Lauren had the right idea when she said the Saturday, July 8, 2017 Punchline 20th Anniversary Show was going to be “one hell of a party“–Happy 20 years to Punchline! Luckily for me/us/Pittsburgh, the venue was big enough to squeeze everyone in, it was comfortably packed before the end of the night with many friends coming together to celebrate bands we all love.

Thankfully Jim Trocchio got a photo pass for Mr. Smalls, and all pictures are compliments of him.

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Drop the Act

The night started off with Drop the Act. They told us a story about how they played a funeral home two days prior and it was now appropriate to be playing a church. They also told us they they “like a live audience.” This 5 piece was very high energy and promised big things to come in 2017. If you missed them here, don’t worry–they’re playing The Smiling Moose on July 28.

Two Birds

Second of the night was Two Birds (if you’re not familiar with them don’t miss our interview!). This was their third show as a band, but this 4 piece would hardly come across as green. They have already cultivated a lively following here in Pittsburgh.

Dan, one of the guitarists and vocalists, even had a little stage banter where he suggested Paul had given a little shade towards the idea of playing with Punchline (all done with smiles, as Paul previously played in the band).

If you haven’t checked Two Birds out already, you definitely should. And if you’re free on Saturday, July 29, you should definitely try to catch Two Birds at Club Cafe.

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The Berlin Project

The third act of the night was a reunion set by The Berlin Project with original members and featuring Dan Garrighan (of Two Birds). There were a LOT of people wearing Berlin Project shirts coming in to this show, and the band did not disappoint in the least. They were high energy, fun, and engaging with the audience. Included in the full band’s setup were saxophones, trombones, keys, and more.

 

 

This group really knows how to get a crowd moving together. Dan even made sure to hype everyone up with a “west coast, east coast” chant.

Closing out the evening was Punchline. This show was a night of nostalgia and celebration of continued success for them as well, since their first show as a band was also played at Mr. Smalls. The amount of energy put into each song was amazing,  combined with the hometown pride and support, and the fact that the set spanned all 20 years of their existence–this was a not-to-be-missed show for sure.

 

Punchline is keeping the party going with a few more shows; if you’re in these towns or are willing to travel, don’t miss out:

July 21 in New York @ The Studio at Webster Hall

July 22 in Philly at Boots & Saddle

August 11 in Toledo at Frankie’s 

August 12 in Chicago at Reggie’s

And Pittsburghers can catch Punchline again at Four Chord Music Festival on September 10

THE AFTER PARTY

After the first show was over, there was an Official After Party held in The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls. This event sold out, and at $5 a ticket, it was a steal for such a killer lineup.

A Week in July played a reunion show! Honestly it made me real upset they’re not a regularly playing band anymore. Chris from Punchline did grab a rad video of them getting ready for the show that you can check out here.

They’re apparently super elusive since no one seems to have gotten a picture of them at the show. I must, therefore, insist they play another show so that we can remedy the lack of photographic evidence of their playing together. 


Punchline in its original lineup played the full Rewind EP. As if the guys hadn’t gotten to have enough fun downstairs before, at the after party everyone got to unwind as well, with friends joining the band on stage and singing with them.

Overall, the After Party gave the opportunity to keep the energy high, the good time rolling, and the nostalgia alive. Over the past week there have been more pictures and videos being posted of the bands playing such as this one:

Video by Dane Weir, who makes no apologies in his Facebook posting of it for “the unsteady hand OR for cutting the end of the song off.”