Brand New / Fairweather / Pretty Girls Make Graves

Brand New/Fairweather/Pretty Girls Make Graves: live in Iowa Citylive in Iowa City (2002)
Triple Crown Records

Reviewer Rating: 5

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

After October 26th, Brand New has officially become back-of-my-car worthy. What does mean, you ask? It means that out of the precious window space the back of my car has for stickers, Brand New has made the cut. This is not an easy task. Every sticker on the back of my car has earned it's way .

After October 26th, Brand New has officially become back-of-my-car worthy.

What does mean, you ask? It means that out of the precious window space the back of my car has for stickers, Brand New has made the cut. This is not an easy task. Every sticker on the back of my car has earned it's way there. Dues have definitely been paid for each of those bands to turn my car into a walking billboard for them. And I am proud to let all traffic behind me know that Brand New fucking rocks my socks off.

But first, the opening bands.

I arrived just as local power-pop band Lucy Star's set was winding down. From what I heard as I tried to deal with the guestlist snafu [which I always seem to be involved in at every show], they sounded pretty tight. Fans of Superdrag and Fountains Of Wayne take note.

Next up was last minute addition to the bill Pretty Girls Make Graves. The band had just been added the morning of the show, due to their show in Omaha falling through. I [and a few others] welcomed them with open arms, while the majority of the crowd [covered in Hurley, Volcom, and Atticus shirts] acted like jackasses, moshing pointlessly [and driving me to the point of really being mean to some of them in their so called "pit"]. For future reference, if a big tall fat guy such as myself tells your idiot ass to stop bumping into him, stop. Otherwise be prepared for numerous punches to the back whenever your dumb ass comes flying my way. Anyway, PGMG rocked the crowd senseless [those who were listening, anyway], opening with "Speakers Push The Air" and blasting through a quick 6 or 7 song set that contained oldies like "Modern Day Emma Goldman" as well as two new songs [both of whose names escape me]. They made due without their drummer's sampler, and simply resorted to what they do best - blasting out the emotional punk rock with scorching female vocals as best as they could. All in all, Pretty Girls Make Graves got 2 big thumbs up from me, and they also got my hard earned cash, as I picked up their full-length CD as well as a bitchin' velcro PGMG wallet. Killer!

Moving on, we had the Virginian quintet known as Fairweather. I was bored the last time I saw them [during Krazyfest 4], but their sound was much, much better [and more original!] this time around. I believe they played all of their Alaska EP [or at least 3 songs off it], as well as a smattering of old material off "If They Move, Kill Them." Whenever a new song was played, my ears perked up to the heavier, more intense Fairweather. Whenever an old song was played, I zoned them out and focused instead on blocking the increasingly-annoying 15 year old moshers. Once Fairweather retires their old material to the Saves-The-Day-copycats graveyard, they'll get more of my attention. Until then, I'll always be split 50/50.

And now, the moment of truth! Brand New took the stage, and the place got instantaneously more crowded. Frontman Jesse took the stage and began strumming "Mix Tape," and as he built to the song's crescendo, the rest of the band took the tiny stage and the crowd surged forward. For the next 40 minutes, we were all in the palm of Brand New's hand, as they blasted through most every song on their debut CD "Your Favorite Weapon", and they even played "Moshi Moshi" off their split with Safety In Numbers. With each song the crowd became more intense, and the band more overwhelmed by the massive outpouring of support.

About halfway through the band's set, people started climbing onto the stage, simply to avoid the almost out of control crowd. Within another song, the crowd onstage had doubled to roughly 30 people [for those who have never been to Gabe's Oasis, 30 people + a band + equipment = a really fucking crowded stage]. As the band's sound grew sloppier [they couldn't even see each other on stage], the audience's singing along grew tighter and tighter, and the antics in the crowd grew stranger.

Along the top of Gabe's Oasis are a bunch of steel girders to reinforce the roof. The ceiling is low, however, so these can theoretically be reached if one was so inclined. Well, a lot of people felt so inclined, and began to swing monkey bars style across the entire venue, as well as hang themselves upside down by their feet and other crazy shenanigans. I merely just stood back and uttered "Holy Shit" repeatedly as I watched dozens of kids take over Brand New's stage, and handfuls more climb the ceilings in order to sing into the mics. This show was insane.

The band finally slowed down with a revised version of "Soco Amaretto Lime," and the crowd calmed. I had my pseudo-romantic moment of the night with the lady I was with [Dudes and dudettes, she put my arms around her waist! It was sweet.], and belted "Just jealous cause we're young and in love!" over and over again with reckless abandon. This show was reaching a breaking point.

That point was reached 2 songs later with the set closer "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad." Jesse and Vin just gave up playing about halfway through [they had already given up singing during the song prior ("Logan to Government Center")] and began to scale the scaffolding on the ceiling as well, leaving the band without any guitars. Did it matter? Not one bit. The talented rhythm duo of Garrett and Brian held down the proverbial fort, as the hundreds of kids in the crowd finished the song for them. After all band members were returned to the stage, they said a gracious goodnight by stating "Seriously, guys, this is the best show we've ever played. Thank you so much."

To be completely honest, I can't remember the last time I had as much fun during a band's set. Brand New proved themselves to me once more, and they again make me wonder why some bigger label hasn't snatched them up - they are the real thing.

Oh yeah, the Movielife "headlined" this show, but no one stuck around. The whole place cleared after Brand New played, the Movielife had to mop up the leftovers. Brand New were the real headliners, and they will continue to be for some time, I believe.


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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.
Anonymous (May 8, 2003)

killer. i wish i could've been there to see pgmg! did they play by the throat? man, whoever went to that show, i envy you.

Anonymous (November 8, 2002)

What a great show. All awesome bands, except that Lucy Star, they were only decent. Best show of my life. I was one of the people to sick around for The Movielife and I was not dissopointed. With much of the same energy that Brand New had brought, The Movielife continued. Their set was great, playing many of the new songs. Brand New even came out to rock out with them. And on the last song Brand New's drummer played instead of the Movielife drummer. It was an excellent show, I even go the set list.

Anonymous (November 8, 2002)

I was there, and it was truly awesome. He doesn't overexagerate, that was wild.

Anonymous (November 5, 2002)

the movielifes new record is harder and faster then that last EP they did(and maybe the best stuff the band has ever done).. so if you liked them before, but hated the EP, check out the new LP when it hits stores in Feb.
Also, if youre gonna jump on the brandnew band wagon, hurry the fuck up. i used to go see these guys play like 2 years ago when they had a demo out. this is only like their, what.. fifteenth thousanth tour?? christ. next you guys are gonna tell me you just saw this band called blink182 you had never heard of before.

Anonymous (November 5, 2002)

all those bands suck. this band is better http://www28.brinkster.com/boxofficesmash/db/new_page_1.htm

crazyjeb (November 4, 2002)

"It's all rock, there is no category." huh?


timis (November 3, 2002)

i agree 100% with that H2O reference...maybe the movielife can change their name to CO2...ok...that was bad humor, i will shut up now

Anonymous (November 2, 2002)

Brand New & The Movielife both rock!
It's all just music, I don't see why all you people get into arguments about what kind of rock it is "punk" "emo" whatever. who gives a shit, its all music, it's all rock, there is no category. Does it matter if someone likes Taking Back Sunday or The Movie Life, just because you don't like one of these bands, doesnt give you the right to criticize anyone, all you little kids need to grow up and realize its just music, no bands are posers, if anything we are the posers, we're not the ones on the stage so until you are selling out shows, keep your mouth shut and stop being babies. thanks, it's just ridiculus.

maverick (November 1, 2002)

Oh, I forgot to mention:
if anyone has a video of this show, I will pay just about anything for a copy. Drop me a line.


Anonymous (November 1, 2002)

yay! fairweather. that show i wish i went to that show. and pretty girls make graves rock

Anonymous (October 31, 2002)

The Movielife are soooo overrated. They were tolerable a while back, but now that singer trys to act like Toby from H2O a little too much on stage.


johnnydanger (October 31, 2002)

The Movielife is still awesome. They had their wannabe New Found Glory moment and it's out of their system. The new shit is rockin once again

Anonymous (October 30, 2002)

You guys are all missing the point: She put his hands around her waist as they sang "You're just jealous 'cuz we're young and in love...!" Way to go Scott, you animal!

Anonymous (October 30, 2002)

you bought a band wallet? ummmmm....you are also dumb, on top of being fat and tall.

Anonymous (October 30, 2002)

mon chi chi

Anonymous (October 30, 2002)

shit i've never heard brand new but im sure it they sound like saves the day or student rick or some bullshit. movielife used to be cool before they started sucking. 'the movielife has a gambling problem' killed me. 'this time next year' was at least a little more original and a little bit more 'punk'. another band that signed to drive-thru bites the dust

waste_elite (October 30, 2002)

...they both suck

WussEmoRock (October 29, 2002)

Good review, sounds like a good show, and I agree, I would have probably checked out the movielife, BUT, I wouldn't have stayed the entire set. They are boring in my opinion. So are the openers though, brand new fucking rocks on the other hand!


Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

scott you are a big faggot for not mentioning the Movielife. I love brand new and fairweather, but THE MOVIELIFE. last time Movielife came to Philly was warped they made a bigger impact on the DTS than TSL and they are from Philly, so fuck off man



johnnydanger (October 29, 2002)

Reviewer: These kids in Atticus shirts are such posers

Me: Hmm, I saw Jesse from your precious Brand New wearing a Atticus shirt

Reviewer: Yeah I'm punker than you and i wore a tight emo shirt to the show and you wore a shirt of ::gasp:: a brand that endorses many of the nations top "poser emo" bands, so i'm better than you

Me: But I wear Atticus shirts and I'm not a poser. Like seriously. Not just saying that.

Reviewer: stupid 15 year olds on monkey bars

maverick (October 29, 2002)

Naw, I passed on the Damned tour - none of the bands really piqued my interest.


Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

ah i can't wait for brand new/the movielife/etc to come here. should be a good show from both bands.

Eddie (October 29, 2002)

Man, I wish I could have gone to this show. I don't get to make it up to Iowa City very often, since I live closer to Des Moines. By the way, Scott, did you make it to The Damned/Tiger Army/Tsunami Bomb show? I REALLY wanted to see that one.

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

I had to sit through a set my brand new, and the fact that these talentless wastes are worthy for your car window just tells the world that A. You lack style, and B. You like shitty music.

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

THe Movielife is the band Brand New wish they could be

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

actually brand new often say that they are in it just to play songs that are fun. they aren't pretending to be anything other than what they are.

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

I've never heard anyone in Brand New say that they are totally punk, or a rebellious band. I like em, and I'm not underweight, overweight, trying to get laid, or any of the other bullshit categories you guys came up with. These guys are just doing their thing and having fun doing it, so don't shit all over them because they're not punk. Midtown does suck though.

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

Even though it screams Buddyhead, the guy makes some valid points.


Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

I'm sure Brand New was kiler brah. I bet the mosh parts were intense. The fact that Pretty Girls Make Graves had to play underneath all these shit bands makes my head spin. Brand New is just a flash in the pan band who have followed the pop-punk/emo paint by numbers rulebook and will be history in 2 years. (With all your money in hand of course) The kid underneath me is right. I'm no elitist. I don't listen to crust punk or anything but this is sorry excuse for the word "Punk" rock. It's watered down rebellion in it for the $. If you thin Brand New gives a SHIT about musical integrity, you're wrong.

"Seen your video, it's phoney rock and roll...we don' wanna know" The Replacements.

BandAidEmily (October 29, 2002)

Now and forever...I will love Brand New.

Beautiful review, Scott. Fuckin rock.

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

getting from logan to government center sucks. *burp*

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

seriously its fat fucks like you with their corny and cliche pop punk emo moments that make me wanna put you in a body bag. bands like brand new, taking back sunday, movielife and midtown and talentless assclowns. there is nothing complex, challenging or interesting in their music. you might find nothing wrong with that, but then you must pride yourself on mediocrity. your young and in love? isn't this supposed to be punk rock? when did it become so fucking tame? its not like im some liberty spiking old schooler, but you should all concede that punk rock is done and bands like brand new are no different then boy bands catering to over and underweight teenagers who are either unlucky in love or use cheesy music to get laid (as most of the bands do).

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

Scott, you got violent? Wow, I thought you were somewhat of a passive guy.


timis (October 29, 2002)

movielife is junk

timis (October 29, 2002)

I will tell you what, i am not a huge fan of brand new. but i saw them last weekend in grand rapids michigan (that huge show with 9 kickass bands)..anyway, brand new was AMAZING. i was really blown away by them. go see them play.

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

Dude, not cool to trash the Movielife, they work just as hard as brand new

jheisel (October 29, 2002)

i have a question: who is brand new?

moldy (October 29, 2002)

Fuck now i wish i went to this instead of some parties where my girlfriend got wasted by midnight and had to go home, this would have been so much better.

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

i don't know if i could put the movielife over brand new, both bands played amazingly. the stage climbing only got worse during the movielife. they crowd had definatly disipated by the time they hit the stage, but they played as if it was still a packed house. a definate 10.

Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

i saw PGMG at the botanical center in des moines and rocked it. I was and am pissed off that i didnt know PGMG was added to the show, cause i did nothing saturday night cause all my plans fell through, the Hot water music show in ames sold out so my rock was ruined twice.

Fuck you scott.
grumble grumble

chimericalburst (October 29, 2002)

i'm a big brand new fan, but they can't be said to be entirely distant from the "the Saves-The-Day-copycats graveyard." pgmg rocks harder than your grandmother on her rocking chair after nearly-overdosing on speed.


Anonymous (October 29, 2002)

I actually was at this show as well. It was seriously one of the most insane things I've ever been a part of. It just kept getting more and more intense and then "Logan" just broke it and "Jude Law.." was utter mayhem. The guys seemed like they were having the time of their lives up there and it was just how a rock show should be. I too noticed that everyone and their mom left after Brand New was done. I was one of them. There really was little sense in sticking around to see the Movielife because there was no way they could have matched up to Brand New's performance. Maybe the only band that I've seen live that could have followed up that performance with something as equally as good is Boy Sets Fire. But that's a totally different style of music and everything. Basically Brand New was amazing. I am now in the process of kicking my ass for not seeing them the last time they came around with Taking Back Sunday.

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