirable job getting the crowd warmed up. Strung Out, who I have little familiarity with, quickly followed Unwritten Law with a great set of their own. At this point, the crowd was pretty amped up and Strung Out fed off their energy with a vigorous set. The band brought a ton of swagger to their set that even featured a few chords of Pantera’s “Walk” that gave the Dallas crowd a charge.

Grabbing a beer between sets, I noticed more Bad Religion tshirts than any other band and saw a few youngsters along with their parents. When the House of Blues played NOFX’s “Linoleum” and “The Brews” over the house speakers, the crowd sang-a-long and even started a mosh pit for a few minutes. Needless to say, the crowd was ready for what they came for.

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Pennywise live @ House of Blues. Photo by J. Kevin Lynch

Pennywise played About Time from front-to-back and demonstrated why they’ve been around for more than two decades. The band was in top form and hit each song with urgency. The crowd reciprocated with relentless mosh pits and at least a dozen crowd surfers who found the end of their journey in the photographers pit. Between songs, the band gave a shout-out to late bassist Jason Thirsk for his contributions to the album. The crowd applauded appropriately before the band launched into the next song. Long time staples of any Pennywise concert,”Perfect People” and “Every Single Day” seemed to get as much response from the crowd as the deep cuts. Indeed, the crowd was prepared for this album retrospective as each song was greeted with fervor.

“Same Old Story,” “It’s What You Do With It,” and “Not Far Away,” were particularly great and the band played like their life depended on it. When “Killing Time” ended, the last track on About Time, the band was seemingly just getting warmed up. They went on to play various tracks across their discography, including a Bad Religion cover, and matched the crowds enthusiasm pound for pound. The final date of Pennywise’s About Time tour is tonight in Houston, TX. If you’re in Houston, you should be there.

J. Kevin Lynch

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