The Moneen Christmas Extravaganza: A Sweaty Night to Remember

Date of show: December 23, 2010

Moneen’s Christmas Extravaganza started off with amazing opening sets. The show sold out as soon as doors opened and there was already a good-sized crowd for Windsor’s Orphan Choir. When The Junction hit the stage, loyal fans crowded the stage and sang along with frontman Brent Jackson. Black Lungs had an energetic mosh pit going, courtesy of Wade MacNeil’s booming vocals and commanding presence. All three bands suited the bill well, but nothing compared to the energy that filled the room following the opening bands.

For Moneen fans, their Christmas Extravaganza was much anticipated, largely due to the fact that Peter Krpan, who left the band in 2008 and is now working in real estate, took over drums for the night. It was evident this would mean a lot of older songs, but Moneen played only older songs, completely skipping their most recent album The World I Want to Leave Behind. Fans were treated to a set list largely catered to those that have been with the band from the beginning, something that was greatly appreciated.

The crowd’s anticipation before Moneen hit the stage was electric, with chants for Krpan and frontman Kenny Bridges as they set up. The crowd was already pushing and shoving their way to the front, but as soon as the band was on stage and started playing “Start Angry…End Mad”, the crowd became a whole other kind of rowdy. Members of the crowd were hoisted into the air and crowd surfing, as well as shoving to make one monster pit in front of the stage.

The band seemed at ease, as if just there to enjoy themselves rather than perform. Erik Hughes (bass) was teasing his brother in audience for some poorly timed crowd surfing moments and Bridges had the crowd wish Chris “Hippy” Hughes (guitar, vocals) a happy birthday. Bridges remarked, after numerous people made it onto the stage only to dive back into the crowd, “I haven’t had this much fun since that last time we played the Horseshoe.” The crowd, of course, erupted in cheers, pleased to help make this night as awesome for the band as it was for them.

The setlist of favourites continued, including “Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?”, “With This Song I Will Destroy Myself”, “Life’s Just Too Short Little Ndugu”, “Don’t Ever Tell Locke What He Can’t Do”. Moneen even busted out “How Many Other Girls Are There in the World Anyway” and “The Wrath of the Donkey Remix” from their Smaller Chairs for the Early 1900s EP. Bridges joked about the lengthy song titles, and even admitted that they don’t even know the names of some of the songs and have just given them nicknames. Their set reached over an hour and a half, almost seeming as though the band and crowd could keep the party going all night.

Moneen ended off their set with “Tonight, I’m Gone…”, but came back for a 2-song encore. Bridges engaged in some banter with a Hughes brother in the audience, which led to a “step it up a notch” version of “The Passing of America” (see Amanda’s epic video below!). This amped up version featured Bridges crowd surfing, then hanging from ceiling, biting off a hanging ornament and then spitting it into the crowd. If there was any doubt whether or not Moneen could still bring it, Bridges dispelled those doubts. (But let’s be real here, there was no doubt). Their last song, bittersweet and hopefully not meant to be a message, was “The Last Song I Will Ever Want to Sing.” The crowd walked away a sweaty, happy mess.

I relived some of my past along with the band and a sold out Horseshoe Tavern… and it was best Christmas Extravaganza I could have asked for.

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Categories: Live Music


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