Braid / Murder By Death / The Response

Braid / Murder By Death / The Response: live in Milwaukeelive in Milwaukee (2004)

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: blaubs21blaubs21
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The word history usually seems to bring about cringes to many faces. It seemed to be the class that most kids fell asleep in during High School, because it didn't affect their lives so why worry? Then there are Vietnam and World War vets, where history is important to them, because it was their li.

The word history usually seems to bring about cringes to many faces. It seemed to be the class that most kids fell asleep in during High School, because it didn't affect their lives so why worry? Then there are Vietnam and World War vets, where history is important to them, because it was their life, they lived it, and you should know all about it. Then there are the exceptions, the kid in the corner of the room who listens with intent and does his homework every night, hoping to learn a little more about the past. He may not understand everything, but he gets the point of history, even if it isn't full comprehension. On this particular night, I was that kid in the corner, listening with intent, knowing that I was about to get one of the best history lessons ever.

Braid decided to call it quits in 1999. Around this time, I was 12 years old, and my favorite bands at the time involved spelling-altered food (Korn and Bizkit for all those keeping track). So understandably, an emo band from the Chicago suburbs breaking up didn't exactly make my list of things happening in the music world. However 5 years is a long time to grow and since then, I had shelved the nu-metal and used the power of the internet to tap into the vast resource of music. Among my stumblings through various websites, one influential band that kept popping up was Braid. After checking out some of the songs, I could hear and understand exactly why this band was powerful....and was depressed they weren't still together. So when talks of a reunion tour sprang up, I knew I would be there, even if I technically didn't own any of the albums yet (key word 'yet'...go christmas list), but would go for the history lesson.

After stumbling into Mad Planet and waiting for about 20 minutes, out came opening band Temper Temper!. TT! is comprised of lots of former members of various hardcore bands, now put together to assemble an all out dirty rock n roll assault. If Since By Man and Hot Hot Heat could somehow have a child, Temper Temper! would be the offspring. The rhythm section puts together danceable beats, while the guitar jitters over with lots of feedback and riffing, as well as the keyboardist adding in various sound effects and a new wave sensibility. While all this is occurring, the skinniest vocalist I have ever personally seen (I'm not kidding...dude is freakin tiny) slithers over and around the stage, with a vocal range that comes out like a cross between Hot Hot Heat, The Killers, and Paris Texas. Sometimes the result comes out as sloppy with too many sounds attempting to assemble themselves at once, but for the most par, TT! set was a nice danceable 30 minutes of rock.

Next up were my boys, Action Heights signees the Response. This was my 7th time seeing the Response (and 3rd at Mad Planet), and these guys did what they always do: put on a fantastic set. For those unfamiliar with these Milwaukeeans, The Response find some sort of creepy middle ground between rock, punk, and hardcore...or as they said in a newspaper article once "Foo Fighters 'Colour And The Shape' era matched with Coheed and Cambria guitars with hooks like 'Your Favorite Weapon' era Brand New". Um...yea pretty much that's it. The band tore into "Sore Eyes", and continued to pound out their friendly punk edged sound for the next 30 minutes. The crowd seemed fairly unenthused about the band, but I sang along at the top of my lungs anyways and probably pissed off a few people. The Response bounced around the stage, shredded on the guitars, and gave an all out performance the way they always do. Kudos boys.

This whole time I had been standing second row, while all around me the boys and girls seemed really unenthused to be there. However once the Response was over, the crowd chatter lit up, people got more excited, and a lot of the creepier scene-kids crept up to the front. Reason you ask? Murder By Death. I'll be honest, Murder By Death isn't really my thing, but I will give the band credit for doing something creative and I do listen to their songs from time to time. The band played the same set as they had back in November when I saw them with Straylight Run, and according to my friend who enjoys the MBD, the same set as in February when on tour with Poison The Well. This time around, the cello seemed to get lost underneath the guitar, the keyboards/piano lost under the drums, the whole thing just seemed sort of mashed together. Even Murder By Death fans behind me commented that the set was "sloppy". Had I been a MBD-virgin, I most likely would not have walked away impressed as I did the first time I saw this band grace a stage.

And now the history lesson begins. The Braid-vets showed up, they were easy to spot as they were the somewhat older members of the crowd. The uninterested kids went to the back, and history-buffs like myself were waiting for our first and oddly enough last Braid show ever. This was the last date of the tour for Braid, which barring further reunions, pretty much made it their last US show as a collective band. People had come from all over to witness this show, as was evident when Braid asked the crowd who was from Milwaukee and who was from out of town. About 30% of the crowd were Brew Town bums...the rest were most likely Chicago kids, and even two kids who came from New York. After touring the country non-stop, one might think Braid would be tired and not up to par. The truth was anything but. The band came out and tore through their set, note for note, while a lot of the crowd shouted along word for word. I stood gazing, feeling bad for not knowing the lyrics by heart, but was taken in by how captivating the band was. For songs they did play, I can tell you that they went through "Killing A Camera", "Chandelier Swing", "What A Wonderful Puddle", "Forever Got Shorter", "Please Drive Faster", "(Strawberry Ann) Switzerland", and several others. There were no encores, since leaving the stage was near impossible considering the set up at Mad Planet, so the band just stayed on stage and played through all the songs they had prepared. All this amounted to an hour straight of wonderful music, and the band finally left, one member at a time, to a crowd that continued to applaud throughout.

To bring everything full circle, the members of Braid are veterans of the indie-rock scene. In a way someone gives a standing ovation to a general who commanded troops who stormed Normandy, the crowd gave the members of Braid the same warm ovation, for we recognized that these guys were influential, and even though they may be history, their songs will live on in the hearts of emo boys and girls everywhere. R.I.P. Braid...yes, once again.


Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 19, 2004)

Once more, evidence that 17-year-olds ruin everything that is good in this world.

Anonymous (August 17, 2004)

Braid was a great band but should have remained dead and buried. Allow the U of I alums from the 90's at least some respect and stop reviewing bands you discovered through the "vast power of the internet."

Anonymous (August 17, 2004)

Hey Mercedes is awesome, so is Braid. Two great bands...

Anonymous (August 15, 2004)

why is every show review fucking lame as fuck?

this is no exception.

Anonymous (August 15, 2004)

the show is phoenix was really hot, and fucking amazing.

kenjamin (August 14, 2004)

I was at the jersey show too. Minus the Bear was so on that night. The grin on my face was huge when Braid played "What a Wonderful Puddle." What a great song. Hey Benz, what song did Braid close with? I had a long drive and left right before it. Thanks.

Anonymous (August 14, 2004)

I saw this show in Sayresville, NJ. It was great. I didn't see the Response, but I did get to see Minus the Bear...who were so incredibly tight. it was a great time for all.


Anonymous (August 14, 2004)

If Since By Man ever had sex with Hot Hot Heat, I would lose all faith in sex as we know it.

- Anchors

Anonymous (August 14, 2004)

i love that braid gets their own avatar on punknews... they FINALLY hit it big

Anonymous (August 14, 2004)

I don't care for Braid's music... And I definitely dislike them even more if they're "the nicest guys ever".


TrailerParkJesus (August 14, 2004)

Really fucking good review for a show. The intro had me wondering how the fuck you were gonna make it relevant. Good job.

Anonymous (August 14, 2004)

in referance to the last comment again....

i've draka ton adn i'm making shit up. or maybe i'm not. i'm telling you they aren't done. new braid record on vagrant/ drive thru this next near or so.

seriously, it'll happen, bob knows what the peoples want

Anonymous (August 14, 2004)

for the record on that last comment...

i stopped in to check attendance and it was night, march 17th if i remember right

the show memorial day weekend had 3 to 4 times as many people who were excited to see nanna. and the solo show... well lets not talk about how many poeple were there. though the braid songs were amazing ...no one showed....

this comment brought to you by lots and lots of boooze... and a large dose of the truth....

Anonymous (August 14, 2004)

the only HM shows in detroit that have been packed are when spitalfield or some other shitty half ass band headlines. even bob's solo show bombed here in detroit, so close to his hometown and the hometown of bob's girlfriend

wearingawire (August 13, 2004)

Braid and Hey Mercedes are both incredible bands - Bob Nanna is the best lyricists out there.

Nobody goes to see Hey Mercedes shows? The HM shows I've seen have been pretty packed. . .

Bowen (August 13, 2004)

I love Hey Mercedes.

I like Braid.

Anonymous (August 13, 2004)

back in may when they played detroit, their tour manager mentioned something that sounded a lot like they will keep touring and possibly record as braid. maybe they noticed no one shows up to see hey mercedes....

Anonymous (August 13, 2004)

Braid is one of my favorite bands forever.

bob nanna is an awesome guy to party with.

The Response are my boys and kick ass.

Being drunk and called Mr. Nanna simply banana is more fun then you would expect.

Anonymous (August 13, 2004)

I hear Braid will be touring Japan soon.....no idea what they are doing after that

mykindofmurder (August 13, 2004)

bob nanna is to indie what bob barker was to golf.

Anonymous (August 13, 2004)

Braid needs to get off their asses and head over to Europe. Now!!

Exclusive Streams


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go