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Get Up Kids/Superchunk/Hot Rod Circuit: live in Norfolklive in Norfolk (2002)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: ChadBrownChad Brown
(others by this writer | submit your own)
As a band that ranks pretty high on my favorites list, I was certainly excited to go see a live show. Playing along with Hot Rod Circuit and Superchunk, the Kids rocked a sold out show at the Norva. While I was fearing I wouldn’t enjoy the show due to my high expectations, I walked in with an open mind, and expecting to have an awesome time. Little did I know, any and all expectations I had for every aspect of the show would be blown away completely.
I arrived at the Norva around 7:30, and was greeted with the ever-so-long line to get in the door to the facility. Since the doors didn’t even open until 8, I ran over to the McArthur Mall and grabbed some eats, before heading to Will Call to pick up my tickets. I got inside, looked over the merchandise, and just hung around waiting until 9, when The Hot Rod Circuit finally hit the stage to a nice reaction. Before the show, I’d only heard a few HRC songs, so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from them. What I got was a forgettable set, which didn’t really do much for me. I’d heard so many good things about Hot Rod Circuit, but personally, I didn’t see anything special about them. I was rocking to a few of their songs, but that’s about as far as my liking for their set goes. They sounded dull, uninspired, and I couldn’t make out the lyrics in almost every one of their songs. I was also surprised at the length of their set – around 30 or 35 minutes. While the HRC didn’t do too much for me, I’m sure hardcore fans of the band were more than pleased with their performance, so I guess my opinion isn’t a fair one.
After a small break, Superchunk hit the stage, to a mediocre reaction from the crowd. Before the show, I hadn’t heard anything by Superchunk, so everything they were playing was new to me. I enjoyed a little of what I heard, but for the most part, again, I was unimpressed. The crowd didn’t seem to be impressed, either. At one point, about 1/3 of the audience had middle fingers pointed at the lead singer, who responded by asking, “What does that jester mean in Norfolk, anyway?” Needless to say, the crowd was less than amused. Their set continued, and while the crowd got into some songs, like myself, they just seemed bored for most of their set. Superchunk really hyped The Get Up Kids, however, which got the crowd somewhat excited. They exited the stage, and that’s when my night really begun.
Immediately, chants for the band began, and the crowd became ever-so-anxious. What they got in return, however, was a horrible 45 minute wait. I’m not sure if there were technical problems or what not, but the wait seemed like an eternity. By this time, I was about 6 or 7 “rows” from the front in the general admission seating area, so I didn’t have much room to stretch out, or even move period, making the wait seem much longer. But it all seemed worth it when the kids hit the stage, and began rocking the Norva.
They kicked off their set with "Let the Reigns Go Loose", a rather slow song, and in my opinion, not a good one to start off a set. They then went into “The Worse Idea,” and then “Stay Gone.” By this time, the crowd was getting restless, and bored. That didn’t last for long, as the band broke out into “Holiday,” next, which got the crowd rocking in no time. Definitely a crowd favorite, the song sounded great live. This is where most of the “moshing,” and crowd surfing began, and went on for the remainder of the evening. Kids were doing both at every opportunity, and several Norva security personal had to be on-hand in case anyone got injured, or things got out of hand. I noticed the band played a lot of stuff from “On a Wire,” which is rather disappointing, because that isn’t the stuff you wanna rock to at a live show. But just when the crowd would show signs of boredom from the slow songs, the GUK would throw in a great song from “Something to Write Home About,” which would get everyone energetic again. The band could’ve done a lot better job of organizing their set, and mixing slow and faster songs, but oh well. After about 45 minutes, the band played “Coming Clean.” And just walked off stage, and the lights went out. My fear was the show was already over, but nobody moved. I’m not sure if the band had planned on being done, or they just left for a water break, but either way, they came back on about 10 minutes later, and busted into some crowd favorites. “Mass Pike” got a huge crowd reaction, and the crowd vocals drowned out Mike’s vocals almost the entire time. Next up was Action & Action, another crowd pleaser. After a few more songs, the band played “Ten Minutes to Downtown,” one of my favorite GUK songs. The tune sounds amazing live. The boys had hit every note all night long, but they just outdid themselves with this song. It had amazing energy behind it. James, the keyboardist, had great energy the entire show, and near the end, even took a stage dive to the crowd’s delight. The band ended their hour and 12 minute set with a song which I don ’t even remember. It’s not a good thing when a band closes with a crappy song, but I guess that’s the way things go some times.
I can’t really speak much for HRC or Superchunk, but I can say that I wasn’t impressed with either. However, the Get Up Kids’ performance made everything worthwhile. Any expectations I had for their live show were demolished. They hit every note musically, and got the crowd going when they needed to. The only disappointing factor of the show was that “On a Wire,” was overplayed, but I’m not sure if that was completely the band’s fault. Either way, The Get Up Kids solidified their spot as possibly my favorite band after this show. Yes, they were that good. If you get a chance to see the GUK live, don ’t miss the opportunity. If I had of, I would’ve missed what was possibly the best live band I’ve ever seen.
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