Photo: Jamie Heim
Saturday was Floorpunch's final show at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, PA. Well, final US show was how it was billed. I thought the word "US" getting thrown in was kind of odd, maybe hinting at some more shows abroad; but I don't care either way. Porter even joked about playing Canada next week leaving the crowd looking around laughing, but I'm sure some were thinking, "Is he serious?". If they want to have 20 final shows, go ahead, because frankly, I'd go see them once a week if I could. Call 'em all your final show, as long as you play all the songs on the demo.
It was a million degrees outside the church and the show had been incredibly hot inside. Despite the terrible outside temperature, as you entered the basement of the church, it was like walking into a wall of heat (Killing Time, anyone?), 100 times worse than outdoors. Without moving and just standing there with my arms folded, watching a couple bands, I could feel the sweat pouring off of me. I couldn't imagine what actually moving around for Floorpunch's set would be like, but there wasn't really a choice, I guess. So sing-a-long and sweat it was gonna be.
Once everybody had arrived from the traffic nightmares north of Philly, Porter gave a couple quick thank-yous and they broke into Warzone's "Intro/Bust", which I was completely stoked on, and apparently the crowd was,too. Even with the time constraints and the obnoxious temperature in the basement of the Church, it was a quality set. I dug the order of things, mainly because it didn't follow the same format of the last two times I saw them, which kept things fresh while still hearing all the jams. All the usual tunes were played and a couple of surprises thrown in for good measure. A girl came out of the crowd to sing "Wall of Hate" by Killing Time and she brought it; a really good job on her part. Geoff was also called out to do Agnostic Front's "Last Warning", and destroyed, upping the intensity of his last AF performance at the Stelton, which was out of control good. Getting to hear KT, AF and Warzone along with the Floorpunch songs was just incredibly awesome.
Other highlights for myself were, of course "My Path" into "Intro/Changes", "Blondie" & "Let It Ride" including the other jams, like "Always", etc. They closed with "Let It Ride" which always has a special place for me living so close to AC. Besides the insanely good setlist was Porter's stage banter filled with the usual good one-liners. One of my favorites: "Then he started listening to weird stuff...like Lifetime." Hilarious stuff.
Towards the end, it was full on, VH1 Storytellers, Floorpunch style, with Porter explaining the details behind the Earth Crisis beef, the Rick-Ta-Life beef and explaining to one young man in the crowd the truth behind the yogurt at the Middlesex show back in the 90s. Even though it was super hot, the crowd was into it, diving, finger-pointing and getting a quick mosh in on the breakdowns. There were lots of familiar faces all up front singing along from the start to finish of the set. The stage dives were much improved over the Rival Mob's set, where it appeared that kids were going to split their skulls or shatter a bone at any moment. The mosh was brought early, but by the end of the set, the heat had taken its toll, leaving most moshers exhausted, but still trying to give it a go.
Never before have I left a show with my shirt and pants completely soaked, but walking out of the Church, sweat was dripping from my clothes. It was a great set to end on even with it being 1,000 degrees and all the headaches of getting everyone playing the show there and then getting everyone off the stage in time for the next church function. For as satisfied as I was with the final, final, final mosh, I can say I woke up the next day with a footprint on my shoulder, a sore body and wishing that there'd be another show in the next couple months, preferably at the Jersey Shore.
As far as this being the last show, it's easy to argue that it's not their last. Since the final mosh at CB's there's been a handful of different line-ups and a couple of reunion gigs in a variety of spots. Based on the amount of merch at the FP table, it seemed like a whole lot for one show. The longsleeves had the 6/26/10 date on them,indicating this was it; but there were a whole lot of zip ups in different colorways, which was kind of odd for one final summer show. Not that merch is any indication of a band's intentions, but by now, people seem to think it won't be their last. I've got no complaints either way. If they're done, so be it. If another show pops up in a couple years, months or weeks, I can't say that I'd be upset about it. I'd only be upset if I couldn't go.