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Hey Mercedes / This Is Me Smiling

Hey Mercedes / This Is Me Smiling: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2005)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


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

June opened, but I worked until 6 so Scott picked me up right when they started. To cut things short: we missed them. Oh damn. The Junior Varisty sounded like a bunch of teenagers riding a music trend. Oh wait, that's what they are. This is Me Smiling. I didn't know Ben Folds Five sucked this .


June opened, but I worked until 6 so Scott picked me up right when they started. To cut things short: we missed them. Oh damn.

The Junior Varisty sounded like a bunch of teenagers riding a music trend. Oh wait, that's what they are.

This is Me Smiling. I didn't know Ben Folds Five sucked this much.

Regardless, the Metro fucked Hey Mercedes over, denying them their choice of opening bands like Mock Orange and some others. I didn't pay attention to other sets; instead, I spent time hanging with Scott, making fun of the openers, and meeting Greg and Brandon.

For anyone to understand my review, I feel it's important that you understand my relationship to this band. Back in high school, I was listening to some not-so-good music. I thought Saves The Day was the greatest band ever, and Through Being Cool was a masterpiece. So when I went to see them, my friends wanted to check out the opening band, which, of course, was Hey Mercedes. They were raving about how awesome this band was, and me, well, I just waited until the show. And I was blown away. It changed my life and the way I viewed music. No, I did not grow up with Braid and whatever. Crucify me for it. This isn't a Hey Mercedes/Braid dispute. This is the celebration of a band that helped shaped my musical tastes today. Though I've strayed far from the genre that most would categorize the band in (I've been much more interested in proto-punk, hardcore, and experimental music these days), I haven't been able to shake my love for this band. They turned me on to variant time signatures and extensive melodies, and taught me that it was okay to hold one chord for most of a song. And while I wasn't too shocked about them breaking up or disturbed by it, I still felt a huge stab when Bob said on stage "We've had a great time, and I don't just mean tonight."

Scott, like the jerk he is, secured an All Access pass. He tried to get one for me too, but apparently Punknews doesn't pull as much weight as AP. Heh, that's a joke meant to poke fun at Scott, which is okay for me to do. I don't want this thread to be all about Scott or AP or Braid. So anyway, like the rest of the peons (including the drunk frat boys behind me), I watched the show from the crowd. Now I don't have a set list, and they played for over an hour, so I forgot it, but I know Scott took a picture of it and he can post it in the thread for those interested.

To sum it up, they played songs off of every release. They played the entire first EP, almost everything off of Eveynight Fireworks, about half of Loses Control, "Save A Life" from the Weekend EP, and two songs off of the upcoming EP. The show started off with some technical diffictulties, with Bob's guitar shorting out, Damon's drum pedal breaking, Mike falling over, and other assorted mix problems which caused the guitars to sound like ass for at least the first half of the show, but when everything was sorted out, they sounded amazing.

Perhaps the coolest and crappiest thing about the show was the singing along. It was so loud that you could actually hear it at the same volume level as the band. And though I was annoyed at first, I realized how many of these kids absolutely just loved this band (including the drunk frat boys standing behind me). And when Bob encouraged everyone to sing along to "Our Weekend Starts On Wednesday," I found myself singing as well. "Que Shiraz" was great to listen to with the group vocals, and the audience participation on "Quality Revenge At Last" with the "yeah, yeah!" part of the chorus was stunning. What caught me though was that even though my favorite song, "Bells," was played, it wasn't my favorite of the show. They closed the set with "Let's Go Blue," and came back for the encore. They played an extremely riveting emotional version of "Quit," which seemed to be speaking to the band when Bob sang "Quit if you're through with it, you are going to make me sick." But the show stealer was "Stay Six." They ended the entire show with this song, and I've never heard it better. It was always a decent song to me, but never really struck me until I saw them play it live. It was a happy, joyful farewell to pick up the spirits after "Quit."

If this show is seen as a funeral for the band, it's the kind of funeral that I would want. Sure, everyone is sad for their loss, but instead of moping, they celebrate, and let me tell you, the show last night was a celebration.

Set List:

  • The Boy Destroyers
  • The Frowning Of A Lifetime
  • St. James St.
  • Our Weekend Starts On Wednesday
  • It's Been A Blast
  • --
  • Quality Revenge At Last
  • Haven't Been This Happy
  • A-List Actress
  • Que Shiraz
  • Go On Drone
  • --
  • Eleven To Your Seven
  • Every Turn
  • Knowing When To Stop
  • Roulette Systems
  • The House Shook
  • --
  • Bells
  • Save A Life
  • Unorchestrated
  • Let's Go Blue
Encore:
  • Quit
  • Stay Six

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The City on Film - American DiaryHey Mercedes - UnorchestratedCapillary Action - So EmbarassingBlonde Redhead - 2331 Knots - The Days and Nights of Everything AnywhereOf Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?The Brokedowns - These Colors Don't Run (The Musical)Joe Lally - There to HereThe Shins - Wincing the Night AwayThe City On Film - In Formal Introduction

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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.
mapweb (January 22, 2007)

Screw you. This Is Me Smiling is the shit.

daegan (April 28, 2005)

uh, Through Being Cool IS a masterpiece.

score is for the band.

Anonymous (April 28, 2005)

Sure, the guy ripping on him sounds like a complete idiot, but come on, naming yourself after a character on the OC? That's just asking to be made fun of.

boba_fett (April 28, 2005)

Posted by AryanBoy on 2005-04-28 07:01:12

There seems to be a little bit of a competitive whingefest going on here. I'm new on this site and I'm English and I'd hate to think that you guys were dicks. So we should let poeple watch The OC if they want, as the guy who mentioned vanilla said. You really wouldn't want to ruin a good site by being twats when there's actually some interesting stuff to be said and read here. (I'd just hate to have to never use this site again just because of some non-academic TV historian.

ill save you some trouble: almost everyone here is a jerk who will hate on what you like. you get used to it and then you start laughing at it and then you start thinking losers are cool. if you cant be bothered with that, then you can piss off dickwad.

sethcohen (April 28, 2005)

I love Hey Mercedes. I saw them about five times. I got into Braid at the tail end of their existence so Hey Mercedes suited me very well. I also happen to think Damnon Atkinson and Bob Nanne are two of the best people on Earth.

Anonymous (April 28, 2005)

i thought this thread was about the hey mercedes show???

Anonymous (April 28, 2005)

hey man, don't talk shit about antiques roadshow. there's some cool stuff on that show.

SethCohen (April 28, 2005)

"no, i don't watch the OC, but my 15 year old sister does.
there's this thing called "target demographics" that tv execs aim for when promoting and airing a show. you just happen to fall into the "12 to 25 year olds who need a new 'Beverly Hills 90210'" (let's face it, that's what it really is). so congratulations on being completely minipulated and following the flock of, like i said, 15 year olds (like my sister) who also think Good Charlotte is "punk" and Paris Hilton is "a role model". "
You must be quite the individual because you don't follow the flock. Let's do a little bit of investigating here. I think we can all assume that you live at home because you know your sister's inner most thoughts. So you are either one of two things, 18 or 25. If you are 18 then what you are saying is kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. We all know that if you weren't trying to impress some guy who you think is cool, then you would probably have a pound of gel in your hair and watching The OC, while discussing the finer points of both Crossfade and Dave Matthews. Now if you are 25 and living at home I'm not going to say anything because I feel bad you. Maybe I'd appease you if I changed my name to Brandon Walsh or David Silver because at least then I would be on the first wave of this, right? Maybe then you wouldn't give me such a hard time.

"i mean seriously, are you not somewhat ashamed to be admitting that you name yourself after a character on a kid's show? or is this one of those things where it's 'funny' and 'cool' to show everyone your guilty pleasures?"
Once again, no I am not ashamed. I could care less what a bunch of pimple face kids think about me on a website where some people try to prove they are punk by talking shit.

"Fox News is ok if you like your information a little left-winged, but i'll stick to PBS and the History channel... you know, television that makes you THINK."
Once again, you spout of like you are some sort of intellectual but then you ruin the whole thing with a false statement in regards to Fox News. PBS huh? I mean, what do you watch on PBS? The Nightly Business Reporrt, Newshour or The Antiques Road Show? Just because it's boring doesn't mean it's thought provoking TV. In that case, maybe you should tune into Fox at 8 P.M. tonight for some equally thought provoking TV. Next.

BV (April 28, 2005)

An alien watching The History Channel to learn about this planet would come to the conclusion that World War II is the only thing that has ever happened.

ThisismeSmiling (April 28, 2005)

It's nice to be compared to Ben Folds. This shit is funny.. I'm definitely putting it up on our site.

AryanBoy (April 28, 2005)

There seems to be a little bit of a competitive whingefest going on here. I'm new on this site and I'm English and I'd hate to think that you guys were dicks. So we should let poeple watch The OC if they want, as the guy who mentioned vanilla said. You really wouldn't want to ruin a good site by being twats when there's actually some interesting stuff to be said and read here. (I'd just hate to have to never use this site again just because of some non-academic TV historian.)

Jesse (April 28, 2005)

I also agree. I feel that your nickname might prefer sexual encounters with members of its own gender. This makes me feel uncomfortable because I am not secure in my own gender role, and feel like I must assert my masculinity.

And Fox News is right-winged. And making fun of someone for their preferences is also dumb. It's like saying, "You're dumb because you like vanilla!"

Oh, and the History channel puts a slant on everything they play. It's not public television, they have sponsors and a board of executives, and ultimately, their goal is to make money.

Anonymous (April 28, 2005)

This comment section is a collection of some of the stupidest things ever said on this site. Seriously you whiny bitches, shut the fuck up.

Talking shit is only cool when its funny. Try harder.

And I never heard this band, but it seems they ment alot to alot of people. A shame.

-!GreenVandal!

CantSitStill (April 27, 2005)

i agree. your nickname is kinda gay.

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

"sethcohen":

no, i don't watch the OC, but my 15 year old sister does.
there's this thing called "target demographics" that tv execs aim for when promoting and airing a show. you just happen to fall into the "12 to 25 year olds who need a new 'Beverly Hills 90210'" (let's face it, that's what it really is). so congratulations on being completely minipulated and following the flock of, like i said, 15 year olds (like my sister) who also think Good Charlotte is "punk" and Paris Hilton is "a role model".

i mean seriously, are you not somewhat ashamed to be admitting that you name yourself after a character on a kid's show? or is this one of those things where it's 'funny' and 'cool' to show everyone your guilty pleasures?

Fox News is ok if you like your information a little left-winged, but i'll stick to PBS and the History channel... you know, television that makes you THINK.

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

I always felt let down by Hey Mercedes. Bob Nanna is a super nice guy and has always graciously answered all my nerdy Braid questions when I proposed them to him at the merch booth, but something felt missing with this band. I'm pretty sure it is Chris Broach. However, the song with camera sounds in it (it's on the first full length, I can't remember the name) is way cool.

Awesome people, but I would rather listen to Botch or Scratch Acid. What? No, those bands don't sound like the Mercedes, good job.

SethCohen (April 27, 2005)

To the guy below me: That is so incredibly witty. I mean, for real. First person ever to say that to me. Because, yes I am being serious with this name. I see you do in fact know what time The OC starts so obviously either you are a fan or you care very much about it. Are you jealous I got this name first? You can still be SandyCohen or RyanAtwood. Those names aren't taken. As for being called a geek, well ouch. Your annonymous words really hurt me. I guess I better delete my name now. You are a really dynamite person for helping me see how big of a geek I am. Thank you.

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

the guy 2 comments below's user name... HA!

what a fucking GEEK!!!

dude, do you get a boner on thursday nights at 8?

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

mmm... the firebird band

sethcohen (April 27, 2005)

Well, let's look at it this way, who do we feel more sorry for? A dude writing reviews who is under 25. Or a dude, who must be pushing 30, who cares enough about something like that to comment on it, and to top it off, spends their day critiquing people from a punk website. Get out your parent's basement, off welfare and do something better with your time.

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

32, 29, 29 ,28 I mean.

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

HM ages

32
29
28

It says somewhere on their website.

Some of them do wear Vans shoes, and probably have since 1988 before every mall in town had them for sale. Every skateboarder in the 80's and early 90's did. So why would you first accuse them of riding "emo wave", then dis them because they don't wear the coolest NEW shoe style. Who cares what fucking shoes a band wears anyhow. And I don't think Hey Mercedes ever tried to cash in on emo, I would think the opposite in fact. It seemed like they tried to distance themselfs from all that nonsense. Which is too bad since Nanna and Bell practicaly invented it - ok not really but they played "emo" type stuff way before it was cool.

backupdork (April 27, 2005)

i kind of want to puke for having missed this. i saw HM twice, and only once did they play Stay Six. dearly missed, they will be.

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

I think, but I'm not positive, that Todd Bell is 34. Last time I checked, that didn't qualify him for the "late thirties" label just yet. This show was probably the best I've ever seen Hey Mercedes play, and I've seen them live more than a few times. It's a sad breakup, but these things happen. Nice review, Jesse.

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

haha, what's so funny about the comment sections is that it takes one person to say something negative about a review or band and everyone jumps on him and calls him names.

the same people that end their comments with "don't talk shit" and "keep your negativity to yourself".

kind of hipocritical, doncha think?

btw, the bassist from hey mercedes is in his late 30's.
they're still better than that god-awful braid reunion tour.

Jesse (April 27, 2005)

Where have I ever used incorrect grammar?

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

I should have been there.

Hold it against me.

- Kirby

Marlon (April 27, 2005)

at least AP has editors and writers who have been around long enough to distinguish bands like Hey Mercedes for what they are: has-been talentless guys that are 40 and still wear Vans sneakers riding the last lull of the emo craze to the shore...

They're also people who give fucking Armor For Sleep and Fall Out Boy a 5 out of 5. Take that however you want to...

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

Jesse, i do not think you are in any position to comment on grammar!
just shut up before you get a flame war going.

you little pussy bitch! shut up and take it like the little prision bitch in training you are.

Anonymous (April 27, 2005)

didnt mock orange break up?

no
www.mockorange.net

Jesse (April 26, 2005)

A) The oldest in Hey Mercedes is around 29.
B) AP? Scott writes for AP and he loves Hey Mercedes.
C) I have 8 Sonic Youth albums.
D) I'm 20. I liked Saves the Day when I was 15-16.
E) I don't know many bands who write songs in 7/4 time and can play them flawlessly on stage. I wouldn't call Hey Mercedes talentless.

Well buddy, it sounds like you're the one who's old and washed up. 25 and over? Age ain't nuthin' but a number. I'd suggest reading into my musical tastes before trying to insult them. It's not hard. If you bothered to come to this review, all you had to do was click one or two links to see my favorite reviews, or I'll even give you my Audioscrobbler link: http://www.audioscrobbler.com/user/jesseraub . Mind you, some of the stuff on there was listened to because I needed to review it. Stop being so old and crotchety. Realize you're going to die soon and get over it. Me? I just turned 20. I've got my life ahead of me.

Oh, and after this I will no longer reply to your insults at me unless you even make an ATTEMPT at proper punctuation, spelling and grammar.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

Haha, uh...I don't know how much of this band you've heard, but they're just a solid pop rock band, I wouldnt say they're riding any kind of wave...

by the way i believe everybody in the band is in their late 20's...

adamfromohio (April 26, 2005)

an age limit for reviews?

you are a douchebag.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

this guy was in high school when Saves The Day was around? tells you how old this kid is...

i don't know if punknews.org is run by a bunch of 18 year olds or 38 year olds, but i'd rather not have any more show reviews written by anyone under the age of 25.

how do i know how old he is? well, "Through Being Cool" came out in November '99, so if he's 18 then (in high school), that was more-or-less 5 years ago, that makes him AT MOST 23 now.

this kid probably thinks NOFX "fuckin' riiiiiiips!!!!"
at least AP has editors and writers who have been around long enough to distinguish bands like Hey Mercedes for what they are: has-been talentless guys that are 40 and still wear Vans sneakers riding the last lull of the emo craze to the shore...

someone buy this kid a Token Entry or Sonic Youth album and watch it BLOW HIS MIND.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

didnt mock orange break up?

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

I have never heard "This is me Smiling," but if that is actually taken from the Mr. Show line "This is the moon blowing up, and this is me smiling," they at least got something going for them...but that's probably as far as it goes.

Jim

Kenjamin (April 26, 2005)

Hey Mercedes were awful on the Saves the Day tour.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

what does This is me smiling have to do with ben folds five? i'm lost.

MarkieStabone (April 26, 2005)

"Punknews.org dorks mingling.....glad none of you retards live around here...."

is this why you didn't come find me at the against me! show last week? i see how it is

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

my roommate: "let's head up to the show."
me: "naw, the openers all suck. let me finish this game of madden and then i'll drive."

(an hour later, me and my roommate continued to play video games and missed the show completely)

Bowen (April 26, 2005)

I was at this show. The first two bands were, it's true, not good. This Is Me Smiling was considerably better and then Hey Mercedes just killed everything. I came all the way from the St. Louis area for this show and it was more than worth it. I just wish that I'd gotten to see them more than 4 times.

Jesse (April 26, 2005)

Dude, I know Scott. I didn't just meet him. How do you think I got this gig?

"Scott, let me be a reviewer!"

"Nope."

"What if I just review all the shit no one else wants?"

"Hmmm...okay."

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

I couldn't agree more about the opening bands. I should've skipped more than just June and come in an hour later than I did. I can tolerate bad music, but hell...you can't get worse than Junior Varsity being cocky dumbasses on stage.

Nevertheless, Hey Mercedes rocked.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

one of my favorite moments of the night...was when scott (i think it was scott) was on stage showing people how to clap to 7/8 during "let's go blue".

sickboi (April 26, 2005)

Punknews.org dorks mingling.....glad none of you retards live around here....

I kid, I kid...

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

so good
this is me smiling made me hurt deep, deep down inside. that bassist was asking to get his head kicked in

but Hey Mercedes was sooo good, only the second time I"ve seen them, and they didnt play my favorite song 'Lashing Out', but it was still amazing. the drummer got so into it, and Bob's pointing and doing goofy stuff while he sings/plays guitar is awesome. crowd loved it, etc. people came from new hampshire and other places. but damn, sucks that thats it.

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

does anyone know why the sudden breakup and dropping of any mention of them on vagrant?

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

also, did the metro really decide those openers? they were fucking horrendous...

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

reading this review not only made me realize how much i love this band and forced me to point my itunes playlist to hey mercedes, but it also made me wish that i lived in chicago. just for one night.

and by the way, through being cool is a masterpiece, from any musical standpoint.

TheOneTrueBill (April 26, 2005)

Dude, you met scott?

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

first

stevejonestherealbones (April 26, 2005)

this band is weak sauce...hows that for shit talking...not too good actually, but that dude said to start it up

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

simply an amazing night to end a career of some amazing musicians.

i was at this show and while during the first few songs it seemed like the crowd wasn't going to get along, by the end everyone was singing and dancing their hearts out, which was nice to see.

i was just pleasantly surprised at how much love the crowd seemed to be giving the band for a terrific, albeit underappreciated, career.

maverick (April 26, 2005)

Goddamn, Hey Mercedes was awesome at this show. And the crowd -- holy shit! I have never heard the Metro be that loud and unified, with singing along and such.

An awesome show; one I'll never forget.

(Oh yeah, the opening bands were awful, too.)

-Scott

Anonymous (April 26, 2005)

let the shittalking begin!

i, for one, have always loved this band, and this was the best i've ever seen them...it was a fitting way for a band that never got their due credit to go out...it was a great night

but holy SHIT did those opening bands suck

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