On the night of September 24, 2002 at 6 pm I wasn't sure if I was at a concert or a cult for Midtown. I mean sure it was a pretty good bill overall and seemed well worth the money, but were there any other bands playing that night? Thats what I asked myself looking at my ticket that said the bands playing were Midtown. I shook that off knowing that others were actually going to play also. That was just the beginning though...
I walked into the venue called Tulagis which was actually kind of a cool atmosphere for the most part. No one was even close to playing yet so I stopped by the merch tables. I was in a huge line waiting to buy some stuff for at least 15 minutes. During that time I tried to learn something. I turned around and asked someone if they have ever seen Recover play. After talking to several people I didn't get any decent responses. Some didn't even know who Recover was. All they could conjure up was that I should buy the new Midtown cd. It was like everyone was brainwashed over Midtown. I entered the actual floor where many people were standing. I looked up and saw a huge sign that said "Midtown Saves." My attention though quickly focused on a band called Grace Like Gravity who I have never heard before. I couldn't even find anything on them before the show so I was pretty stoked to hear what they had to offer. They played about six or seven songs that were very energetic power pop songs with some occasional screaming mixed in ala Glasseater. It wasn't that original, but very enjoyable. The only thing they may have needed to really grab me was more energy by the band members, but I am looking forward to more material by these guys.
After a very short break The Reunion Show broke into their set. They were replacing Taking Back Sunday as most of you know, and upon reading that for the first time I was very dissapointed being that TBS put on a spectacular show at Purgatory a while ago. Anyway I had heard one song by The Reunion Show before that night and it was very slow and very boring. Boy was I one too quick to judge because these guys fucking killed. In fact it was just plain insanity as kids were singing along and moshing while the bands sound belted out nerd rock bliss. Not only that but this bands stage preformance was almost equal to a hardcore bands energy. One guy played the keyboard a bit too, but not like the eighty year old woman that taught you how to play the piano. He simply banged on it crazy yet it was played flawless. The bass player who split the singing duties stood over the crowd pointing his guitar towards the front door which was cool. All I can say is this was the biggest suprise of the night to say the least with their set ending with the keyboard/guitar player on the ground playing the guitar ferociously while the keyboard swayed back and forth almost crashing to the ground. Amazing.
At this point there was a chance to catch my breath while Houstons Recover hit the stage. Ahhh Recover the band that I came to see. A band that has caught my intrest with the release of Rodeo and Picasso. For those of you who haven't heard these guys they are a blend of hardcore and pop while maintaining their own sound. They don't sound like Thrice or Thursday they are in fact quite original so when I say they are Hardcore/Pop don't jump to conclusions. They started their set off with a new song off their new ep album called "Recover." The crowd immeadiately responded with fist in the air and some singing along. I stress that part because not too many people really knew or cared about any of these bands besides Midtown. Recovers set consisted of lots of break downs including my favorite on the song "Dialogue From a Film" where the music stops and the bands singers scream "Kill Your Friends!" The set also showcased the bass player frantically swinging his head around and around with his hair all over the place, the guitarist that does the screaming moving around like an idiot, and of course the other guitarist who does the singing, jumping around off the drum set and playing his guitar above his head. Now I understand that a lot of bands jump around, but keep in mind that this guy is the tallest man I have ever seen. It was actually very funny. The drummer also got in the act by spitting a burst of water out of his mouth before a huge breakdown. Little things like that made Recover one of the best live acts I've seen. There was a lot of passion and energy in their music. They played about 3 or 4 songs of their new album and I believe about 4 off Rodeo and Picasso. Their set ended and Dan held his guitar out in the audience to let everyone hit the strings a little bit which was just icing on the cake. Everyone should check these guys out and if you dont like their music go see them anyway because my lord do they put on a show.
Chants of Gabe is God came out of too many twelve year old girls mouths before Midtown came on. My eyes flashed from the right side of the stage where there was a sign that said "You Love Midtown" or on the left side "Midtown Loves You." Now I don't hate Midtown, but I'm not all that crazy about them either. I like their old cd while there new one is very dull. Overall I didn't know what to expect. They came on the stage as screaming filled the air. The center sign that read Midtown Saves came on and they immediately started their first song. I realized after about five songs I had totally forgot the words to most of their songs which kind of took away the fun part. At one point it seemed as if they were going to do a cover for "Stairway to Heaven" but then suddenly broke into their own song. After the seventh song or so some guy in boxing gloves and his underwear stood on the stage. Definitely funny as hell, and I must say that it only made the show a little more interesting especially when he explained his outfit as Midtowns music kicking his ass hence the boxing gloves. Midtown played another song while the dude in his underwear punched himself in the face several times before leaving off the stage. A couple songs later he was in the mosh pit in a bath robe. So between my random rambling I actually did see Midtown play around 16 or 17 songs. Besides not knowing the songs, being crushed between people, feeling like I just joined some kind of group, and hearing teenie boppers telling me all other bands suck besides Midtown, I actually was suprised that they rocked out very nicely. They had tons and tons of energy, and all the band members were really rad people except for Gabe who just dissapeared.
I have to say that this show did not disappoint, and while I didn't expect much I got a little more.
Best Performance: Recover