Last Friday night, YGM schlepped out East on Long Island to go see one of our favorite punk bands, State Lines. After seeing lead singer Jonathan DiMitri play an acoustic set to open for Company of Thieves, we did some research and realized we had found one of our favorite punk albums ever in the band’s 2011 debut Hoffman Manor. The band released a self-titled EP in 2012, and their second full length record For the Boats came out this past April.
I’ve seen a lot of concerts in small venues before, but I’ve never been to anything as intimate as this. We arrived at the No Fun Club in Island Park just in time to see the first openers, Scout. We then watched Little World, The Young Rochelles, and No Good News play opening sets in that order. All the openers were incredibly impressive, keeping the crowd enthused with great punk rock sets.
State lines took the stage around midnight for a set that lasted close to an hour. They mixed hits from their first album with newer tracks from their second album. The fans were absolutely wild. While I’m no stranger to mosh pits and crowd surfing, it’s a totally different experience in a 100 person audience. Kids would lie on the crowd’s hands and lean over to sing into Jonathan’s mic from up above. The mic stand itself was knocked over more than once over the course of the night. The bassist, Johnny Wims, played a large portion of the show with an injury on his wrist that left his bass covered in blood.
Like I said, the intimacy was a really profound element of the show. Fans interacted with the band during the performance, shouting requests and cracking jokes. Many of the requests were honored, and the band threw in a few surprises like a cover of Weezer’s “El Scorcho.” Some highlight moments included hearing my personal favorite State Lines song, “House,” get played live, as well as the fun of closing the night on the sing-along choruses of “My Friends.”
“We’ll call wherever we are home/And we might die trying to cross state lines/But we’ll never regret it no we’ll never regret it”
Singer Jonathan DiMitri and guitarist Tom Werring were nice enough to talk to us after the show about the new album. They both cited “Garages” as one of their favorites off of the new record (it was incredibly awesome live) said they felt that For the Boats was an incredibly fun album to make. They felt the second album flowed more cohesively, and said they focused more on finding the right tone for each individual song rather than just an overall tone for the album.