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Strung Out / Saosin / Love Is Red: live in New York Citylive in New York City (2004)
Fat Wreck Chords
Reviewer Rating: 5
Fresh off the release of their newest album, "Exile In Oblivion", Strung Out rolled into Irving Plaza in New York City once again to show us all how a live show should be played. With Saosin, Love Is Red, and Last Of The Famous in tow, there was some variety to the show as there always seems to be when Strung Out goes on tour, regardless of how good the said openers are. Here's how it went down...
The doors to Irving opened around 8, and at around 9 the first band of the night, Last Of The Famous took the stage. I was enthused to see these guys, as the band is made up of ex-members of Shelter, Youth Of Today, and Saves The Day, however, the music draws nothing from any of those bands. Stale, stale pop-punk with really bad vocals. That is really the only way to describe the mess that was Last Of The Famous...oh well, you can't win 'em all.
Next up was Love Is Red, and this is the type of band you need to get the crowd going. As soon as they took the stage, the floor of Irving was blasted wide open and various body parts were flailing all around. Awesome, heavy, fast, old-school tinged hardcore with some breakdowns that tore the floor up. Strung Out has never failed to bring awesome hardcore bands on the road in the past (i.e. Poison The Well, Eighteen Visions), and Love Is Red was no exception.
So the last appetizer before the main course was Saosin. Let me tell you, I would rather have laid on a bed of hot coals for 30 minutes before Strung Out came on then hearing this band. Really, really generic, bland, annoying screamo with some of the worst vocals I have ever heard. They had some parts in a few songs where they attempted to break it down with some heavy parts, however this was all ruined by the fact that the guy screaming sounded worse than nails on a chalkboard. So eventually after about 30 minutes or so, Saosin took their leave along with the people who had strictly come to see them, and with a legion of cult fans remaining on the floor, the anticipation grew as we all knew what was up next...
At about 11:30, the lights went out, the Strung Out chant began emitting from the crowd, and Jason, Jake, Rob, Chris, and Jordan walked on the stage to hundreds of screaming fans. Now you know that feeling you get when a band opens with a song that you absolutely love yet you have never heard them play live before (this was the case at last summer's Strung Out show at Irving Plaza when they kicked into "Barfly" as the opener)? Well this was exactly the case once again, as Jordan make a quick roll on the rack toms and the band shot into "Speedball." The floor began swirling, fists were in the air, and Strung Out was playing just as good as they always do. "Too Close To See" followed directly after, and the high energy didn't stop until the end of the show. Various tunes were played off "Exile In Oblivion", including "Skeletondanse", "Her Name In Blood", "Analog", "Scarlet", and best of all "The Misanthropic Principle" (more on this one in a bit). The rest of their set was a pretty good balance of material from all their albums, save for the "Crossroads and Illusions" ep, with highlights including "Firecracker", "Deville", and "In Harm's Way." They closed out their set with "Matchbook" as per usual, but of course that wasn't enough to satisfy the rabid crowd. After the Strung Out chants fired up once again, the band returned to the stage and busted out "Bring Out Your Dead", which sounded amazing as usual. "This is our last song" announced Jason before Rob started playing the opening riff to "The Misanthropic Principle." Now upon hearing this song on "Exile In Oblivion", I thought to myself, wow this is really one of the best songs Strung Out has ever written, and hearing it live affirmed that fact 100%. This was the perfect song to close the set with, and hearing it live might have made it my favorite Strung Out song ever. Great job guys with the new album, and once again your live show never fails. I urge you to go see Strung Out live if you have not yet done so, you're guaranteed a great time.
Got a copy of the set list, here it is in order:
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