This is one of those shows where I was torn on whether or not to go because I love the bands but fucking hate Drive-Thru records kids. They crowd surf (which is great fun unless the kids crowd surfing are kicking while they are in the air and hit you in the face) and they're all fucking fifteen year olds who think they are the most indie kid in the world because they liked NFG before they played on TRL. In the end, the promise of a road trip with my friends and seeing FATA and Finch won out.
Before we all got in the car to leave I was given a camera and paper doll from my mother (I'm in college, but hey its cheaper to live with my parents) She explained that it was Flat Stanley, a character in a children's story who goes on trips. It's a great racket for the writer who has little kids (in this case my six year old cousin) send Stan to people to have his photo taken at neat places. So we grabbed the doll and camera got on our way.
The trip up was uneventful except for me paying for $12.20 in gas with nothing but a bag of dimes and nickels. That was fun! Anyway we got to the show; getting in our ticket lines and will call lines respectively, and moved in with no problems. The show was in Atlanta at the Cotton Club, which is one of my favorite concert halls to see shows. There are two levels, a balcony and a floor so you can always see the band. Once inside we looked over the merch tables and saw some shirts for a band I had never heard of, Salem. I asked their merch guy about them and found out it was the new band of the guitarist from "As Friends Rust," who were really really good. So I was fucking stroked to see Salem. When they came out I was expecting a lot. When they started I had to wonder if I had just watched Thursday cover band. Granted this incarnation of Thursday had a singer who tried to rap at certain points of the songs, but it was all there. The band all looked like they were on autopilot except for the guitarist and drummer who I think are the only holdovers from AFR. Anyway kids maybe these guys will get better but as for right now I have to say I was extremely disappointed. On a side note the fifteen year olds thought Salem was bomb.
After Salem finished Steel Train came up. If you ever thought that Rancid and the fat guitarist from Good Charlotte being friends was a fucked up pairing, then Steel Train and FATA and Finch would blow your mind. Whoever told Drive-Thru records that putting a band that sounds like Jeff Buckley doing Phish covers on a tour like this was a good idea needs to be fired. They came on stage and it got ugly. Kids started throwing shit, booing, talking loudly, and being generally rude. (Their parents wouldn't have approved.) To there credit the lead singer, who looked like he was fifteen, put up with it all and even after being nailed in the head with a pack of cigarettes kept on singing. All in all they deserved better and they deserve to be on a label that knows what audience they should be played to.
Finally came the time I was waiting for, From Autumn to Ashes. To my shock the kids at the show really got into FATA. They ripped through there set playing all my favorites like Take her to the music store, Eulogy for an Angel, and Mercury Rising. They even snuck in a new song and the Cherry Kiss track all the kids are into. From their opening cords the crowd was thrown into frenzy. Little mosh pits bloomed all over the place and I noticed there were two pits. A girls pit and a boy's pit. And let me tell you, every boy that tried to get into the girls pit got the shit kicked out of them and quickly went back to there own little circle to lick their wounds. It warmed my heart.
By this point my girlfriend my friend and I had made our way to the front of the stage. The barrier was up and as finch took the stage we could feel every inch of the people in front of us as they were pressed into the steel. Finch came out to lots of distortion supplied by their guitarist and ripped into New Beginnings. I have to admit Finch is my guilty pleasure. They are the perfect band to listen to when you've had a shitty day and want to scream in the car AND understand the lyrics. (ex. see glassjaw, and yes I know that Finch and Glassjaw are pals and Daryl is on the Finch cd.) Speaking of which it was nice to see Finch play Gray Matter and Project Mayhem, the songs that Darrel is on from the CD. Nate did a great job making up for the absence of GJ's singer. There set was amazing, with lots of energy from everyone on stage. Stand out songs were Gray Matter, Project Mayhem, Three Simple Words, New Kid, and the closer What it is to Burn. My only complaints were the fact that there whole set was maybe 50min long, the stupid fucking crowd surfers, and the fact that Nate couldn't keep his fucking pants up. I know the sagging skater pants are the hot style these days, but at least keep your damn boxers up. I must have seen his milky white ass seventeen times during their set. Other than that they were amazing.
After the show I picked up a FATA shirt and headed outside. I met FATA, who seemed to remember me from when I met them when they were on tour with suicide machines. They were really friendly and took a photo with Flat Stanley my friends and I. Their lead singer is one of the nicest members of any band I've ever met and the rest of the band was just as happy to meet with fans. It's nice to see a band that still cares about the kids. A final show wrap up:
Steel Train: ***
If FATA or Finch comes anywhere near you go see them. Finch will be blowing the Used off the stage every night for the next few weeks.