Punknews.org

Q and Not U / Red Eyed Legends / French Toast

Q and Not U / Red Eyed Legends / French Toast: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2003)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


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

I was really hyped for this show. I've been going to a lot of shows recently, and with each one I'm a little more jaded and a little less excited, but this one was different. Q And Not U are my third favorite band, and I'm pretty thrilled anytime I get to see them. The three of them always put on a .


I was really hyped for this show. I've been going to a lot of shows recently, and with each one I'm a little more jaded and a little less excited, but this one was different. Q And Not U are my third favorite band, and I'm pretty thrilled anytime I get to see them. The three of them always put on a great show, whether they are playing to ten or two-hundred people. Tonight was more towards the latter, filling the Fireside pretty much to capacity. I'm not sure if it sold out, but I wouldn't be surprised. So anyways, on to the show.

First up were The Feud, whose CD I probably would have bought after the show had I not spent it all on Q merch. They were somewhat like a poor man's QANU, mixed with a bit of Appleseed Cast and The React Factor (bonus points if you know who they are), but without any vocals. They still had some really neat beats though, and some hard-rockin' driving guitar parts. But, as everyone knows, for an instrumental band to succeed, they have to be really good. And as opposed to bands which are just fine how they are without vocals (see Hella and Dakota/Dakota), these guys could have definitely used some vocals to spice it up and make the long breakdowns in their songs seem less repetitive and more interesting. But as I said, I would have bought their CD, and I'd still recommend them to most people if you get the chance to see them.

Next up were French Toast, fellow Dischordians of QANU, comprised of James Canty (Make Up, Nation Of Ulysses) and Jerry Busher (Fidelity Jones, All Scars). Sadly, they ended up being a bit disappointing, especially knowing their intimidating pedigree. The band is a blend of guitar, drums, keyboard, samplers and vocals, which they switch up pretty much every song, sharing duties on everything. This makes for a lot of variety, but the lack of a third member to provide a fuller sound leaves the songs sounding a bit empty, even with James' haunting vocals cascading over the crowd. Their sound was also really badly mixed, something which has gotten better at the Fireside for the most part. I guess they were one of the unlucky ones. I don't mean to get too down on them though, because they are both obviously great musicians, and play their parts well throughout, whatever instrument they're on. It just didn't come together in the end like i'd expect it to, and wanted it to. I would definitely like to see them again in a year or so though, mixed well, so I could see how they've refined their sound. They were far from a total loss.

By this point in the show I was getting quite a bit antsy for QANU, and was really hoping for a good band to tide me over. Chris from QANU had told me earlier in the show that he was excited to see The Red Eyed Legends, because they are ex- Circus Lupis, Monorchid and Skull Patrol, great D.C. punk bands, relocated to Chicago. But man oh man, these guys sucked it. Now, I'm not one to protest or condone substance abuse, but most of these guys were obviously drunk, and two of them looked hopped up on something or other. The singer was obviously trashed (it was his birthday, go figure), and could hardly sing into the mic for more than a couple seconds without leaning away, mid-sentence, so all of the vocals were either too quiet or doppled in and out constantly. The other members of the band weren't much better. The bassist kept on smiling goofily after messing up, and the other guitarist almost fell off of the stage. The drummer was the only halfway competent one. There were one or two songs which I enjoyed, because they were fast enough to allow for a minimum of screw-ups and almost felt like true D.C. punk, but overall their set droned on forever. Now, maybe I grossly misinterpreted their drunkenness, maybe they were just rocking out in a very odd way or maybe that's their thing, but most likely this was just one of those times when a band is way too, for lack of a better term, fucked up to perform.

By the time the *cough* Legends were done, I was looking forward to Q And Not U more than ever before in my life. The opening bands were, overall, kinda crap, and I longed for the soothing fusion of Chris, Harris and John. They had cancelled their show with Denali about two months before this show because John broke his foot playing hockey, so I was really happy that they had decided to still play Chicago on this new tour. And after seeing their set, I knew that every second spent waiting for them was worth it, tenfold. They put on one of the best sets I have ever seen, anywhere. I've been to probably two-hundred shows, and their set alone put this show in my top 5, ever. They were stunning. They were spectacular. Suffice to say, they rocked me like a hurricane. Like ten typhoons, even. I thought that they were great when I saw them last September, but they had twice as much energy this time around. Chris didn't stop moving for a second, catapulting himself off the walls and shaking his ass all over the stage. I don't think he looked at his guitar once in the entire set. And when he played bass it flowed out just as naturally. His voice has gotten so strong and dynamic, it's amazing to hear. Between songs he'd yell out a couple of words over and over with a beautiful almost-whining wail that I can't begin to describe or emulate, and that I've never heard before. During the songs he blasted through every word and intonation with passion and decisiveness, opening the evening by spelling out S-O-F, T-P-Y, R-A-M, I-D-S, E-V-A, P-O-R, A-T-E in perfect rhythm, and closing it with a ten-minute rousing anti-war spoken word/rap/ballad with some of the most poignant lyricism i've heard on the topic in a while ("i'm not a machine, i'm not a machine, my heart pumps blood, not gasoline"). Harris looks a lot less middle-aged since he's shaved his head and grown it out, but looks suitably mature and experienced manipulating the keyboard, guitar, recorder and dustpan. He's a master of whatever instrument he holds in his hands, and obviously has fun while he does it. When he sings with Chris it compliments him perfectly, while the songs where he sings lead demonstrate that he could be the lead singer of any band around. He experiments as much as anyone else in the band, while every note and sound has it's place. That's something that I think defines this band. Even though their music can feel improvised and malleable, it never feels out of place. Every single sound or noise that they produce has a place, and makes you feel like the song wouldn't be the same without it. John is a fantastic drummer, and I didn't hear a hint of hesitation from his post-broken foot. He is incredibly tight, from the faster more punk stuff to the stuttering disco beats to the slower subtle mellow rhythms that permeate the downtime in some of their songs. Sometimes he'll play the drums with maracas, giving a salsa flavor that fits so well into what they do. I usually hate to put music in genres, but I think that indie-dance would be very appropriate here, with a definite dub influence. Another one of the things that made their set so great was their song choice. Last time I saw them they played songs almost exclusively off their new record, Different Damage, which wasn't even released then, slightly alienating the crowd. They also told me in an interview then that they were working on relearning their older stuff so that they could play it whenever. Well, they did, and they did.

They opened with "Soft Pyramids" and "So Many Animal Calls", straight off of their new CD, and also played "Air Conditions", "Black Plastic Bag", "Meet Me In The Pocket", "This Are Flashes", "Everybody Ruins", "When The Line Goes Down", "Recreation Myth", "A Line In The Sand", "Fever Sleeves", and "Hooray For Humans", in no particular order. It was a really good mix of new and old, and was significantly longer than the 35-minute set that they played last time they were here. They also played the war song which I mentioned earlier, which doesn't have a title yet. And I didn't even mention that they did an encore, which is virtually unheard of at the Fireside.

So, all in all, Q And Not U more than made up for the sub-par opening bands, and put on one of the best shows i've ever seen. If you like them and you like their music, don't hesitate to go see them. For my money, they're the best live band that's still together.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Mars Volta - De-Loused In The Comatorium

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 14, 2003)

rsa,
apologies accepted across the board. i'd be happy to meet you down the line and even to slap a gratis copy of our newly-recorderd upcoming soon to be released ep into your wanting-to-hear new-music hands. funny is what i try to be. all the time.
no hard feelings.
jason
ps. you probably already knew that unicorns are way cooler than rainbows anyways.

rocksolidaudio (August 12, 2003)

thanks for commenting. i apologize for making assumptions, but i did say that "maybe I grossly misinterpreted their drunkenness", which apparently i did. i'm glad to hear that some issues like the singing away from the mic are being worked on, and i look forward to hearing a tighter sound from you guys in the future. i was really convinced that you guys were drunk, or something, and that it contributed to a sub-par performance, that's the reason that i brought it up. and sorry about getting my facts wrong, i was just going off of what chris (qanu) explained to me. thanks for the criticism of my criticism, hopefully we can meet up someday at a show of yours and chat more in person, you seem like a funny guy.

Anonymous (August 8, 2003)

Dear RSA,
No person ever likes to read a bad review of their work but it does happen. I've read a few in my time, but I've never felt it necessary to respond to said reviews. This time I however want to say a little something.
For starters, our band Red-Eyed Legends was not in anyway "fucked up" on the evening in question. There were a couple of beers consumed by us, yes
but certainly not to the point of stumbling incompetency. Steve the "nearly falling off the stage" guitarist was also not "hopped up". He simply likes to move around excessively while on stage. It's just part of his thing. Chris the "obviously trashed" singer who, for the record was in Skull Kontroll, not Skull Patrol, and Circus Lupus with three u's and only the one i,
is working on his leaning away from the mic issues. He's in a new position playing guitar as well as his more practiced job of singing. He's also the only one that relocated to Chicgao. The rest of us have been here for a long while. Paul "the only competent one" and drummer does a fine job I agree. As for me, Jason the bassist, I didn't realize smiles were reviewable. I'm sorry I have a goofy one. I'll be practicing the rest of the day to achieve a new and wondrous smile. As for my mess-ups. I don't smile becuse I'm messing up. I smile because I'm playing like a big boy. I tend to grimace when I mess up. I'm not void of mess-ups either. I can catalog them for you some time if you want. I know where and when they happen.
Anyway, I don't intend for this to be a nasty and hurtful criticism of criticism, but when someone is spouting "obvious" fucked-up-edness that didn't actually exist it becomes something that should be answered to.
So, in closing, work on your facts as well as your manner of collecting them. You could have talked to any one of us and found out exactly how not fucked up we were. We don't bite and we love to meet new people. Even ones that didn't care for our music. It's nice to hear critiques the same night
because then we can work things out.

ps. The new Mars Volta record is more like a magical unicorn with beautiful garlands and linens of gold and silver draped majestically around it's muscular neck. Oh and it has piercing eyes too. Rainbows to blind people...
time to update to Cliche-Finder vol.4.0
my man.

Anonymous (August 6, 2003)

So I'm a little late with with this comment, but I just stumbled on to this "review" while googling Red Eyed Legends. I was at that show and totally bored with Q and not U, which is not the point I want to make, so...You are so absolutely wrong about the Red Eyed Legends altered state-on which you based your whole review. Fine, you didn't like their set, you're entitled to your opinion. But what is this bullshit speculation about them being too fucked up to play! I thought a review was supposed to be about the music. Did you talk to any of them before or after their set? Was Chris Thomson puking off the side of the stage, was the "obviously hopped up" guitarist playing with a needle sticking out of his arm, or maybe you saw the bassist with the "goofy smile" pulling bong hits in between songs? I doubt it,'cause it didn't happen. Get your facts straight before you start spreading rumors about a band being "way too fucked up to play". By the way what the hell is a "true' D.C. punk band anyway?

rocksolidaudio (June 17, 2003)

you sound like a reasonably intelligent person, so do yourself a favor and establish a reasonably intelligent arguement. you say that their performance and lyricism were less than confident. if this is so, then why would the crowd be cheering for an encore? and please explain how they were begging for more applause and praise and "compliment grubbing." you keep on mentioning that they have no class. so what would the classy thing to do be when the crowd is cheering for you, like they were that night for q and not u? and your description of their music and comparison to weezer is incredibly unfounded and simply wrong, if you know anything about music. i'm starting to question if you were at the same show as i and/or if you are thinking of a different band. i like weezer, but q and not u represent a totally different faction of music, and have vastly different ideals and ideas behind their actions and their music. if you stepped out of the bar for a second (i still don't know what that comment was supposed to mean) and listened up, you would see that they are not angry at their world, but angry at the things going on in the world, and i believe, rightfully so. if you disagree with their politics, that is an entirely seperate issue and a good reason not to support them, but if you agree then you should be happy that we have the freedom to sing about what we want where we want. address the issues people questioned you about, and support your comments, otherwise no one will ever take you seriously.

Anonymous (June 17, 2003)

the point is that q and not u is pathetic and has no class. if you were at the show you could've seen how pedantic and overplayed their encore was. it was a pathetic pandering to the crowd for affection. you don't need to beg an audience who is already there to see you for more applause and praise. that kind of compliment grubbing is ironically transparent and shows a lack of maturity and confidence in the musicians which was duly deserved given their less than confident musical performance and lyricism. if you like sophomore year, nobody likes me, nerd in the garage, weezer wannabe, emotionless, whiney, angry-at-the world, confused, incomplete, inchoate and angstful bands, you should definitely see Q and Not U.

evildeadalive (June 17, 2003)

What the hell do Q and not U sound like?

And encores are fine as long as they are not planned. Answer everybodys fucking question anti encore boy. Why can't encores be played at the fireside?

Anonymous (June 16, 2003)

This guy is tripping because I see lots of encores at the fireside. This wasn't anything to get all fussy about either. Q and not U was great, but the rest of the show was lacking.

Anonymous (June 16, 2003)

Why the fuck can't you do encores that the Fireside? Encores should be able to be done anywhere and whenever appropriate.
You guys are lame.

dignin (June 15, 2003)

Is someone gonna post a d-plan show? I just saw them las night and it was wonderful.

Anonymous (June 14, 2003)

The way I see it is that all these peoplw who go to the Firside Bowl have the attitude of "encores are not punk" I am sure not everyone is this way, but damn! I have been dying to check out some shows there for years becuase of all the hype it gets! But if this is how the crowd is I may as well stay in Denver and go to all the "my mohawk is bigger than yours" shows! At least a lot of the shows I have been to out here are this way....... Anyone from Denver who agrees/disagrees? Let me know........

Anonymous (June 14, 2003)

Can someone clue me in on the whole "not doing encores at Fireside" thing. I don't get it.

-sickboi

Anonymous (June 13, 2003)

My barbers sisters next door neighbor let me look inside the bar once!

Anonymous (June 12, 2003)

"I am informed. It is a given that q and not U has no musical value, and furthermore they have no class. I have seen more shows at the fireside than you will ever see. Furthermore, an informal poll of many friends (including 4 employees of the fireside) has solidified my opinion that any band who plays an encore at the fireside has no class. The audience, continually cheering, obviously was influenced by the band's lack of class and had forgotten themselves and where they were and therefore assumed that their continued cheering would result in an encore. Any band with a semblance of self respect [i.e. one that does not write very timely rap songs about political issues] would not have played an encore.
I bet you've never even been into the bar at the fireside, and I'm not sure you would even want to enter if you could."

You suck. I know the Fireside is special to alot of people but it is also just another venue. It's not different than any other and an encore there (especially when it's deserved) is no less appropriate than any encore anywhere, ever. Fuck.

Anonymous (June 12, 2003)

who are these bands?

Anonymous (June 12, 2003)

who are these bands?

fallingtopieces (June 12, 2003)

on a kind of related note, i just saw dismemberment plan this weekend in SF, they were fucking awesome. if any of you have the chance to catch them on their final tour DO IT, you wont be dissappointed.

Anonymous (June 11, 2003)

Class? what..?

Anonymous (June 11, 2003)

i dont understand what going into the bar has to do with anything he said.. and i see nothing wrong with doing encores at the fireside. sure its uncommon, but just cause they do one doesnt make them any less of a band..

Anonymous (June 11, 2003)

that guy is a moron.

he sounds like some clueless fascist, "have ever even been to the bar" hahahaha

Anonymous (June 11, 2003)

Wait wait wait, you all missed the joke... the fireside and class don't really go together at all... at least I'm hoping that guy was joking.

Anonymous (June 11, 2003)

"Doing an encore at the fireside is so fucking lame. Probably the most ironic, pathetic thing a band could do at the fireside is do a fucking encore. Just goes to show how much this band lacks any class-- combine that with an 'anti-war' ballad and you've got yourself one lame band that should never be allowed back." Shouldnt you be over at the radiohead review saying stupid shit? How does playing an encore equal no class? You are an idiot.

dignin(that's applejack)

Anonymous (June 11, 2003)

you don'T play encores at the fireside. where is this wack place. how the fuck is it rude to play an encore at a show. if the crowd is cheering and according to this review it was very much deservingly so, they should definetly play an encore. why wouldn't they. when i play live i play to thank the people watching.

Anonymous (June 10, 2003)

ya can't really.. give it a perfect score if you didnt even like the opening bands... but whatever..

Anonymous (June 10, 2003)

nice review, lumberjack. :-)

timis (June 10, 2003)

yeah..i was at that kzoo show....it was good...however they did pull that BS with the encore crap rap politcal song which i could have done without......"weapons for sale" blah blah blah

Anonymous (June 10, 2003)

I am informed. It is a given that q and not U has no musical value, and furthermore they have no class. I have seen more shows at the fireside than you will ever see. Furthermore, an informal poll of many friends (including 4 employees of the fireside) has solidified my opinion that any band who plays an encore at the fireside has no class. The audience, continually cheering, obviously was influenced by the band's lack of class and had forgotten themselves and where they were and therefore assumed that their continued cheering would result in an encore. Any band with a semblance of self respect [i.e. one that does not write very timely rap songs about political issues] would not have played an encore.
I bet you've never even been into the bar at the fireside, and I'm not sure you would even want to enter if you could.

Anonymous (June 10, 2003)

Sadly....I missed this show. Looking back, I probably should've just played hooky at work...alas. I'll make sure to hit up a QANU show whenever next possible though. Great review.

Hey you, anti-encore boy. *shakes head in pity and shame.....

rocksolidaudio (June 10, 2003)

so, if you finish up your last song, walk off the stage, and the crowd is cheering as loud as possible and doesn't stop, you don't come back on and play another song? obviously you have never been in a band, or have your definition of class way off. planned encores are definately lame, but bands don't ever plan encores for the fireside. please be better informed before you say negative things about a great band.

Anonymous (June 10, 2003)

Doing an encore at the fireside is so fucking lame. Probably the most ironic, pathetic thing a band could do at the fireside is do a fucking encore. Just goes to show how much this band lacks any class-- combine that with an 'anti-war' ballad and you've got yourself one lame band that should never be allowed back.

Anonymous (June 10, 2003)

boo

Anonymous (June 10, 2003)

Yeah, I'll be at that too. They are definately an odd choice as opener for that show, maybe Ian hooked that shit up.

-sickboi

Anonymous (June 10, 2003)

will do. i'm seeing the black flag show in dc and q and not u is opening.

lackofsleep (June 10, 2003)

I agree completely with everything said about Q And Not U. I saw them in Kalamazoo, MI last week and it was incredible. Definitely one of the most amazing bands I've ever seen live. If theyre coming near you on this tour, do yourself a favor and go!

Anonymous (June 10, 2003)

first

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go