Just before christmas I saw Drive Thru were coming to the UK, but wasn't really intending to go. No Finch, Rx Bandits, Starting Line or Something Corporate were gonna be there, and the bands headlining weren't exactly top of my playlist. I guess that was out of not hearing enough of them rather than disliking or anything though.
So I decided to go. Bought a ticket and showed up at the Wedgewood Rooms on the night. My girlfriend was doing some promotion stuff for the whole shebang so I said I'd meet her in there, and proceeded to join the longest line since NOFX sung about one.
After getting in and kicking around for a bit, Hidden In Plain View came on. To be honest it sounded a pretty good set, but the crowd weren't really buzzing too much, and we were just kinda standing at the back at that time. I'm not sure if too many knew much about them either considering they're pretty new to Drive Thru, having just the one EP. They felt it too - 'you're a hard audience to please' was said at least once.
Anyhow, they did their bit and left, and we'd already headed to the bar by then, next up was The Early November. This time we went right in the thick of things, and by now the minions were definitely stirring. Cue an excellent set; 'I Want To Hear You Sad' probably got the best reception, but all in all everyone was moshing like a kangaroo on speed (don't try this at home kids) for every song. Joe and Ace then crowd surfed at the end, much to the non-delight of the security guys at the front, and Ace got dropped as he went back but was alright. So they left, with a few bruises, and the show went on.
After another timely trip to the bar, the anticipation in the room grew as Home Grown were onstage next. In fact, I think my girlfriend had enough anticipation for the entire room and then some as she's mental about them. Anyway, they came on and played such stuff as 'Give It Up' and the inaugural 'Barbie Girl' which everyone went insane to, and they generally blew the crowd away with everything else. Which was nice.
Almost episodically we hit the bar again, and this time we came across a couple of the Early November guys, who were signing all sorts of stuff for all sorts or people. Joe came over and chilled with us for a while which was cool, and I caught up with him a bit later. He said he'd been drinking since 2pm - 'it's what you do when you come over here, just get up and get wasted'. I agreed, and we continued to swig drinks like we had gills and a dorsal fin.
Joe staggered off to talk to some of the Home Grown guys, and I returned to the main room. Allister had already started, but really I wasn't paying a lot of attention anyway, and we kinda sat at the back until it was over. When they finished everyone began flocking out, with a few people hanging on to wait for band members and so on. My girlfriend went backstage so I was waited for her, and then we left. The Drive Thru Invasion was over and the world was safe again for now.
So yeah, was good in the end, despite the 'big names' not being there, better than I expected anyway. And if you do go and see them on their travels and notice Joe walking around without a drink in his hand, have a heart and buy him one!