The Bronx, Civic & ’68 @ The Triffid [Live Review]

Review: Benjamin Coe
Gallery: JD Garrahy

It’s a cool, breezy night in Brisbane and The Triffid is teeming with activity and excitement. And so it should be, The Bronx are in town! Having carried the punk rock flag for 20 years now, the L.A. veterans are no strangers to our shores and stages and tonight is guaranteed to be a hell of a show.

Fist up tonight is dirty blues power couple ’68 all the way from Atlanta, Georgia. As singer/guitarist Josh Scogin and drummer extraordinaire, Nikko Yamada emerge as a pair of very sharply dressed men the small amassment of humans welcomes them to the stage.

“I don’t know what they call you but they call us ‘68” Scogin declares as they kick off tonight’s proceedings with This Life is Old, New, Borrowed & Blue off their acclaimed 2017 record Two Parts Viper and immediately the crowd knows they’re in for a treat. Scogin is an extremely theatrical frontman and as the crowd continues to grow, so does their interest in what’s happening on the stage. The set is a mixed bag from across the duos four albums and even includes an impromptu Beastie Boys cover and a deep cut of Life Has Its Design before finishing strong with a massive rendition of Bad Bite.

By the time ’68 are done the room is full of primed individuals ready for the next offering of punk tunes from Melbourne-based group Civic. The boys from the south are firing on all cylinders as the crowd bounces around the room to their old-school brand of punk that sounds like a close relative to the 70’s punk icons of long past like The Sex Pistols or, more appropriately, The Saints. Their frontman points out a few devoted fans wearing their merch in the front row as he shakes their hands and is almost pulled into the crowd by a “beautiful gentleman”. It’s 40 minutes of non-stop riffs that flies by until it’s time for the main event.

The anticipation is rife in the main room as all the stragglers pour in from the beer garden to get themselves into position for tonight’s headliners. As the lights go down the crowd erupts and the boys from The Bronx mosey on stage, grinning ear to ear. Frontman Matt Caughthran urges the crowd to push forward, “This is a punk rock show!” he yells as the band tear into White Shadow.

Instantly the crowd are on their feet, the mosh pit is underway and those standing to the sides are dancing and bopping their way through the first few selections from the bands expansive catalogue. Caughthran can barely contain his excitement and within the first few songs he’s frog-leaping onto the barrier to join in the festivities on the floor. He clearly loves the energy in the room and his between-song heartfelt speeches only reinforce the adoration him and his band of merry men have for not only our country, but our fair town of Brisbane.

This tour is all about celebrating The Bronx’s 20 year anniversary of their debut album and we are treated to the triple threat, hit after hit of the first 3 songs from that record much to the crowds delight. It’s so good to see a band with such a bevy of releases under their belt still as passionate about performing the classics as they are the newer material.

“I wanna see a circle pit, make it happen!” Caughthran commands the crowd as the rip into their “fastest song to date” Breaking News off their latest record The Bronx VI. It’s absolute mayhem from start to finish as the crowd goes between marveling at the spectacle of the giant circle pit to marveling at the spectacle on stage.

My only gripe about tonight’s show is an unfortunately unavoidable one with the omission of two of the bands core members from this tour, being drummer Joey Castillo who is more the ably replaced for the run by Pete Parada and guitarist and “godfather of The Bronx”, Joby J. Ford, whose fill-in does an immaculate job in his absence, most notably in crowd favourite Knifeman when Caughthran enters the crowd and wanders all the way to the back to get the entire room moving.

As the final notes of History’s Stranglers hit the room signaling the end of the main set, a few people exit the venue, keen to beat the inevitable rush, but the majority stay and are treated to a blistering encore of Kill My Friends and a rather extended jam version of the classic Around The Horn.

These guys never disappoint, and tonight is no different. Here’s to hoping that Caughthran’s desire to come to Australia “every fucking year” come to fruition. As has been said many times tonight by the charismatic frontman, “The Bronx love Australia and Australia loves The Bronx!”


Tickets on sale now: 

The Bronx Tickets | The Bronx Tour Dates & Concerts (

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