Lifetime first came through The Bowery Presents’ family of venues as headliners in July 2006. And now these punk legends are back, at Webster Hall, supporting their friends as the Bouncing Souls celebrate 20 years as a band. Originally formed in 1990 in New Brunswick, N.J., Lifetime made its name playing the town’s basements with like-minded punk and hardcore bands. Over the years, Lifetime broke from the pack, maturing musically and lyrically. While other bands kept playing hard and fast—featuring slightly more negative and cynical subject matter—Lifetime began infusing its music with melodies and singing about positive and personal themes, which led to the 1997 release of the seminal Jersey’s Best Dancers. But then Lifetime disbanded shortly after the album’s release. And in the heyday of melodic punk, that was it for one of the genre’s underground stars.
In late 2005, Lifetime agreed to a reunion at the metal festival Hellfest in exchange for money paid to the band members’ favorite charities. When Hellfest was cancelled, the band signed on to do three smaller headlining shows—two in Philadelphia and one in Asbury Park, N.J. Three more in California followed in January 2006. And soon after, Lifetime inked a deal to record a new disc with Decaydance, an imprint of Fueled by Ramen Records, owned by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. This fourth full-length, simply titled Lifetime, came out in February 2007. That Lifetime hasn’t toured much in support of this self-titled album ups the anticipation for Thursday’s opening set.
Check out Lifetime, above, playing “Cut the Tension” and then go see three of the East Coast’s most revered punk bands—the Bouncing Souls, Lifetime and None More Black—when they play Webster Hall on Thursday to celebrate the Souls’ 20th anniversary. —Kirsten Housel
(The Bouncing Souls also play Webster Hall on Friday.)