I drove down for the show with a friend on Saturday morning for the big DTR Invasion Tour in Seattle. It was the closest stop to me on the tour, as Drive Thru has no distribution in Canada, so I paid my 15 bucks American and went to the show. I ended up getting Taco Bell before the show, so basically regardless of the bands I was going to be in a good mood the entire night.
I sat in a diner across from the Showbox, as 1200 kids wrapped around 1st Avenue in Seattle. It was quite a site to see and I got asked by a number of people what was going on. 'Five bands you've never heard of are playing". Adam from Home Grown walked right by me and I said something like 'Adam take a seat dude" but he had more important things to do than talk to a fan and seemingly avoided me on the way back to his bus.
I had to get tickets at will call, so I got in at the end of the Early November set. Most of the crowd was 13 and 14 year old truckerhat girls, with Starting Line shirts that had been "de-constructed", so most of the people shouting the words back at Ace were 16-19 year old guys. The band surprised me how far they have come and how much they have improved since last summer (when they perform ENAS on the DTR DVD). They closed the set with "All We Ever Needed" and "Every Night's Another Story". The bass player in this group was all over the stage and alot of fun to watch. Decent set.
Senses Fail came out next. They came out pretty high energy, and Dan (the drummer) was rockin' out all set. I don't recall the first song, but immediately following they went right into 'Free Fall without a Parachute", "Steven", "My Bloody Romance" and then finished off with 187. Buddy was screaming in alot of the choruses and bridges. Yet, it wasn't the "Finch" screaming that leaves you in awe, it was really bad screaming that was muffled because he couldn't hold the mic properly, so it was just like hearing static. An OK set all in all. Allister is next
Allister hit the stage in ties and plaid shirts with 'Radio Player'. Everyone gives Allister so much crap for being the worst band on Drive-Thru but the set was awesome. Alot of energy throughout the set and the backup vox and harmonies were kick-ass. They went into "Scratch" "Overrated" "Moper" (off of DEAG) and closed the set with, of course, "Somewhere on Fullerton". These guys surprised me with how catchy they are, I wasn't a big Allister fan going in, but I came out as one.
Home Grown came on at about 8:25 with "Tomorrow". This band writes pop punk songs that just aren't very poppy. "Give It Up" was the best song in their set without question, and the kids who have the DVD were lucky enough to get a live version of it. Darren sounded sweet on the drums, but it was a predictable set finishing with "Kiss Me, Diss Me". I would much rather have seen Allister as the semi-headliner. Then again, I'm probably just bitter because Adam ignored me before the show. Either way, I didn't go in a Home Grown fan and didn't come out as one.
Prior to The Starting Line taking the stage, all the previous bands' amps were taken off and a huge backdrop was let down. Covering their amps was a map of Europe and North America with stars covering all the cities they've played. Chariots of Fire played over the loudspeaker and the boys added an electric line to it. They then dove into 'Hello Houston" with an enthusiastic crowd jumping all over the floor. They launched through songs like 'Given the Chance', 'Three's a Charm' (awesome), "Leaving", "Saddest Girl Story", "Left Coast Envy" and then went into an acoustic track off of the upcoming EP, the title track 'Make Yourself At Home'. I got ahold of this CD about 3 months ago, and I'm not really impressed with this track or "The Night Life" which was played in the encore. The best track off of the EP is "Playing Favourites" but it wasn't played . They played 2 new tracks entitled 'Surprise, Surprise" and "Classical Jazz". They finished off the set with the 3 best songs of the night in my mind, "Up and Go", "A Goodnight's Sleep" and "The Best Of Me". After about 25 seconds offstage, they came back for 'The Night Life" and then finished with "This Ride". Kenny's vocals were amazing all night, but the sound mixing was poor on the bass and lead guitars and took away from the set. I was a little disappointed not to hear "Greg's Last Day" but I've seen it performed twice before so I'll get over it.
Decent show all in all, worth the drive, and I got to give out my own demo to Allister, Homegrown and TSL after the show which was rad.