CONCERT REVIEW: Mischief Brew @ Morgan’s Pier


The crowd at Morgan’s Pier got a little rowdier than usual on Wednesday night as Philly punk legends, Mischief Brew showed up to play a free show. The chaos began as hoards of punks lined up out front, arguing with security over fake, expired and suspended ID’s and it only got crazier from there. Philly favorites, Bad Doctors, warmed everyone up by blasting the pier with an extremely energized performance. The moment that Mischief Brew’s Erik Petersen got on stage with his natural, charming stage presence and started praising the beauty of Philadelphia and the venue, a drunken roar of wild screaming and chanting filled the air. They started the set with the song, “Ain’t it the Life”, which meshed perfectly with the atmosphere, with its tropical and uplifting tone and seemed to immediately validate Mischief Brew’s presence at such a peculiar, margarita- and sangria-serving venue. With only a brief interlude between songs, the band jumped right into a series of oldie-but-goodies, apparently in response to several requests, including “Boycott Me!” and “Nomads Revolt”, which sent the crowd into full blown hysteria. The moshing, jumping and stomping shook the entire deck and people began climbing on top of tables, crowd surfing and hanging from the rafters above the stage as security raced around frantically fighting a losing battle. It was more than clear that the party had started as they continued the show, playing “Bang up Police Work,” a sarcastic ode to wannabe cops. They deployed their token vibraharp during a rendition of “Dallas In Romania”, and even invited special guest violinist Rebecca Schlappich, from World Inferno Friendship Society, onstage to assist in the accelerating mayhem. Mischief Brew powered through the entire set, hammering out an extraordinary number of punk anthems back to back, despite a number of technical difficulties and eventually shorting out the power of the entire stage. Thinking on his feet, Erik Petersen launched into an a capella version of “Roll Me Through the Gates of Hell,” dependent only on a nearly inaudible acoustic guitar, a hilariously out of place xylophone and the crowd’s enthusiasm. They finished everything off with an encore, covering “Vagabond” by New Model Army, leaving exhausted bouncers, a broken stage and a sea of sweaty, drunk punks. Mischief brew definitely put on a good show, but I don’t know if the staff at Morgan’s Pier will be inviting them back any time soon. — PATRICK KAISINGER