In the nine years that followed the 2007 release of Music from Regions Beyond, Californian …
FRANK IERO AND THE PATIENCE // Australia 2016 + Walter Schreifels
09 October, 2016 – The Triffid, Brisbane
It’s a quiet and unassuming evening in Brisbane as we make our way through the double doors and into The Triffid with our friend Dana (Brisbane’s resident My Chemical Romance super-fan), where a relatively small yet fanatically dedicated crowd are restlessly waiting for former MCR guitar-slinger Frank Iero to take the stage. After a brief acoustic tour earlier this year (of which only select record-store locations in Sydney and Melbourne were ultimately deemed worthy—don’t blame Iero, blame Soundwave), Iero makes his debut solo performance in Brisbane tonight, with his live band The Patience in tow. Given that tonight is an all-ages event, we’re hastily shuffled upstairs and relegated to a small balcony bar, where it becomes immediately apparent that it’s mostly parents waiting in the wing for the kiddies down below. As we enthusiastically revel in our legal adult status and united preference for the demon drink, the opening one-man band enters to some genial whoops, and it’s none other than NYHC icon and man-of-many-musical talents, Walter Schreifels.
We’re pretty sure most of the people in the audience don’t give a single solitary fuck who Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, Rival Schools or Youth of Today are, and to his credit, Schreifels takes this all in his stride, opting for a stripped-back electric guitar over non-stop stage dives. Kicking off with Requiem and Overjoyed, from his 2010 solo record An Open Letter to the Scene, Schreifels delivers a performance that would come off as amateurish, if it weren’t in such calm and capable hands. Talking to the crowd like a seasoned acoustic performer at your local pub, Schreifels makes light of the crazed clown epidemic sweeping the Western world, before launching into a slightly grunge take on People Running. His humour instantly recalls your favourite ‘cool’ uncle, or maybe your own father after a few beers, and when he swings into Wild Pandas and the hilarious Ballad of Lil’ Kim, it’s clear that both Schreifels and the crowd are having fun with his simplistic performance this evening.
Things get temporarily deep and meaningful as Schreifels talks about relationships and break-ups with Adderall Highway and Audrey, along with the ’60s psych heroes Love and his ode to their singer, Arthur Lee’s Lullaby. There’s also some blatant PDA happening on the balcony (which is likely the desired effect) and Schreifels quizzes the crowd over the correct use of the term ‘brekky’ and ‘Bris-bane’ pronunciation, right before dating himself with a Cypress Hill reference. The highlight of his performance arrives with an acoustic rendition of Rival Schools classic Travel By Telephone, off 2001’s fantastic United By Fate, and we’re suddenly overcome by grade eight, high school nostalgia. Closing with Open Letter—a heartfelt elegy to close friend Raymond ‘Ray Beez’ Barbieri, the deceased front man of NYHC stalwarts Warzone—it’s possible that the juniors in attendance aren’t quite familiar with the ‘Sunday matinee,’ or truly connecting with a verse that hinges off “Don’t forget the struggle/Don’t forget the streets/Don’t sell out.” Either way, no one can fault Schreifels for his earnest delivery, with his powerful performance bringing his opening slot to a rousing finish.
It’s only a short wait between Schreifels and the main event, but the furtive crowd down front are clearly getting antsy. The sound techs and guitar techs on stage are greeted by manic shouts and screams, which hastily die off when they realise it’s not the dude with the side fringe from I’m Not Okay (I Promise). Some fans contain themselves by dancing joyfully to Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, in an act of bedroom catharsis that seems fitfully tragic in a large group of millennials. When the lights dim, and Frank Iero And The Patience—rounded out by bassist Alex Grippo, drummer Matt Olsson and Iero’s brother, Evan Nestor on lead guitar—walk out on stage, the crowd immediately kicks into overdrive.
As frontman, Iero screams and wails with little regard for his vocal cords, he’s clad in a leather jacket and red guitar strap that makes him look like a younger, more-volatile version of Billie Joe Armstrong.
It’s a high-energy performance from the four-piece this evening, as they rip into tracks from the soon-to-be-released record Parachutes, alongside older tracks from 2014’s Stomachaches, back when Iero felt the ‘Cellarbrations’ moniker was more fitting. As front-man, Iero screams and wails with little regard for his vocal cords, he’s clad in a leather jacket and red guitar strap that makes him look like a younger, more-volatile version of Billie Joe Armstrong. You know, the one before the Bono collaborations, which had the better songs? The crowd lap up riff after nasty riff, with the sweaty throng up front content with pogo moshing, while the lazy ones up the back stand and sway like the Smashing Pumpkins fans in that ‘Homerpalooza’ episode of The Simpsons. Hysteria, reviewing politely.
Cuts like Weighted and Neverenders see some bombastic rhythms courtesy of Grippo and Olsson, while anthem She’s The Prettiest Girl at the Party, and She Can Prove It With a Solid Right Hook (Hey Frank, 2002 called and they’d like their gratuitously long song titles back) gets the visceral, jam-band treatment, coming off like a true neo-punk epic; think Bruce Springsteen playing Glory Days while getting mugged by Black Flag. Sing-alongs arrive in the form of the call-and-response vocals for Tragician, while things go down a notch for B.F.F., which Dana informs us was originally penned by Iero with his twin daughters Lily and Cherry in mind. Cute. Between songs, Iero thanks the fans for showing up and gets a round of applause for Schreifels, before the four piece show off some new tracks like the upbeat Remedy and the self-deprecatingly catchy I’m A Mess. There’s a throbbing bass beat from Grippo to lead the band into a kinetic rendition of Stitches—easily one of the group’s best tracks—as Iero and Nestor dance around the stage gleefully embracing their buzz-saw guitar attack. In the lulls between songs, die-hard fans take the opportunity to confess their undying love for Iero and throw gifts in his general direction. One fan even hands Iero a full beer, at which point another suitably jilted fan cries out that it’s a “poison beer,” only for Iero to shrug it off before telling the crowd that he’ll “enjoy it backstage with the antidote.”
Coming off like a true neo-punk epic; think Bruce Springsteen playing Glory Days while getting mugged by Black Flag.
As they round out their set for the evening, the group leave for the obligatory encore with notes still ringing out, only to return barely a minute later. Iero invites Schreifels on stage, to join the band in a guitar-heavy cover of the Ramones’ classic Rockaway Beach. The impromptu five-piece revel in this slice of punk paradise, as each musician throws down some impassioned vocal harmonies, while the crowd undulates with each blissful power chord. Sadly, it’s all over in two minutes, and while this show may have been a few years in the making, the faces of flushed and enthusiastic fans (Dana included) prove that Frank Iero and Co did not disappoint tonight. After all, patience is a virtue kids.
Frank Iero And The Patience with Walter Schreifels have a few dates left of the Australian tour:
THE GOV, ADELAIDE – MONDAY 10 OCTOBER – all ages
CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE -TUESDAY 11 OCTOBER – 18+
ARROW ON SWANSTON, MELBOURNE – WEDNESDAY 12 OCTOBER – all ages
METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY – THURSDAY 13 OCTOBER – all ages
Purchase tickets here.