Sparta / Glassjaw / Hot Water Music / Dredg

Sparta/Glassjaw/Hot Water Music/Dredg: live in Clevelandlive in Cleveland (2003)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4

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

Not a whole lot seems to surprise me anymore in the realm of punk/hardcore/indie/whatever. I go to shows and buy records having a fairly good idea of what to expect and, nine times out of ten, it is exactly that. That's not to say that it's a bad thing, just something I've noticed recently. This .

Not a whole lot seems to surprise me anymore in the realm of punk/hardcore/indie/whatever. I go to shows and buy records having a fairly good idea of what to expect and, nine times out of ten, it is exactly that. That's not to say that it's a bad thing, just something I've noticed recently. This recent show at the Odeon in Cleveland, however, surprised me a couple of times.

When the tour was first announced, I figured Hot Water Music would be headlining either because they've been around the longest or because I'm completely biased (probably the latter). The local newspaper had an article on the show the day before with a picture of Glassjaw stating that they were the headliners. Most people that I had seen the tour in other towns said Sparta were headlining. And while it's a mostly trivial title that I wouldn't normally care about, I figured it would effect each band's stage time. As it turned out, each band played good size and almost equal sets. I didn't want to miss anyone, so I got there early.

After some annoying music over snowboarding footage, Dredg took the stage. Going in, all I knew was what I had read here on punknews.org (I.E. They were Tool meets Radiohead and had a love 'em or hate 'em type of style). Although their mellow music didn't hit me right away, when it did I was very impressed. A very interesting, ethereal guitar sound combined with some excellent drum work. The singer's voice has a definite Thom Yorke quality and got a little trying by the end, but worked for the most part. As mellow openers, they didn't have the crowd exactly "moving", but received a good response nonetheless. I'd check 'em out again if they come back.

I eagerly awaited Hot Water Music who were up next. They opened with "A Flight and a Crash", just like the last time they played here. This time, though, fans were treated to a much tighter (and maybe slightly more sober) overall set. They ripped through a lot of material off of Caution and A Flight..., adding favorites like "Turnstile" and "Manual" played with the classic HWM energy. Although the band was excellent, my one quarrel comes with their sped up version of "Free Radio Gainesville" that sounded too sloppy at that speed. Overall, though, it was an excellent set.

I had also been awaiting Glassjaw. A love-hate relationship, I had seen them a year or two ago with the Movielife and hated them. Since then, after much convincing from friends, I picked up Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence. I really enjoy it and was looking forward to calling myself stupid when I saw them again and loved them. That time never came, however. Glassjaw came on stage without a word and went right into a song from the new album, Worship and Tribute. Although I haven't heard the new album, I had heard good things about it, and was excited to hear music from it. However, the new songs, much like their set, was immensely disappointing. The guitars were sloppy at best and Daryl, the singer, was off-key a lot. The two songs played from Everything You Ever... (Pretty Lush and Siberian Kiss) were slowed down and devoid of any screaming (which was unfortunately similar to the new songs). In fact, I don't think Daryl showed off his trademark scream once the entire set. The only positive I can pick out from the new songs is that they had the good sense to retain their excellent drummer. A let-down of a set to say the least.

Last up was Sparta who, apparently, have amassed quite a following. Once they started I could see why. Having only heard part of the old EP, I was let down by their studio performance. Their live act, however, really made an impact. The songs were intense and well thought-out. I liked Jim's voice a lot better live then on the stuff that I had heard. Unfortunately, I got sick and had to leave halfway through their set. I picked up Wiretap Scars on the way out and kicked myself for not doing so before. A band that is definitely worthy of their success.


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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 (March 25, 2003)

I went to the show in DC at the 9:30 Club and my friend and I got there early because we were suppose to interview Sparta for Firesideometer.com. When we go there we called the rep and were informed that Jim's grandfather had recently passed away and that they would not be performing. We gave our condolences and said we would do it another time. We were crushed because we were looking forward to seeing them live again. Okay, on with the show. Dredg opened up and they were pretty interesting at first, then all of their stuff started sounding the same and I was getting bored with them. It was not what I had expected. It remineded me of the Cure with a little harder edge. Not my cup of tea.

Hot Water Music came out and delievered a blistering set. It was great and I recommend seeing them live any chance you get.

Glassjaw kicked my ass. It was a pleasure seeing them. They played an extra long set due to the Sparta situation and it was great. I was sad to see the show end.


Anonymous (March 23, 2003)

snocore came to philadelphia last night and glassjaw was headlining this time, not sparta. i had only listened to hot water music and glassjaw before (they were the reason i was there anyway), but i left a big fan of dredg and especially sparta, i just never gave 'em a chance. anyway, the whole show rocked, every band gave it their all and it seemed like everyone was havin a great time.

punkboy_1 (March 21, 2003)

is this coming anywhere near ky? i would love to see hwm and sparta

joeg (March 19, 2003)

hot water music-hmm

Anonymous (March 18, 2003)

I was also surprised to see that article in the scene, but it was pretty well written obviously by a big fan.

Anonymous (March 18, 2003)

i wanted to see daryl have a fucking heart attack and it seemed like he held back a lot. i left a disappointed person.

DontBeSoDigital (March 18, 2003)

Oh yeah, for the screaming issue. I was surprised. But, I think it was a good thing, it was differant and something you wouldn't expect from GJ.

I'm also happy they played Convectuoso at the end.

DontBeSoDigital (March 18, 2003)

I was at this show, and it was a very good show, few notes from me:

I thought Dredg was incredible. Big fan of them, they got a much better reception than I expected them to get. The singer has incredible vocals, I think, and this is just a very, very good band.

Hot Water Music was good too, although, I thought the vocals sucked. I think it was kinda obvious they had a few drinks before they started to play. But, it was good none the less, I'm a little dissapointed that they didn't play "Trusty Chords" though.

I thought Glassjaw was incredible. One of the best live performances I've seen. Seriously. At the beginning, Daryl's vocals were kinda bad, but that's only because of the amount of running and jumping around he was doing.

As for their sloppiness, that's just part of the band itself. I'd see them again in a heartbeat. BUt, we all have differant opinions.

Sparta was pretty good too.

That article in the Friday! Section of the paper was a good one about Glassjaw, I was a bit surprised by that, actually.

And, I liked the little video clips they had. It at least gave you something to look at between bands setting up.

Fun show, this score is for GJ's great performance.

Anonymous (March 18, 2003)

im pretty sure the reason there was no screaming was cause daryl was sick. well at least he was in chicago. he even lost his voice for a second while he was talking. oh well i still think they played a pretty good set although the sound wasnt that great and i think they also said one of their amps was "sick."

Anonymous (March 18, 2003)

i want to see glassjaw but i'd rather them play more off of everything you ever needed to know..... instead of the tribute one. still would of been a good tour to see if it hadn't sold out here

evildeadalive (March 18, 2003)

I sure hope we can get a few more reviews from this tour.

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