What to do on a sunday night? How about see the Lawrence Arms and None More Black in a nice small venue for $12? sounds good!
To start off with, the venue was moved at the last minute, and it may have been for the better. Although it may not have drawn the same crowd as a Kathedral show, the Zen Lounge was a pretty chillin place. Anyways, on to the bands.
The first band to take the stage was a local band called Handheld. They were pretty good; sounded a bit like Calgary band Downway. They rocked pretty hard and looked like they were really enjoying themselves.
Next up was Asian Man Records representative Colossal. When they first hit the stage, I thought I was in for a ska band when the guitar player brought a trumpet out with him, and seeing as they are on Asian Man, its a justified guess. Oh how wrong I was. They sounded like a new age Police, with a little bit more punk influence and the use of a horn. They shared a similar sound with The Exit. The guitar player was very good, but his vocals were drowned out by the treble filled guitar, and to be honest I felt myself falling asleep by the end of their set.
If there was one thing that could've waken me, it would be the oppurtunity to see the mighty Jason Shevuk of Kid Dynamite rock my ass off with his new band None More Black. They took the stage pretty quickly, and I must say, I was really surprised when he came out on stage. With one of the most gravelly voices in punk rock, he looked like he wasn't even old enough to have a beer after the set. However, that made no difference whatsoever. They got the show started with Ratio of People to Cake and didn't stop rocking for the next half an hour. The only two complaints I had were that there was absolutely no pit for the whole set (aside from about 30 seconds during the closer) and the vocals that make the band so amazing were somewhat dorwned out by the guitars. They tore through the half an hour with such ferocity it was unbelieveable. Songs included (in no order) Drop the Pop, Bizzaro Me, Everyday Balloons, Nods to Nothing, Invisible Suitcases, Ratio of People to Cake, M.A.T.T.H., Ice Cream With the Enemy, and the closer, Dinner's For Suckers. All in all the set was great, and at least got the crowd on their feet for the Lawrence Arms.
Again there was a rather quick set change, and the Lawrence Arms took the stage. Before they started I asked Brendan to play a track of the new record called "On With The Show", and he said it would be a possibility. I didn't think he would remember because he was pretty drunk. They took the stage and tore shit up by opening with Presenting: the Dancing Machine. They seemed to play so many songs that night, and had great stage presence. For their entire set, they all had smiles on their face, and even though they were in a small venue with no more than 200 people who werent very active, you could tell they were loving every minute of it. During the night they played songs from all of their albums. They even surprised me by playing my song. Not before Brendan dedicated it to "the internet pirate" before playing it though. This song was easily the highlight of the night, it has so much energy to it. Other songs they played included Porno and Snuff Films (which they announced as one of their most obscure tracks), What Time is Pensicola Wings of Gold on Anyway, The First Eviction Notice, Brickwall Views, Quincetuple Your Money, Boatless Booze Cruise, Right as Rain, I'll Take Whats in the Box Monty and a handful of songs of the old albums. Oddly they closed the night out with audience requested Abracadaver. It was a little more dull than I expeceted, and it wouldv'e bee nice to hear them play Navigating the Winward Passage, Corpses of Our Motivations, Faintly Falling Ashes or A Toast.
But hey overall, we got two fantastic bands that played two amazing sets for $12; can't go wrong. Great show!