Violent Femmes @ College Street Music Hall

Who says the middle aged don’t know how to party?

When I heard the Violent Femmes were playing New Haven’s College Street Music Hall, I was not sure what to expect. The band spent much of the 2000s dorment and had not released albums on a regular basis since the mid-90s. When asking around about the show, most responses I encountered were “wow, they’re still together?”

Arriving at the show in one of New Haven’s largest venues, it was apparent that when people did realize the band was still together, the were psyched. The atmosphere of the concert was something like an EDM festival for the over-40 crowd. Sloppy drunks, stoners, and others in self-medicated states were aplenty as the Femmes opened with their biggest hit “Blister in the Sun” and quickly followed it with equally loved “Kiss Off.”

As the Violent Femmes proceeded through their 21 song set, crowd levels varied as people scurried back to the bar to get another drink. After the initial two songs, the biggest surges to the front as the band broke into “Gimme the Car” and “American Music” which closed out the set.

The band disappeared from stage briefly before reemerging for an encore. Beginning with “What You Really Mean” from We Can Do Anything, the band followed it with “Memory” from also from the 2016 album. As much of the crowd was not sure exactly what to make of it, the band closed with fan favorite “Add It Up” before taking their bows.

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