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Autopilot Off / Squad Five-0: live in Pittsburghlive in Pittsburgh (2004)
Reviewer Rating: 3.5
Contributed by: KirbyPuckettKirbyPuckett
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Just like any decent fast food restaurant I can get a solid deal every time I go. I know any given point that I’m hungry I can venture down to Wendy’s and hit the 99 cent menu and be content till my next meal. Autopilot Off and I have a similar deal, the “$7.00 APO Special.” I don’t recall purchasing their self-titled EP but it has a $7.00 price tag on it. When their new record Make a Sound [review] dropped I picked it up for $7.00 at Best Buy. The other night they scooted on into town for a little show with Squad Five-0 and the cover charge was only…$7.00.
Opening up the event was the local punk band Who’s Keeping Score? The boys played a solid set with their early-mid nineties punk rock (ala “the Fat Sound”). However a big slap across the face to the audience is needed. No one, aside from a few close friends to the band stood up during their segment. That’s disrespectful no matter how you look at it. Even if you don’t like a band you should do the honor of standing up to watch them play and not sit on a couch because they’d get up there for you.
Despite being too lazy during WKS?’s set the bodies rose for Philadelphia rockers Squad Five-0. After reading Adam’s review for their new record Late News Breaking [review] I rekindled a little interest in the band. I was disappointed with their previous release and hardly considered myself a fan as I entered the doors of the Eye, but their performance surely made me one by the time I left. Front man Jeff Fortson’s magnetism blends a Roger Daltry’s dominance of the platform with the antics and comedic appeal of Jack Black (not to mention one hell of a guy to photograph, check below for pics). While he was supported by a cast that wasn’t quite as appealing to watch their music that ripped from their instruments was something to reckon with. Aforesaid I’m not quite familiar with the band’s material and usually not knowing the songs dampers a live performance. However, in this case Squad Five-0 impressed me and grabbed everyone else’s attention with their 45-minute set of rock ‘n roll.
Closing out the activity on the wobbly tables that make up the stage of the Eye were Autopilot Off. Most people are quick to write this band off as a basic pop-punk group and it’s a shame their evaluation stops there, because these boys know how to rock! The firm Act was opened with the closer from their self-titled EP “Wide Awake.” From there the quartet never slowed down until the irresistible chorus that infects “The 12th Day” echoed throughout the airy venue. Performance-wise they were spot on, nailing all parts of their tunes accurately. There are a lot of little technicalities of production thrown into Make A Sound and the band wasn’t shy enough to pull them into the live set, it was a polite gesture allowing the songs to be completely animated live. Even thought APO was rushed through their time on the stage it gave the performance a nice flow similar to how a record would flow. Pooled with their lively poise it was one exhilarating live show on a boring Tuesday night, especially for only seven bucks.
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