By the time Frank Iero and the Patience take the stage at Jersey City’s White Eagle Hall on Saturday night, the crowd is thrumming with excitement. After a series of dates opening for Deftones/Rise Against, and their own headlining shows, Frank Iero and crew are closing out their U.S. run in the band’s native New Jersey.
The four members clad in black immediately launch into a blistering version of ‘World Destroyer’. This is a high-energy crowd, and the floor begins to undulate during the very first song as fans jump up and down. There’s a constant stream of crowd-surfers passing by overhead, and a pit opens up early on and just keeps on going. On record, the difference between the indie rock-aligned Stomachaches and more punk sound of Parachutes is striking, but live the songs off both blend seamlessly.
Iero is backed up ably by his bandmates, flanked on either side by guitarist Evan Nestor and bassist Alex Grippo. Having played together previously in New Jersey band Science, there’s a musical connection Nestor and Grippo instinctively settle into. And Matt Olsson – on drums for the Patience – is a photo-defying blur of perpetual motion and rock-solid rhythm at his kit.
Frank Iero’s logo is a symbol he based off a Byzantine cross, and the icon feels particularly appropriate at this gig. There’s a certain ecstatic state into which there are only a few routes, and if you’re really lucky, on the right night music can be one of them. At the White Eagle Hall, it may not be holy but some sort of communal punk rock Spirit is definitely present. The fans know the lyrics by heart and shout them back at the band, impassioned, hands up as though testifying in church.
The band has been playing ‘Oceans’ as their final song at many recent shows, though Saturday it feels like it comes too soon. On ‘Oceans’, Iero sings “I wish I was good enough / I’ve never been good enough for your love” but it’s evident from the crowd’s heartfelt response this is far from true. After the band leaves the stage, the venue takes up a full-throated chant for an encore until the group finally returns.
They begin the encore with the slower-paced ‘Miss Me’ before closing the night with ‘Joyriding’, during which Derek Zanetti (The Homeless Gospel Choir), rushes out from backstage to join Iero at the mic. “This is not the end for us”, Iero sings, and indeed it’s not. With a new EP, Keep The Coffins Coming, due out on 22nd September and a just-announced UK tour, thankfully the band won’t be away long.