Punknews.org

Blake Schwarzenbach

Blake Schwarzenbach: live in Philadelphialive in Philadelphia (2013)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


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

Online, Blake Schwarzenbach has built up a reputation for being a bit of a crazy person. As his alter ego Christopher Lager, he tends towards lengthy blog posts and nonsensical Facebook status updates. So when he announced a solo tour as the "2013 Mobile Disco Decathlon," it kind of sounded like it .


Online, Blake Schwarzenbach has built up a reputation for being a bit of a crazy person. As his alter ego Christopher Lager, he tends towards lengthy blog posts and nonsensical Facebook status updates. So when he announced a solo tour as the "2013 Mobile Disco Decathlon," it kind of sounded like it would cater more to his Lager performance art and less to the legacy Schwarzenbach built up through Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil and forgetters.

Surprisingly, his show at Philadelphia's the Barbary Sat., June 29 was not a public meltdown, but rather an informal, brief set of originals, covers and stories. Without openers or much fanfare, Schwarzenbach first launched into a trio of tunes from last year's forgetters LP: a new version of "Turn Away" with an updated outro; a slowed down take on "O Deadly Death;" and a somber "In America." These tunes most directly tied into what Schwarzenbach claimed the show was about: searching for an America that was less stagnant.

Really, though, the whole thing was much more casual than that. Schwarzenbach cracked jokes throughout ("What's this band, the J.B.s? Jaybreaker?"). Rock â??n' roll sometimes calls for a mix of truth and bullshit, and he delivered on that with a surprisingly heavy take on Bruce Springsteen's "Nothing Man," from 2002's The Rising. He opted for an almost shoegazey guitar tone, elevating a quiet little song into something more unhinged. It was a really cool cover, even if Schwarzenbach blew the whole thing off afterwards by sarcastically claiming he didn't care about the lyrics.

While not everyone gathered knew that tune, they all sure knew the words to Jawbreaker's "Chemistry." Even without drums â??n' bass, that song still slays. While Schwarzenbach seems to be pretty over Jawbreaker, he still delivered the Dear You cut with plenty of bite.

Then he launched into a cover of Third Eye Blind's "How's It Going To Be," because anarchy.

After working in a few stories about his impending retirement from music ("We're going to burn whatever merch you don't buy after the show"), Schwarzenbach went out, curiously, with another cover: the Lemonheads' "My Drug Buddy." It was another solid interpretation, but given how brief the set turned out to be, it would have been nice to hear more originals. As is, the show turned out to more of a casual hangout, with Schwarzenbach holding court.

Setlist
Turn Away
O Deadly Death
In America
Nothing Man (Bruce Springsteen)
Chemistry
How's It Going To Be (Third Eye Blind)
My Drug Buddy (Lemonheads)

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Torche - HarmonicraftJawbox - NoveltyVarious - Guided By Voices Tribute [7-inch]Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - The Hellcat Years [digital]Moss Icon - Complete DiscographyOffice of Future Plans - Office of Future PlansEgg Hunt - Egg HuntBaroness - Yellow & GreenSleep - Dopesmoker [reissue]Sleater-Kinney - Call the Doctor

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
EchosMyron (July 10, 2013)

Sounds awesome.

wolfparty (July 10, 2013)

kind of wish i went this now seeing as it was just some old guy goofing off, rather than some old guy going through the motions and playing the "classic" back catalog.

thenewpope (July 9, 2013)

I really hope this was a free show.
also, I'm gonna have a hard time listening to Jawbreaker for a while after seeing a fucking Third Eye Blind song in the set list.

johnlocke (July 9, 2013)

glad I skipped this. Sounds awful

eatbicycles (July 9, 2013)

He always slayed on guitar, but now he's on other fucking planets -- at the forgetters show I saw in the spring, he was "incendiary." I would love to hear that Nothing Man cover.

BarleyPat (July 9, 2013)

Good review, but that sounds horrible. What a waste of time.

Babrook (July 9, 2013)

not punk

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go