LIVE REVIEW: THE LILLINGTONS, MAKE WAR, and THE CRYPTICS

There are few things quite like a packed n’ sweaty Middle East Upstairs on a Monday evening in the spring. That was the scene earlier on April 23 when Wyoming punks The Lillingtons rolled into town for their first visit to the Boston area in four years. And the crowd was ready and willing, singing along to each lyric from singer/guitarist Kody Templeman, who also helms Teenage Bottlerocket. With The Lillingtons’ release of Stella Sapiente last fall on Fat Wreck Chords, they’re on their first full tour since the early aughts. Even young Lincoln of Killer Color was in attendance, and hopped on stage to play Templeman’s guitar for the last song of the evening. Opening for The Lillingtons were Brooklyn’s Make War, who delivered “melancholic party songs. They’ve got the Rollins stance down for guitar bridges, and are an energetic, talented band I hope more people discover. New Hampshire’s The Cryptics opened the evening with fast, battering rhythms, and their frontman ended up, at one point, with one of the better views of the stage, as seen in the photos below.