The 'Your Silence = Your Death' tour rolled into Chicago on April 22, 2004. Arriving early, I was expecting the Code to come on first. Unbeknownst to me, Much The Same had been added to the bill at the last minute. I'm sure they're all very nice people, but their brand of pop-punk isn't my favorite thing in the world. Most of the songs hit the dreaded and boring three-minute mark. An interesting thing did happen during their set though. They announced that for $10 you could get a recording of any band's set from the night. Cool!
Finally, they were done and then The Code came on. All I knew about them prior to the show was that they were from Pittsburgh and were on AF records. Not being a fan of Anti-Flag in the least, I was a bit skeptical. They ended being an entertaining band, and I was hooked by the end of the set. They're going places, but still "opening band" material. Case in point: the kids were semi-docile for the majority of the set, but went absolutely ape shit when they covered the Operation Ivy classic "Unity." After buying "Alert Aware Involved" I recognized probably half the album from the set. I liked them.
Ever hear of Against All Authority? Well, they were there too. I'm not a huge fan, but I do enjoy what I've heard in the past. I lost count of how many songs they did, but the set time was approximately 45 minutes. They did an absolutely bitchin version of "Holiday In Cambodia" while replacing Pol Pot with George Bush. Clever. There was a lot of grumbling that they didn't play "Hard as Fuck." Oh well. They still put in a shit load of energy.
The almighty Suicide Machines came on a little bit after 9 to close the show. They had a rather elaborate stage set up with old TVs and VCRs. "Silence" and "Death" were inscribed on two of them, and the other four played montages of 1950s-1960s PSAs about what to do in case of a nuclear attack. Harry Truman even had a speech in there, too. With tension mounting, the screens went blank and then into the Emergency Broadcasting System. The band came out and opened with a scorching version of "SOS." Perhaps realizing that time was of the essence, stage banter was kept to a minimum in the early part of the set. They concentrated heavily on 'Destruction By Definition' and 'A Match…' material, with sprinklings from the between albums. Pretty much anything a fan wanted to hear was played, though. Once they slowed up a bit, Jay's banter ranged from praising Roy (the Metro security guard) multiple times, Linkin Park light shows, and the expected political tirades. During the intro to "Your Silence" the AAA guys came out with some extra drums to help Ryan out. This was the highlight of the set, as it is one of the best and most poignant songs the band has ever written. "DDT" closed the set, but after realizing they still had a few minutes until curfew set in, they did a quick run through of "New Girl." It's hard to believe, but they've gotten better in the two and a half years since I last saw them.
A few odds and ends before I wrap it up. When I tried to purchase the live CD I was promised, the Suicide Machines merch guy informed me it was only the first band that did it. Thanks a lot for getting my hopes up Much The Same guy. Thanks.
Destruction By Definition
New Girl (encore)
Break The Glass
The Real You
The Suicide Machines
Steal This Record
All My People
A Match and Some Gasoline
Burning In The Aftermath
Did You Ever Get a Feeling of Dread?
Keep it a Crime