Rich Howells

Menzingers won’t host annual Holiday Show in Scranton in 2019 but have new NEPA plans for 2020

Menzingers won’t host annual Holiday Show in Scranton in 2019 but have new NEPA plans for 2020
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A little over a week after The Menzingers played an acoustic set in Wilkes-Barre for their hometown fans, the Scranton punk band announced today that they won’t return in December for their annual Holiday Show.

Also featuring local breakout bands like Tigers Jaw; Captain, We’re Sinking; Three Man Cannon; and Petal that have gone on to achieve national and even worldwide success, the yearly Christmas concert was a way for The Menzingers to give back to the area that raised them and greatly influenced their music by raising money for Arts Alive, an intensive arts institute for students in kindergarten through grade 12.

Even when last year’s lineup switched things up and introduced some Philadelphia acts to Northeastern Pennsylvania, the eighth annual Holiday Show was just as popular as ever, filling the Scranton Cultural Center’s ballroom with fans young and old. The Holiday Show has become a celebrated staple of the Scranton music scene that keeps The Menzingers tied to their hometown since their move to Philly years ago.

Today, the band posted this message across their social media accounts:

We are sorry to announce that we’ll be taking this year off from our annual Holiday Show. The event has grown from an impromptu DIY hall show at the Keyser Valley Community Center in West Side into a (still DIY) massive regional event in the beautiful Scranton Cultural Center with dozens of moving parts and a lot of planning time. With the release of our record, life circumstances, and some logistical road bumps, we’ve decided to take this time to regroup. We’re sad that we won’t be doing the show this year, but know that we’ll be taking advantage of this opportunity to do something new and exciting in the future. We’ve got some seriously cool things in the planning stages for NEPA in 2020, something we’ve been kicking around for quite some time. 😉

We can not thank the bands, venues, companies, and volunteers and organizers enough for the past several years. And, of course, thank you for your support.

We want to keep our tradition of raising awareness (and ca$h) for youth arts and music programs in NEPA, so we’re working on some ideas to still do that. We’ll post more on that closer to the holidays.

The Menzingers’ sixth studio album, “Hello Exile,” was released on Oct. 4 via Epitaph Records, and they’ll be supporting it with a fall headlining run with Tigers Jaw and Culture Abuse beginning Oct. 25 in Columbus, Ohio and ending Dec. 7 in Boston, Massachusetts, followed by a European tour in early 2020. The closest stop to NEPA is at Franklin Music Hall in Philadelphia on Friday, Nov. 29, so those who can’t wait to see what The Menzingers have planned for 2020 can catch them there.

As vocalists/guitarists Greg Barnett and Tom May noted on Oct. 6 during their acoustic show at the Gallery of Sound in Wilkes-Barre, they always enjoy coming back to the area, seeing family and friends, and writing songs that reflect NEPA’s past and present.

“It’s so fucking awesome to be home. Thank you so much for having us back. And we wanted to do this show last of all the in-stores. Being from this area is pretty great, and I really like a lot of the quirks that we have that you don’t realize when we get to travel everyone else, like, ‘You mean every restaurant isn’t an Italian restaurant?’ and things like that,” May told the crowd.

“I think it’s kind of an interesting place to grow up in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with all the coal miners and the flood that happened in the ’70s and stuff like that and those kind of things that we still see the effects of today, but we still have such a cool, fun, and positive cultural place to be in.”

“This is a really, really big deal for us to put out this album. It really means a lot to us, and it means so much to have everybody in our hometown come out and support us like this for all these years,” Barnett added. “It’s been amazing.”

Listen to May talk about the Holiday Show in Episode 43 of the original NEPA Scene Podcast and hear Captain, We’re Sinking vocalist/guitarist Bobby Barnett discuss it in Episode 42. See NEPA Scene’s photos and video of The Menzingers’ acoustic in-store appearance here, photos of them playing the 2019 Vans Warped Tour in New Jersey here, and check out our review and photos of the band’s Bethlehem concert last August here.

Photo by Scott Kucharski Photography/NEPA Scene