Let's dispense of the pretext - I came to see a rock show. You don't care about how I got there, or what shirt some girl was wearing, or what percentage of moisture on my body was being caused by the humidity. You want to read about the bands, so read about the bands you shall.
First up was a local band called Chasing Link. They were pop-punk. With a violin. And they screamed every once in a while.
Do I really need to say anything more about that?
Moving on, The Fight took the stage for a thirty minute set [after taking a whopping 45 minutes to set their shit up]. While I was pissed at the English blokes for the delay, all was forgiven once I saw singer K8 grace the stage. While I'm still not a fan of their rather-cliche brand of female-fronted punk rock, I am thoroughly enamored with K8. I was tempted to walk up to her outside after the show and offer her a back rub, but I didn't want to creep her out.
But yeah, she's hot, and the band is much better live than on CD. So there ya go.
Fairweather was due up next, but the Fight said from the stage that they couldn't make it - apparently Fairweather's booking agent mixed up their tour itinerary, switching the Rockford and Indianapolis dates, thereby putting the band in the wrong state. Amazingly, the band was able to get to the venue right as the Fight ended, but due to time constraints were only allowed to play 5 songs.
It's a shame, because Fairweather brought the fucking rock for those 5 songs. 3 or 4 of them are off the band's new album, "Lusitania," and I highly recommend picking it up. The band is Saves The Day-lite no longer.
Moving on, No Motiv set their gear up to the increasingly apathetic crowd. I'd say out of the few hundred kids who came out for the show, 99% were there strictly for the Rx Bandits. As No Motiv kicked off their emotional punk rock in 3-to-4 minute bursts, the crowd just stood there, arms folded. Ah, the shitty scene that is Rockford. My apologies to the band, who performed admirably despite no crowd interest. My only complaint was that they didn't play "Stay," the only song I happened to know by them. Here's what they *did* play, however, taken directly from their setlist [so all abbreviations/song title alterations are intact]:
Laid To Rest
With all the opening acts out of the way, the heavily-underage crowd began to surge forward to the base of the stage for the Rx Bandits [who took their sweet ass time getting on stage]. Matt Embree and company finally took up arms at 11PM [which was mighty late, considering the show was supposed to start at 6PM], and the band jumped right into "Who Would've Thought." For the next hour, I [along with many others in the crowd] were hypnotized by the Bandits' excellent stage presence. Nary a moment was not filled with music, as the group laid down some freestyle grooves in between most songs. The "hits" ["Analog Boy" and "What If"] were played, but most every other song got just as much of a singalong reaction if not moreso. The crowd was definitely composed of fans of the band, if nothing else.
After an hour straight of entertaining us, the band left the stage rather prematurely with "Infection," leaving their amps on. I expected an encore, and I think they did too, but the crowd stopped applauding rather quickly and the house lights were turned on, driving all the curfew-violators to their cars like cockroaches to the kitchen cabinets. Had it been any other night, I think the band would have been welcomed back with open arms for a song or two more, but it was already past midnight [and many of us were heading off to Warped Tour in Chicago the next day], so the plug was pulled on the evening's entertainment.
The amount of talent between the 4 bands would probably score this show a perfect 10 in any other city, but Rockford's apathy-induced children dragged the energy down too much for even the Rx Bandits to recover from it.
RX BANDITS' SETLIST
[not in order, and incomplete]
Who Would've Thought (opener)
All The Time
In All Rwanda's Glory