None More Black Have Returned (I’d say “None More Black are Back….but come on….)

I definitely did other things in Philadelphia on the fourth of July, but all were entirely overshadowed by the event that got me here in the first place: the reunion, after two years, of pop punk legends None More Black.

My own history with the band starts right before they announced their “indefinite hiatus” in 2006 and my reaction up hearing of this hiatus (which was really just a less conclusive way of saying they were breaking up) was something along the lines of “oh what the FUCK, Jason!” (Jason, of course being NMB singer/guitarist Jason Shevchuk, had initiated the unexpected hiatus himself much like he did for Kid Dynamite years before and would do for Lagrecia in 2008.) Needless to say I was rather excited to hear the band members had reconciled and would be playing shows again….so excited in fact that I decided I would make my way down to Philadelphia to see the official reunion show. After all, I had missed the rather awesome Small Brown Bike, Texas is the Reason and Hot Water Music reunion shows (although admittedly, Hot Water do appear to be back for good and I am going to be seeing them in a week, about eight months after they officially reunited…but SBB and TITR had one off reunions) and given Shevchuk’s propensity for unexpectedly breaking up his bands, one can’t really be sure just how long None More Black will actually be back for. Now that I’ve managed to flimsily justify my journey here, I might as well talk about the actual show right?

I’ll say this to begin: it’s ballsy for a band to have their reunion show be an in-store performance and even ballsier to have that store be really fuckin small, so apparently the sheer amount of cohones contained within the ranks of NMB is rather high. Monsieur Potter and I arrived around an hour before doors to find a considerable line outside the small screen print shirt store known as Deep Sleep where the show was set to take place. An hour later, once doors opened, it was basically a free for all to get into the store and Potter and I were one of the last to enter before the band began playing. However, once the show started, the door to the store was basically a constant line of kids exiting and more kids entering to take their place. For you see, to say the store was overheated would be an understatement. However it didn’t seem to phase the band or the approximately two hundred people in the store as spirits were high, dancing (and crowd surfing) occurred and everyone generally seemed to be aware that they were taking part in something special. Playing for just about an hour and a half, if not longer, the band covered what was, as near as I can tell, almost their entire catalog to date, occasionally pausing only to fix their equipment or to catch their breath. By the time it was over I was dirtier than I ever recall being, every piece of clothing I was wearing was literally drenched in sweat and the smile that had been plastered on my face since the moment I entered the store was still very present. Whether I attend their second official reunion show tonight is currently up for debate, however if I do it would only be the sugar on top of the already delicious cake and I consider my None More Black fix more than fulfilled at this point. It’s clear at this point that the band intends to play more shows after these first two in Philly, and it seems likely that they’ll eventually record new material as well. If last night was any indication, that fact is a very very good thing.

Also, for those still keeping score, you can cross “high five Jason Shevchuk” from my list of things to do this trip (I couldn’t bring myself to attack the guy after being so thoroughly entertained by him though. Lagrecia will have to go unavenged….for now.)

Stay tuned…