Planes Mistaken For Stars / Smoke Or Fire

Planes Mistaken For Stars/Smoke Or Fire: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2005)
Relapse Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

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

I'd been salivating for a dirty, gritty punk rock show since Warped, and luckily, Planes Mistaken For Stars brought it, and with great openers. There was a local opener. I skipped them. Glass And Ashes performed first. That is to say, performed in spite of a horrendous sound guy. Both the voca.

I'd been salivating for a dirty, gritty punk rock show since Warped, and luckily, Planes Mistaken For Stars brought it, and with great openers.

There was a local opener. I skipped them.

Glass And Ashes performed first. That is to say, performed in spite of a horrendous sound guy. Both the vocals AND lead guitar were set to 0 in the monitor, and the amps were set about 3 notches too high. Suffice to say, this was a change from the usual sound being loud, but not overly as so to be dangerous. This was their first time in Chicago and they played their hearts out. Maybe next time they're in Chicago someone who knows what they're doing will be manning the boards.

Fat's Smoke Or Fire were up next, and had changed terribly little since their moniker had changed from Jericho RVA. They still sounded like a cross between Avail and Dillinger Four, and out of the context of Avail, with whom I last saw Smoke Or Fire, they sounded on point and tight as hell. The mixing seemed better for Smoke Or Fire; at least this time the overall volume wasn't at "kill everyone within a mile of the speakers" level.

Smoke Or Fire briefly made light of Brendan from the Lawrence Arms' kneecap injury and asked for the venue to say "HI BRENDAN" when he walked in. He hobbled along during one of Smoke Or Fire's last songs, and consequently, elicited no such response.

But Planes Mistaken For Stars? How'd they do?

The term you're looking for is staggeringly good.

I'd previously seen Planes Mistaken For Stars in Denver, and they had unleashed a kind of manic, unbelievably tight performance that decimated the 100-person crowd, including a Relapse Records exec.

In Chicago, nothing had changed. From the opener of "Belly Full Of Hell," Planes Mistaken For Stars made one thing clear: Their rock will fuck you. Both guitarist Mikey and bassist Chuck ably backed up a perhaps slightly inebriated Gared on vocals, as he growled his way through an all too short set.

I'm tempted to make a grand statement about how Planes Mistaken For Stars plays rock the way it should be, speak with eyes tilted down that Planes will "save rock and roll," but that's shoddy music journalism no matter where it is being published. Point is, Planes Mistaken For Stars plays brutal, intricate, gorgeous, textured, layered music, blending the best parts of emo, hardcore and metal into something you haven't heard before.

I'm sure there's a bio for a screamo band out there that uses a phrase like that, but Planes sounds like no cheap act out there, and the insinuation that there's anything remotely close to screamo is just as incorrect as saying there's anything remotely close to nĂ¼-metal

Planes Mistaken For Stars is a volatile, explosive, dare I say dangerous act that has yet to be truly discovered. As I and anyone in the 100 or so people who were in attendance can say without hesitation, Planes Mistaken For Stars is dirty, beautiful and classic.

Odds/Ends/Stuff you may or may not give two shits about:

  • Plans are still in effect for the new record to be out on June 6th of next year.
  • Onstage, Gared announced that this might be Planes' last tour for a while. After the show, Mikey said that the reason was because the group wanted to spend time with their families and children.
  • Additionally, the rumored move to Relapse is not final, and "there may be other possibilites," according to Mikey.


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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.
jamespastepunk (August 16, 2005)

Actually, the heading above the paragraphs all have something to the effect of odds/ends. Thus, seperating them from the review. They are bits on information I gleaned which I thought might be of interest.

As for the Brendan/Metro thing, you'll note that the comment came after people were discussing whether he was working at the Metro in previous reviews. Thus, since I saw him hauling stuff, I figured that might help the discussion.

As for the Planes stuff, I found it interesting and worthy of mention. Apparently you didn't. Thats why above it it said "things you might not give two shits about".

Anonymous (August 16, 2005)

I didn't figure you guys wanted a story of why I didn't see the local opener, after seeing the reaction to Anchors' introductions.

So you don't tell us this story, but tell us all sorts of bullshit how you talked to one dude in one of the bands or you shook hands with Brendan from the Lawrence Arms or how Victory Records was handing out CDs?


piratasmuertas (August 15, 2005)

Nu metal? C'mon...

That was a great review for what I presume was a great show.

jamespastepunk (August 15, 2005)

I didn't figure you guys wanted a story of why I didn't see the local opener, after seeing the reaction to Anchors' introductions.

Also, I've seen enough shitty local bands in the name of supporting my scene that I wasn't that interested in seeing another one when I could spend time with my friends who I won't be seeing for a couple years pretty soon.

I was in the Refused shirt. Dark blue with the star, and the pic and quote on the back.

Anchors (August 15, 2005)

I just saw this last night, only with a different local opener and Marathon playing as well. And everybody needs to go see this tour, everybody.

Glass & Ashes and Smoke Or Fire both have incredible live shows, in addition to being chill as hell dudes.

Anonymous (August 15, 2005)

oh, and planes aren't on relapse and they never will be.

Anonymous (August 15, 2005)

it's only a matter of time before smoke or fire blows way up. every single fucking song on above the city is incredible. their lyrics are are actually intelligent and they say a lot more than 'i miss fucking my ex girlfriend'... and best of all, they're even better live than on record. nicest, most down to earth dudes in the world on top.

no matter how hard i try, i can't for the life of me get their dicks out of my mouth. :)

Karasu (August 14, 2005)


Anonymous (August 14, 2005)

More like Planes Mistaken for Cocks!

maverick (August 14, 2005)

Saw this tour tonight in Cleveland (although I actually took the time to see the local band -- what a concept, James!).

Nightbreed (locals) were awesome. I want to see/hear more.

Glass & Ashes were way better live than on recording (I really didn't enjoy their CD that much, but watching their set made me want to pick up a copy again).

Smoke Or Fire were awesome. I liked them before tonight; now, I love them.

Planes... I have seen this band quite a few times, and while I respect what they do and everything, I just simply cannot get into their music at all. I have tried and tried and tried, but just can't do it.

Lastly, where the hell were all the kids tonight?!? There were maybe 25-30 people at the Grog Shop tonight (minus band members). It's a Saturday night! What the hell?


jamespastepunk (August 13, 2005)

I probably should have gone into greater detail about the performances, but alas.

Additionally, I made a reference to Aubin's mention of Up in Them Guts in his to pcds of 2004. I forgot to quote him on it.

But now that's settled.

Anchors (August 12, 2005)

So, anybody seeing this in Syracuse on Sunday?

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

yeah i was really disappointed with the size of the crowd.
what were you wearing primeevil?

elliot (August 12, 2005)

hahah, yeah! remember when jesse said planes had "chord sequences straight out of modern rock radio"? i sure do! that was really fucking stupid. good job, jesse. hope that journalism degree goes well!

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

Score is for planes as well as the reference to the shitty show review done by Jesse... fuck that kid...

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

i was at this show and it was fucking rad, even though there were all of 35 people there. the second G&A started i ran to the bathroom and stuffed as much tissue in my ears as they would hold it was so loud.

and BSD, i am all for your brand of cynical assholery, but do you have to suck from the same fat cliche'd bag of dicks for your every joke? I mean come the fuck on, mix it up every once in a while. WAAAAH charles bronson WAAAAAAH true hardcore WAAAAAH support your scene WAAAAAH im a bitch.
quit referencing charles bronson and black flag, there have been other good bands in hisory. or are those the only two bands you have heard of?

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

"There was a local opener. I skipped them."

OH HOW EDGY! You skipped the local band!

How about instead of settling for a scene you evidently don't all too much enjoy, you try to start something of your own? Or are you just one of those bystander people?


Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

where the fuck was i for this show?


Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

score is for glass and ashes... i was a little nervous when dave hall left ventura to go be with some girl in NY. still amazing, and the best band on NI! in my opinion

Archangel (August 12, 2005)

Planes is flat-out awesome.

And excellent reference to Jesse sucking.

sickboi (August 12, 2005)

RVA indeed. Its gonna be 100 degrees today in this shithole.

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

smoke or fire, bitches!


Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

There was a local opener. I skipped them.

Way to support your local scene, dickhead.

Timis (August 12, 2005)

don't get me wrong - i like planes. actually their self-titled record. i think too many people way over hype this band. they are not that good - esp live.

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

I like Planes' and i like No Idea i hope they stay on there, but my moneys on Relapse, i just hope they don't make a metalcore album next.

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

smoke or fire is the good shit.

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

I fell asleep while reading this review.

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

Planes won't save rock and roll, they will save you from rock and roll and all its present tedium and labeling.

They are primitive, primal, and make me want to drink blood in a non-goth way, like the first vampire slayer/hannibal the cannibal type of thing.

Whats wrong with a buffy reference? fuck you guys.


Anchors (August 12, 2005)

I should be seeing this on Sunday, with Marathon playing too. Looks damn good.

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

First of all, in Relapse's latest compilation, it states that Planes Mistaken For Stars are one of the new additions to the label. So take that for what you will.

I can't wait for this tour to come by NYC. Planes, NMB, Smoke and G & A. What more can one really ask for?

(Score is for that awesome lineup)

Anonymous (August 12, 2005)

smoke or fire probably got eaten alive.

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