Polar Bear Club / Fireworks

Polar Bear Club / Fireworks: live in Greensborolive in Greensboro (2011)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: stagedivecitystagedivecity
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I arrived at Greene St. last night with very high hopes. In support of their new record, Clash Battle Guilt Pride, Polar Bear Club have assembled one of the finest tour packages of the year and I was beyond excited to check it out. This was my second time at Greene St. and it still stands as one of .

I arrived at Greene St. last night with very high hopes. In support of their new record, Clash Battle Guilt Pride, Polar Bear Club have assembled one of the finest tour packages of the year and I was beyond excited to check it out. This was my second time at Greene St. and it still stands as one of the nicest buildings I've seen a show in. Complete with a disco ball and a stripper pole in the green room, it was quite a departure from the usual DIY venues I go to. But it was a nice change of pace.

Local opener (I can't remember their name) kicked off the show with what sounded like a recycled version of Set Your Goals's first EP, with a vocalist who wanted to be in a post-hardcore band. It wasn't very good. They played a short set and then we were on to Make Do and Mend.

This was my second time seeing these guys live and I was beyond excited to see them again. They had a similar set as the last time I saw them but added in a few more songs off last year's End Measured Mile and changed some of their song-to-song transitions for the better. They blew through their set with little talking between songs. They did have a short break when the lead singer/guitarist broke a string during "Winter Wasteland", but he handled it pretty smoothly. Overall a great start to the show.

Set list:

  1. Oak Square
  2. Transparent Seas
  3. Unknowingly Strong
  4. Thanks
  5. Shambles
  6. Winter Wasteland
  7. Night's the Only Time of Day
  8. Firewater

Then it was onto Balance and Composure. I had seen them in the same room just a few months earlier with the Dear Hunter and dredg, and this time they seemed so much more confident. Maybe because they were a better fit on this tour, or maybe it was because people were actually there to see them this time, but either way they were in their element. The singer even told the crowd to "bang their fucking heads" before "Galena". They mainly stuck with songs off their new record, Separation, but did play a couple off the immensely popular split with Tiger's Jaw after a little audience encouragement (I may have shouted it out a couple times). Highlight of the set for me was the transition from "Burden" to a much longer version of "Void". Very cool change-up.

Set list:
  1. Quake
  2. Galena
  3. Stonehands
  4. Burden
  5. Void
  6. Twenty Four
  7. I Tore You Apart in My Head

This was also my second time seeing Fireworks this year and I have to say they fit so much better in the supporting slot than they did as headliners. Since I saw them in May, they've added in a keyboardist which gives them an interesting new layer. Also, the vocalist's voice sounded so much better this time around. Fireworks had no problem taking their time between songs and even played the first couple of lines of "The Impression That I Get" during their stage banter. I was a little disappointed that the set list was mainly made up of songs off their new record, Gospel. I would say the rest of the audience felt the same because you could almost feel the energy pick up during the tracks from 2009's All I Have to Offer Is My Own Confusion. Even though they didn't play as many of my favorite tracks, it sounded much better and completely changed my view of them as a live band.

Set list (some of these may be out of order):
  • Arrows
  • The Wild Bunch
  • Teeth
  • Summer
  • Detroit
  • We're Still Pioneers
  • Geography, Vonnegut and Me
  • Oh Why Can't We Start Old and Get Younger
  • X's on Trees
  • When We Stand in Each Other's Arms We Block Out the Sun

    Finally, the main event, Polar Bear Club. These guys showed why they were the headliners right from the get-go with the energy they brought to the stage and to the crowd. They opened with a four-song block with a song from every one of their releases, including their then-forthcoming one, Clash Battle Guilt Pride. They seemed to favor Sometimes Things Just Disappear, which was a bit of a disappointment to me as a big Chasing Hamburg fan, but the set was so fun I couldn't complain. The vocalist mentioned his voice was kind of shot, but I really couldn't hear it and it just made mic shares more plentiful, which in turn got the crowd even more pumped. Unfortunately, they did cut their set a couple songs short, but as an apology they gave away their banners for free which was a very nice move on their part. During the last track, "Most Miserable Life", I started off the stage diving (living up to my username!). Even though it was a couple of songs short I don't think anyone in the room was unsatisfied with their performance.

    Set list:
    1. Eat Dinner, Bury the Dog, and Run
    2. Screams in Caves
    3. Election Day
    4. Light of Local Eyes
    5. Burned Out in a Jar
    6. Parked in the Parking Lot of Your Heart
    7. Our Ballads
    8. Bug Parade
    9. Living Saints
    10. Most Miserable Life

    Overall, it was one of the best shows I have ever attended with a great lineup of bands. Any of these bands would have been good by themselves, but together they were simply wonderful.


People who liked this also liked:
Converge - Axe to FallModern Life Is War - WitnessLemuria - PebbleTouché Amoré / Make Do and Mend - Split [7-inch]Touché Amoré - ...To the Beat of a Dead Horse [12 inch]Touché Amoré / La Dispute - Searching for a Pulse/The Worth of the World [7-inch]Kills and Thrills - LiarsFucked Up - David Comes to LifeFireworks - All I Have to Offer Is My Own ConfusionThe Felix Culpa - Sever Your Roots

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
lookingforcorpses (October 6, 2011)

Why would you even think it was appropriate to stage dive at a show like this?????

MichaelDunn (October 2, 2011)

To the kid who had his glasses and face damaged that suck but the fact is people are going to stage dive. Its not being a dick its just an activity that is done at shows. If you would like to not have injuries after the show I would advise not being at the very front. Its going to happen so just deal with it.

BarleyPat (September 30, 2011)

Going to this on Sunday, but I listened to a few songs by all the openers and they all suck, so I'll be at the bar, or better yet - late.

millslane (September 29, 2011)

looks like pretty good setlists by all. Fireworks setlist looks better than the May tour. The new album is such an improvement, even though I enjoy everything they have done.

dlangl4 (September 29, 2011)

All I have to say is that I'm impressed by your willing to give up stage diving. Genuinely. I wish more people would be as reasonable, even if only to just consider what other people are saying.

stagedivecity (September 28, 2011)

I'm not much of a stage diver any way but what little I do I'm going to cut out. I would hate to ruin someone else's time and alienate anyone who may not go to shows often. Not saying any of you are in that category but I would hate for someone to not go to shows because of something I've done. Yes I'm being completely serious.

Also dude I'm not sure about your plans for Southbound but a couple of friends and I are getting a hotel room and we're hoping to get another person to split the bill with for those two nights. Just hit me up at stagedivecity@gmail.com

Thrusters (September 28, 2011)

Also, well-written and comprehensive review. Good job.

Thrusters (September 28, 2011)

As the kid whose glasses were broken and nose was bloodied, I greatly appreciate the apology (you weren't actually the guy who hit me, I'm fairly sure it was the third person who jumped after you kick-started the diving), but would much rather you follow dlangl4's advice and give it up entirely. Shit may be fun for you, but it places a burden, distraction and even danger on the other attendees and, as I discovered, can take away from their show experience. I think I saw you say you were gonna be at Southbound & Down in Wilmington later this year, so I may meet you there, I'd just prefer if you didn't stage dive!

As for the show, PBC fucking killed it. I wasn't ever a huge fan of them until this show (and the new record, too), but they were absolutely fantastic, winning me over with the new stuff and making me revisit their older material. I missed MDAM, unfortunately, but B&C was pretty good. Great bass tone and good intensity.

Fireworks were awful for all the reasons exitenglish has already stated.

stagedivecity (September 28, 2011)

I glanced the setlist and I think they were supposed to play Convinced I'm Wrong as well.

exitenglish1208 (September 28, 2011)

there definitely seemed to be a lot of fireworks fans, but i'd say there were more people up close for PBC than them. also PBC were going to play my best days and...i forget, killing it i think as well but they had to cut it short because fireworks thought everyone paid to see them dick around on stage for an hour. oh well.

dlangl4 (September 28, 2011)

Being sorry isn't good enough. All you can do is to never again stage dive or crowd surf. This goes for everyone.

damnitsderek (September 28, 2011)

I caught this show in Seattle tonight and we got Such Gold instead of Make do and Mend. Kind of a bummer, IMHO, but what can you do. Also, there was a WAY bigger turnout for Fireworks than PBC. It seemed like mostly younger kids, but still, that was fucking baffling to see that. Probably close to half the crowd near the stage left between Fireworks and PBC. This happen at your show too, or is Seattle just going to have to take a mulligan for this one?

Good review, man. Polar Bear Club and Balance and Composure were killer.

stagedivecity (September 27, 2011)

Tell you're friend I'm legitimately sorry. It genuinely bums me out when I do something slightly dickish like stage diving and it ruins someone else's night. I know that's not very punx but oh well

jakwayn (September 27, 2011)

Nice to see a review from a show in NC. We never get anything good enough to warrant one of these haha.

Apeman_on_the_moon (September 27, 2011)

PBC played a whopping 10 songs, and only one off the new record? Weak.

quickattack (September 27, 2011)

Wow, the BAC and PBC setlists got me even more excited for this show.

exitenglish1208 (September 27, 2011)

i was at this show too...arrived at 730 and had already missed make do and mend which kind of sucks. fireworks played way too fucking long and they are not a good band...they talked for like 2 minutes between every fucking song and then polar bear club had to cut their set short as a result. and thansk for starting off stage diving my friend got kicked in the face got a bloody nose and broken glasses so that's cool.

polar bear club were still awesome though.

sundowning10 (September 27, 2011)

I was at this show too. Fireworks played for wayyyy too long in my opinion...but I guess that's just because I don't fancy them. It was a shame PBC had to cut their set short though. but the free banner is fucking awesome.

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