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Goldfinger / theSTART / City Sleeps

Goldfinger / theSTART / City Sleeps: live in Minneapolislive in Minneapolis (2005)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 5


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

What do Keith Morris, Mike Ness, Jack Lloyd Jones, Tony Cadena and John Feldman have in common? At first, that question might seem like the punchline to a bad joke. But with the likes of the current mainstream media praising a motley crew of drug addicts and misogynists as patriotic heroes or even t.


What do Keith Morris, Mike Ness, Jack Lloyd Jones, Tony Cadena and John Feldman have in common? At first, that question might seem like the punchline to a bad joke. But with the likes of the current mainstream media praising a motley crew of drug addicts and misogynists as patriotic heroes or even the pure hypocrisy in the PMRC badmouthing a certain prince of darkness only to turn around and PRAISE him at a high class dinner all in the span of about 20 years while arguably admirable, is indisputably hypocritical. And with the pervasively apolitical mall-punk scene of Good Charlotte and Simple Plan refusing to take any political stance not for the purpose of HONESTY, DIGNITY, or INTEGRITY rather merely as a tool to sell more records amidst the mainstream media at Hot Topic outlets across the U.S (notice how THOSE keep sprouting out)., the concept of "punk" itself has become diluted. Perhaps no man recognizes this distinction as much as John Feldman, who helped to produce a slew of pop-punk bands after the third wave ska movement of bands like Reel Big Fish, NOFX, Sublime, the Suicide Machines, No Doubt and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones that either faded away, broke up or died out. As a matter of fact, mid-to-late 90's third wave ska almost sounds as abrasively Crass as 80's punk when compared to today's "punk" bands. So does that mean that Goldfinger's live sound would be altered to compensate for the times that are a-changing? I would certainly find out at Minneapolis' historic First Avenue venue.

City Sleeps opened the night's festivities to a relatively scant (albeit receptive) crowd. Their sound wasn't really emo or pop-punk, but the band sounded tight and serious. Though each song sort of blended into each other and the vocals were barely audible (though that wasn't NECESSARILY the band's fault) the group was pleasant to the crowd and not too jaded with "Ordinary High" and "Just Another Day," two highlights of their 24-minute set.

Just as New Found Glory had used while opening for Green Day, theSTART hit the ground running with a clip of Elle whistling, which segued into "Like Days." Throughout the course of the set, Aimee Echo worked the crowd well, encouraging everyone to clap along and even playfully swatted a slew of red balloons that dispersed among the audience (though I didn't quite count, I'm guessing about 99 red balloons diffused throughout the audience). Like fellow Nitro label mates the Damned and TSOL, theSTART refused to confine themselves to archaic, conventional punk clichés by incorporating keyboards and synths into their sound, though these layers of depth were often lost in First Avenue's imposing atmosphere. They put on a rather energetic stage show with their guitarist swinging from side to side as their keyboardist managed to smoke a cigarette and play a keyboard. "Peacocks," a song about the world crashing down, served as a pessimistic albeit appropriate conclusion to their set.

Taking a cue from fellow punk veterans Bad Religion, Goldfinger took a good hour to set up their gear as chants for "Goldfinger!" would start and cease every ten minutes. The wait was tolerable since they picked a great PA set list ranging from Bad Religion, Agent Orange, TSOL, Minor Threat, the Adolescents, Black Flag, the Descendents and Social Distortion. By the time "Another State Of Mind," the single song culled from the infamously disastrous US tour blared, I began to pick up on the subtle, subconscious message Feldman conveyed while selecting songs. Finally, light shone through two Goldfinger signs as Gob's theme from "Arrested Development" played, a clever metaphor for how punk is now all about IMAGERY and not actually substance. Darrin, Kelly, Brian, and John waltzed out to their infamous "metal walk," which closed many shows from the 2001/2002 era. I wondered if Gob's song coupled with the metal walk would serve as a reversal of fortunes from their sub-par performance opening for Sum 41 in 2002 and return them to the tenacious glory of their magnificent Crouching Fish Hidden Finger tour. As I suspected, Goldfinger opened up three of their most abrasive songs in quick succession: "I'm Down," "Spokesman," and "Question." Suddenly I realize the brilliance behind Goldfinger's live show: while ON RECORD "I'm Down" sounds like it would serve as the PERFECT theme song for "Malcolm In The Middle" with its They Might Be Giant-esque dynamics, "Spokesman" sounds like a weak version of NOFX's "Dinosaurs Will Die," and "Question" sounds like a bland Rancid B-side; LIVE, these songs sound like bile-spitting coming of age anthems due to the ABSENCE of auto tune and overdub technology (funny side note, Dickey Barrett seems to understand this concept because he was once advised to an aspiring musician "make your albums sound mediocre so your LIVE SHOWS SEEM AMAZING"). In terms of stage show, no one can match the band in terms of energy and speed. You know how Sugarcult play that poppy song "Bouncing Off The Walls?" Goldfinger are LITERALLY bouncing off the floor with their choreographed jumps and runs around the stage. So, I was somewhat disappointed when the poppier side of Goldfinger was evidenced by the next six songs, the proverbial "hits," so here goes a brief description of each: "My Everything" sounds OK live but not phenomenal, "Counting The Days" still has the classic sing along chorus/"1234" breaks, and "HIYB" still sounds GREAT live seeing how Kelly has finally mastered the subtleties of playing speedy 8th and 16th notes in a punk/ska band after his stint with Fear. "Skyway" paid homage to the Replacements (and pandered to the MN crowd, but hey, it was FIRST AVE, what can you do?). A short detour into "King For A Day" segued into "Mable," which saw a slew of kids rush the stage to help Feldman sing the S/T classic (this shtick sort of runs thin after you've seen it before). "Open Your Eyes" saw Feldman lose the guitar and focus on his vocals (as well as STAGE DIVING!) while "Miles Away" adopted an extended form with (gasp!) Darrin riffing on guitar and performing their patented guitar toss. "Wasted Again" saw Kelly play the mandolin as a confetti cannon shot shreds of paper from the sky that seemingly signaled the end of the set. But John dedicated the final song to a certain band that he FIRST helped in 1997, none other than the Reel Big Fish, a band who probably inspired him to work as a producer/A&R rep in the first place. The older crowd loved the song for the nostalgia associated with the 1990's whereas younger kids recognized it from "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Vol. ?" Chants of Goldfinger started again and I was vying for an encore of "FLA" segued into "Pictures," but was welcomed by the familiar beat of "FTN," a seemingly child-like song in melody and verse but a far more visceral, almost NOFX-like allegory on a deeper level. "99 Red Balloons" closed down the set and though I was a bit disappointed with such a predictable end to the night, it was an appropriate and pleasing closer.

So, I guess the suspense has been building long enough: what do Keith Morris, Mike Ness, Jack Lloyd Jones, Tony Cadena and John Feldman have in common? They were all wildly successful in the So-Cal punk scene, have admittedly dabbled in drugs but admitted their errors, and in doing so, developed a fair and balanced social conscience that allows them to empathize with others. Unlike certain hypocritical groups (Phish and the Dave Matthews Band, for example), they have acknowledged the error of their ways and told a lost, misguided generation of 90's punks that the answer to their problems didn't lie at the bottom of a bottle of alcohol or the tip of a heroin needle, rather, a pen and a sober mind. And for those of you from the jaded West Coast/Berkley scene who might argue bands like that RBF and GF aren't AS influential as other 80's punk groups, go check out the Suburban Legends. They're pretty young (early-to-mid 20's), put on one the most energetic AND competent live shows you'll ever see (Tim would never do a silly jig while trying to compensate for a backing track and blame his band) and sound just like the Turn The Radio Off-era RBF and self-titled-era Goldfinger a-many third wave ska-punk veterans adore (Aaron Barrett loves ‚??em so much he put him on the Coast To Coast Tour for a REASON - he called them the best ska band in the US right now on his Show Must Go Off! commentary track and judging by how much anger he spit out during those TWO HOURS, it might have been the most positive thing he said). Just don't complain when they sell eight million records and start selling out arenas. How do I know this will happen? Look at Green Day! They were criticized for being apolitical, snobbish, pop-punk brats until they started lifting Who, Clash, and Bryan Adams riffs to write their songs instead of the more "obscure" influences such as the Sex Pistols, Descendents, TSOL, Social D, the Adolescents, and of course, Stiff Little Fingers. It's an odd paradox to consider that those crazy 80's punk and 90's third wave/ska bands actually uphold some sort of sense of HONESTY, DIGNITY, and INTEGRITY. While each third wave 90's ska band was criticized for being a flavor of the month fad, it sounds almost as relevant as the classic 80's punk. But such a paradox is the irony of what is quickly becoming a mad, mad world.

Set Lists:

City Sleeps
6:18 P.M. - 6:42 P.M.

  1. As The ?
  2. Ordinary High
  3. Not An Angel
  4. Andrea
  5. Be A Man
  6. Just Another Day
Elle whistling (Kill Bill Vol. 1)
theSTART
7:02 P.M. - 7:39 P.M.
  1. Like Days
  2. Death By Satellite (better I?)
  3. I'd Do Anything For You (NOT A SIMPLE PLAN COVER)
  4. Life Is Sweet
  5. Rise Up / Hey
  6. All Or Nothing
  7. song about war (supports troops but opposes war)
  8. The 1234
  9. Peacocks
Goldfinger
8:32 P.M. - 9:30 P.M.
Gob's Theme From Arrested Development
Metal Walk
  1. I'm Down
  2. Spokesman
  3. Question (John sans microphone; stage dive)
  4. My Everything
  5. Counting The Days
  6. Here In Your Bedroom (extended with A-0's)
  7. Skyway (Replacements Cover)
  8. King For A Day (tease)
  9. Mable (hordes of fans onstage)
  10. Open Your Eyes (John sans microphone; stage dive)
    -talks albout new material vs. old shit-
  11. Miles Away (extended; Darrin on guitar)
  12. Wasted Again (Kelly on mandolin)
  13. Superman (dedicated to Reel Big Fish)
    -ENCORE-
  14. FTN (John stage dives)
  15. 99 Red Balloons

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (April 10, 2005)

Man, that was the most painful review ever.

Anonymous (April 10, 2005)

What does Coery Feldman, Joey Lawrance and John Felman have in common? They live in LA and suck balls for pocket change.I went to the local rock venue. Goldfinger was there. For the first time in my life I felt icky from hearing the flatulant racket they called a set list. I. Their merch table did not have ice picks with the the Goldfinger name on it. They should sell them seeing that alot of folks want to punchture their ear drums out these days. Goldfinger tried to convince innocent people into thinking that they are like Black Flag and Agent Oragne. BLA BLAL BLAH BLAH BLAH>>>

Anonymous (April 8, 2005)

Ok- I just came back from the Goldfinger show. I thought they sucked donkey dick! (was that a good review?)

Wyld_Stallyns_Rule (April 7, 2005)

Did you ever wonder why kids shoot classmates at their own school? Because People who don't give a damn about that scapegoat will spout out garbage to them hoping to get respect from other retards, whose approval they think is necessary. I'd enjoy it if the people who have commented to this post submitted their own reviews from a live show. I know I'd like to read 'em.

Anonymous (April 7, 2005)

People on crank should not be allowed to write reviews. This the worst review I've ever laid eyes on. But in a strange way, it fits, seeing how Goldfinger is a sub standardband of the lowest kind..

Kenjamin (April 7, 2005)

Nah... the review of "I can make a mess like nobody's business" and "an angle" were waaaaaaay worse.

allison_le_gnome (April 7, 2005)

HAHA. I love the notes in the setlist of where he "stage dives."

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

City Sleeps
6:18 P.M. - 6:42 P.M.

theSTART
7:02 P.M. - 7:39 P.M.

Goldfinger
8:32 P.M. - 9:30 P.M.
Gob's Theme From Arrested Development
Metal Walk

Commence review
10:19 P.M.

End review
11:51 A.M.

iheartadam (April 6, 2005)

So we're all in agreement that this is the very worst review ever to grace the '.org?

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

Was this written by A Maverick records rep?

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

This painful to read! Face it Goldfinger is a bunch of hasbeens, wait, they can't be has beens, they never were anything anyway. How dare you compare Feldman to Morris or Ness? Feldman is a sombrero wearing hair metal poser that went with punk cuz Electric Love Hog failed..

threechordsandthetruth (April 6, 2005)

The amount of CAPITALIZATION gave the effect that the reviewer was on acid.

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

This is so funny it needs to be read, kudos to whoever posted it.

i'll summarize this:
goldfinger thinks they are the best band ever and think they have paid their dues. they left their funk roots to cash in on the punk in the mid 90's. every album got poppier and poppier heading towards good charlotte and covering it up with "we're maturing." just like any other night, they played the same goddamn setlist (probably did the twinkie thing too). 13 year olds that have never seen a show before loved it. drunk 20 something year olds scratched their head thinking "why the fuck did i waste 20 bucks on this predictable pop rock show when i could have saw 7 seconds rock a small place for 10 bucks?"

i even summarized the history. 2 birds with one stone, just the way that dumb vegan, john feldman, would like it. YOU'RE OLD, GOLDFINGER. GO AWAY.

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

Wow, this guy's a fuckin' idiot.

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

Ripping off Laibach with the Final Countdown song too. Goldfinger, how tiresome. Goldfinger was never a sellout because they never bought in.

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

Punk vet? Goldfinger! MY ASS! John lives in a manison in Beverly Hills with his no talent C-grade TV actress wife. He joined PETA for media attention. Screw him, I hope he joneses for some smack and gets a lethal dose..

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

fuck this shit.

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

The guy didn't realize that they were playing Lifter Puller in that PA list. If you can't remember noir-esque indie-punk, you don't deserve to review a show as long-winded as you did.

Anonymous (April 6, 2005)

god damn I hate John Feldmann

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

you compared John Feldman to a bunch of people he shouldn't be in the same sentence as. You referenced Sublime where they didn't belong. You compared theSTART to the Damned and TSOL. what the shit.

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

No Use For A Name 's new album, Keep Them Confused, comes out on June 18th. It will contain 13 dark, aggressive new songs (two of which were originally written in the Making Friends era). Prepare to be rocked.

iheartadam (April 5, 2005)

Score is for review. Somebody resubmit with: "Goldfinger sucks. Their mouths are loaded with cock."

maverick (April 5, 2005)

I can't believe how short Goldfinger's headlining sets are. You'd think after all these years and all these albums, they might be able to do a 75-minute set.

-Scott

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

what the fuck?

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

"Finally, light shone through two Goldfinger signs as Gob‚??s theme from "Arrested Development" played, a clever metaphor for how punk is now all about IMAGERY and not actually substance"

HAHAHAH

that was the funniest thing i have ever read in a review on this site. yea i am pretty goldfinger was sitting in their bus going "hey, you know we should come out to europe's 'final countdown' and we can use it for a metaphor about how the punk scene is all about imagery and not actual substance"

instead they were probably like "hey arrested development is funny, and that song is to, lets have it as our intro"

'the final countdown' is the biggest joke song in the world about space travel, the fact that you think they used it as a metaphor cracks me up

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

first of all, this review is longer than a fucking pitchfork one, and its for a show not a record.

second, you lost me when you lumped NOFX into 3rd wave ska bands.

lastly, jon feldman is about as punk as ashlee simpson at this point. his last record was obnoxiously condecending w/ its 'become a vegetarian and quit watching trl kiddies' liner notes (thats almost an exact qoute) and that obnoxious 'open your eyes' song.

then that album was filled w/ direvitive pop punk cowritten by mest guys and gc guys and the only good songs were those cowritten. the absence of charlie was so obvious and the lack of ska such an obvious cop out.

so then, instead of redeeming themselves, they make the pop poop fest that is the new album. w/ its punk exterior art you think "wow, feldman's trying to recapture his roots" but much like his hairline, that shit has receeded deeply into the past. he's nothing mroe than an industry whore peddling the latest screamo/pop punk/probably a killers sound a like is next to the dumb fucking kids out there. christ that new record is so generic, and after 2.5 years of waiting/'writing'. good thing benji could phone in their new single for john, which is basically 'counting the day's' w/ the most generic and stupid fucking lyrics ever at the slowest tempo possible.

fuck you goldfinger you shallow empty shells of who you used to be.

paul

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

I just read that whole thing...I didn't think it was possible to dislike Goldfinger any more.

Boy, was I wrong.

jamespastepunk (April 5, 2005)

There's an enter key on your keyboard.

Please, use it.

sickboi (April 5, 2005)

Score is for Kenjamin's comment.

Kenjamin (April 5, 2005)

as for the "great PA set list" being played while Goldfinger was setting up was most likely the sound guy bored out of his fucking mind or him trying to rub some good taste onto you fucking kids.

sickboi (April 5, 2005)

Someone broke out the thesaurus for this shit.

BTW, don't EVER compare John Feldman to the likes of Mike Ness and Keith Morris.

FatTony (April 5, 2005)

Damn, I can't believe I actually read that whole fucking thing. And I thought MY reviews were bloated.

Score is for Arrested Development though. Best fucking TV show EVER!

Anonymous (April 5, 2005)

i'll summarize this:
goldfinger thinks they are the best band ever and think they have paid their dues. they left their funk roots to cash in on the punk in the mid 90's. every album got poppier and poppier heading towards good charlotte and covering it up with "we're maturing." just like any other night, they played the same goddamn setlist (probably did the twinkie thing too). 13 year olds that have never seen a show before loved it. drunk 20 something year olds scratched their head thinking "why the fuck did i waste 20 bucks on this predictable pop rock show when i could have saw 7 seconds rock a small place for 10 bucks?"

i even summarized the history. 2 birds with one stone, just the way that dumb vegan, john feldman, would like it. YOU'RE OLD, GOLDFINGER. GO AWAY.

joeg (April 5, 2005)

So can you give us a summary of the show?

inagreendase (April 5, 2005)

Hmm, I don't think you went into enough detail.

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