Let me start off this thing by saying that I enjoy almost all of the bands on Drive-Thru Records, with the sole exception being Something Corporate. As a bit of background, this was also one of 107.7 The End's "penny pincher shows," meaning the price of admission was only $1.07 and it's a first come, first serve deal. Unfortunately, this also means that the line will wrap around the venue for several hours before the show is to start and this time was no exception. Fortunately, this time they decided to hold the concert at The Showbox, a venue with twice the capacity of the usual Graceland.
First up, the elusive Allister. I say elusive because every time I have tried to see this band live, something gets in the way. So, why should tonight be any different? My friend and I made it to the front of the line, only to be denied entrance. They sounded good from outside though. After about 20 or so minutes of communication between the bouncer and someone inside, the 25 remaining fans were let in.
As we entered, Home Grown had already begun their set. I had just seen them recently and felt they seriously needed a second guitar player to play the older songs, namely "Surfer Girl." Well, much to my surprise, there was a second guitar player on stage with them, and let me tell you, it made all the difference in the world. Toward the end of "Surfer Girl," however, they let their drummer come down and sing the last few lines and it was pretty awful. Almost ruined the song, but it was otherwise a great set.
Next up, The Starting Line. I don't know what to say about them that hasn't already been said. You either love them or hate them. They're good live and have great energy on stage, but some of their songs are pretty weak, especially a lot of the stuff on their new album. They were pretty well received and closed with "Leaving," probably my favorite song by them. All in all, I enjoyed their set and would definitely see them again.
Then came Something Corporate. I honestly don't get what people see in this band, but to each their own. They were definitely out of place on the stage this evening. I already didn't like them going into the set, so I expected to like them even less after tonight, but their performance didn't shift my opinion either way. The lead singer had a lot of energy, which didn't really match their style of music, and he kept jumping on and sitting on the keys of his piano, which made already mediocre songs even worse. Several of the songs ("Punk Rock Princess" and "Drunk Girl" come to mind) made me cringe, they were so awful. They also played a slower song that seemed to last forever. I didn't catch the title, but it was a very boring song. It kept building up and doing nothing over and over again. They should definitely not play that song EVER. However, the rest of their set was at least tolerable, but I would not see this band again, given the chance.
Last but not least, Finch. They came out and plowed through 3 of the 5 songs that I like off their album (3 of the poppiest songs they have, as well) without even pausing inbetween songs. Unfortunately, the singer didn't sing about half of the lyrics in the first 2 songs. It almost seemed like he was out of breath, but he did fine for the rest of the set. Ken from The Starting Line came out and sang one song with the band. Someone from backstage came out to sing "Stay With Me" with the band as well. They are a very energetic band on stage and their bass player is really good at screaming. However, a lot of their songs are nothing more than generic cock-rock and are thus, not too enjoyable. They were also the only band to do an encore, but the song they played was pretty awful, if you could even call it a song. Overall, their set was pretty enjoyable and I would see them again.
For only $1.07, this was quite a show. Apparently, Drive-Thru tried to get the RxBandits on the bill, but were told they could only have 5 bands. I wish they would have dropped Something Corporate or even Finch off the bill for the bandits, but I digress. In the end (no pun intended), the value is what really made this show worthwhile. I would wholeheartedly recommend seeing Home Grown and The Starting Line (and possibly Allister, but may never know for sure).