Apes of the State concert in Brooklyn NYC

I recently saw a concert of the Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based folk punk band Apes of the State. During a trip to Atlanta in the spring of 2023, I heard their music on some obscure, low-band alternative and commercial-free radio station and became hooked.

I think I heard the “Internet Song,” which had some crazy clever lyrics, so I shazammed the song, and off to the races I went, getting deeper and deeper into the catalog.

My love for socially conscious folk punk, in general, has been growing steadily over the years, with lyrics from bands like more mainstream bands like Anti-flag, Against Me, Bad Religion, etc., seeping into my head over the years; I suppose this is a natural consequence. We could blame it on age, but the fans at the show were generally on the young side, so folk punk is alive and well.

Apes of the State concert in Brooklyn NYC

Apes of the State

Gold Sound in Brooklyn is a small venue, and Scenic puts on several of these sizes of punk shows in the area regularly. NYC was just the 2nd stop on the AOTS Tour before they hop in the van to head down south via the Eastern Seaboard.

If you’re wondering how I know all of these minute details, bass player Mollie Schwartz sold me an AOTS T-shirt, and we had a pleasant conversation before I realized, or actually was told by Mollie, that I was interacting with a band member. Yes, I’m that new of a fan.

I didn’t intend to buy a shirt. Still, listening to the excellent opening bluegrass-punk (?) band from Denver, Doom Scroll (sorry guys, no photos, but I did download all their latest music, and you should too) in the small, intimate, and packed Gold’s Sound concert hall had me convinced that the flannel shirt and heavy winter coat I wore that evening was a mistake. In fact, it was a recipe for sweating my (FILL IN THE BLANK) off, so I decided to ditch the flannel and buy a much cooler (in both uses of the word) AOTS shirt, and I’m glad I did.

Not only was I much cooler (again – dual meanings), the rest of the evening, I have yet another punk concert t-shirt to wear for the sweet, sweet memorieeeeeess.. awww.

Apes of the State did not disappoint on this my AOTS virgin experience. My only slight letdown was the lack of a violin, which I typically hear on their live tracks. But if anything, the evening cemented my newfound love for this band.

They treated the place to an encore at floor level to end the show before returning to the merch table and mingling with fans like old pals. That’s the way I like it. Friendly, humble, and talented.

Here,  they are performing their “Bill Collector’s Theme Song.” Enjoy!

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