Avail / Hey Mercedes / The Reunion Show

Avail/Hey Mercedes/The Reunion Show: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2002)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 5

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

It's been a while since I've seen a good show in Chicago. Upon leaving the city, I've found some great stuff, but Chicago had been letting me down until Avail came to the Metro. This show was absolutely amazing. I'd seen the Reunion Show and Hey Mercedes live before so I knew what to expect from.

It's been a while since I've seen a good show in Chicago. Upon leaving the city, I've found some great stuff, but Chicago had been letting me down until Avail came to the Metro. This show was absolutely amazing. I'd seen the Reunion Show and Hey Mercedes live before so I knew what to expect from them. The Curse and Avail stood up to the tall expectations I had for the evening. Hands down, Avail is one of the top five live bands I've seen this year.

The Curse from Philadelphia kicked off the night. It was their first time in Chicago and the crowd didn't seem to encourage them all that much. Even without crowd support, the Curse managed to play a good seven-song set. Their songs were loud and fast. The vocalist/shouter seemed a bit uncomfortable on the stage but hopefully after the set ended, people changed their tune towards The Curse.

The Reunion Show played second. The crowd seemed to warm up to this Long Island quartet with their catchy guitars and poppy keyboards. The band's new EP "Kill Your Television" is out now on Victory Records. They played an eight song set featuring the songs "Star Training," "Drop it," "The Art of Nothing," and "Dedication." Overall, The Reunion Show really got the evening started.

Hey Mercedes was the last opener of the night. I can't deny it; they're also on my top five live bands of 2002 list. Eleven songs later, they still had me smiling. The band kicked it off with "St. James St" then plowed right into "The Frowning of a Lifetime." HM also tested out a couple new songs that I believe are entitled "It's Been a Blast," and "Stop." Both songs are great and take HM in a bit more of a rocking direction. The band also pulled out "A-List Actress," "Every Turn," House Shook," "Our Weekend Starts on Wednesday," "Bells," and "Go Blue." Even though the band members weren't all feeling physically up to par, the performance was still stellar. The show could've ended with HM and I would've been happy.

Luckily, the night didn't end there. I hadn't heard much of Avail's music before and wow, have I been missing out. People said "Megan, you're not going to like Avail, they're not your style, it's too hard for you." I was lied to! This band completely blew me away live. I honestly don't know what to say about Avail other than they were amazing. They had more energy than any other band I've ever seen, more intense crowd interaction and a more exceptional performance than I've seen in ages. The band never let up and the sound never faltered. I still can't get over the fact that Tim Barry and Beau Beau spent so much time right in the middle of the crowd. The hour long set of twenty songs turned me from a skeptic into a fan. The first thing I plan on doing with my next paycheck is buying Avail CDs, if you don't have any, you should do the same. And do yourself a favor; go see this band live, as many times as possible, they'll blow you away.


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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.
waste_elite (December 9, 2002)

"I hope you weren't being sarcastic Waste."

sarcasm in it's purest form

FasterInFall (December 9, 2002)

Avail is my second favorite live band ever, second only to Hot Water Music, and its a damn close race.

Anonymous (December 7, 2002)

Avril? I Love her! Ohhhhh... Avail? Nevermind.

Haha, only kidding.

Anonymous (December 6, 2002)

Saw Avail last night in L.A. w/ the Curse, Hey Mercedes and some other emo band that I could care less about.Sorry . Avail was fucking great. No suprise there. Set consisted mainly of songs from Dixie, Over the James and 4 A.M. Was a little surprised at the low turn out, but none the less, they were awesome.
Mr. Kenzington

Anonymous (December 6, 2002)

shut up wuss

WussEmoRock (December 6, 2002)

I hope you weren't being sarcastic Waste.


waste_elite (December 5, 2002)

"And on stage my friend they just take over the show. If you want details the lead singer fans his guitar out over everyone while the drummer stands up once in a while. And the two guitarist fall on the ground tripping over everything still managing to play good."

wow, sounds amazing

maverick (December 5, 2002)

To the man below me:

Funk dat! Get a new DJ!


Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

why is it that every time i read the comments on Punknews.org all I read is a bunch of bitching and moaning, and horrible criticism and just plain stupid comments. Maaaannnn Funk dat.

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

The Reunion Show reminds me of the Hippos if you ask me. But no horns and more poppy stuff.

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

ON the contrary I saw The Reunion Show and not only did they put on one of the best shows Iv'e seen they had more energy than some hardcore acts that I have seen in the past. I dont get how people compare them to weezer. Yes they are power pop like weezer but they are powerful. And on stage my friend they just take over the show. If you want details the lead singer fans his guitar out over everyone while the drummer stands up once in a while. And the two guitarist fall on the ground tripping over everything still managing to play good.

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

The Reunion Show is fucking horrible. I saw them with Recover, Christiansen, and Midtown. They sucked more than Midtown did. That's pretty fucking hard as far as I'm concerned.


TheBouncingSoul (December 4, 2002)

"Hey Mercedes... more like Hey We-Want-To-Braid-es."

wow.....just wow

if they wanted to be braid, wouldn't they just go back to being braid? 3 of the guys from hey mercedes were in braid, jackass

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

Beau is a bouncer in the offseason.

REALPUNX4LIFE (December 4, 2002)

Yeah, I'm gonna say that any member of Avail could kick Matt Sharp's ass with one hand. And that's rocknroll.

Dubar (December 4, 2002)

"You wasted your time at avail"

to the guy that said that: I hate you. That is all.

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)


Hey Mercedes were interesting live, but they suck. Plain and simple. We all know it. It's steriled Braid.

the Reunion Show sound just like every other band you've ever heard...I'd rather shit blood than a) see these guys, b) play with these guys...it was a painful experience.

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

To the guy who went to Rise Above...please tell me everything that happened, I am sick to my stomach with envy.


fallingtopieces (December 4, 2002)

yeah this is a weird tour pairing, but my vote for weirdest tour pairing would go to onelinedrawing on tour with PMFS, FATA and Thursday

Anonymous (December 4, 2002)

Fuck all of this shit....I just saw the Rise Above concert, fucking awesome.

Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

Matt Sharp played across town the same night. You wasted your time at avail.

lou-s (December 3, 2002)

"Hey Mercedes... more like Hey We-Want-To-Braid-es."

pat yourself on the back buddy, you just won the award for being the biggest douchebag on this site

did you really think that was clever? let alone funny? ...hell it didn't even make all that much sense

Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

"Hey Mercedes... more like Hey We-Want-To-Braid-es."
well considering there's at least 1 (i can't remember if it was only 1 or more than that) member of braid IN hey mercedes, i'd say that they're not trying to be them, just holding some of the same elements that were brought to braid as well.

REALPUNX4LIFE (December 3, 2002)

Chicago doesn't have good shows? Fuck, you could've fooled me. I was down there the week before this and saw two amazing shows in two days. I could've seen four amazing shows in three days, but I was running low on cash. Seriously, just pay attention. And the next time Dillinger Four is in your town, don't fuck it up. Idiot.

Edgie (December 3, 2002)

And also buy One Wrench. Their newest one is called Back Porch Stories btw.

All of Avail's shit is absolutely amazing, and I can't wait for em to come to Florida again. I've heard from more than one person that they're one of the best live bands they've ever seen, and they're definately one of the best punk bands out now. Don't miss out!

Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

Avail are the best band I've ever seen live. I'll be at the St. Louis show. They play for an hour? That will be nice. I heard Planes Mistaken for Stars was only going to be on some of the dates toward the end of the tour and The Reunion Show wasn't. Who knows. It's worth a mesily $10 to see Avail alone! If you don't have any Avail CD's, get their new one, Over the James, and Dixie and prepare to have your life changed!

Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

Actually, Kill Your Televison is a full length cd. It rocks ass.

Anonymous (December 3, 2002)

i saw the reunion show at the pontiac grille here in philly a couple months ago. they only had one working mic and they still managed to put on a really impressive set. i have a feeling these guys are gonna be goooood. is anyone gonna review their cd? i wish my friendly neighborhood overpriced mall record store carried something other than the new ja rule cd so i could actually get a feel for this band. shit i am rambling.


timis (December 3, 2002)

PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS is on a hiatus right now...cancelled the rest of the tour or whatever. cant remeber where i read that off hand....maybe delusions of adequency

abileneINlove (December 3, 2002)

Two summers ago I spent a couple months in Florida working at a country club. Upon making friends with one family, I found they indeed were the family of Beau Beau, insisting *nobody* has ever heard of AVAIL.

Wasn't PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS slated for this tour as well? What happened to that?

Hey Mercedes... more like Hey We-Want-To-Braid-es.

CallingLondon (December 3, 2002)

i've heard some of the reunion show. it's pretty good. a far far cry from Edna's Goldfish, who were awesome, but a pretty close cry from the rentals, who are even better than the goldfish as a band. i'm waiting to see what their LP is like.

Dubar (December 3, 2002)

it doesnt matter where avail fits in.. anyone reading this who is like the reviewer and doesnt know if they like avail, GO SEE THEM NOW. If avail comes to your town, and you dont to, its a crime against humanity.

pope_schlomo (December 3, 2002)

Sounds like a nice show to be in but the pairing is strange. Avail is melodicore while Hey Mercedes is emo rock and The Reunion Show is Weezer with keyboards. Again, weird.


maverick (December 3, 2002)

Weirdest tour pairing ever.


kirbypuckett (December 3, 2002)

Sounds like a fun time, but someone I just don't think Avail fit in there...

- Scott
(Come on and do the Mario!)

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