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Against Me! / Epoxies / Smoke or Fire

Against Me! / Epoxies / Smoke or Fire: live in Salt Lake Citylive in Salt Lake City (2005)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 5


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

I only had to see that Smoke or Fire was playing to know that I would be at the 2005 Fat Wreck "all 50 states" tour. I was also curious to see Against Me!, whom I was not too familiar with, but heard very good things about I was late to the show and got there just as Smoke or Fire was setting up..


I only had to see that Smoke or Fire was playing to know that I would be at the 2005 Fat Wreck "all 50 states" tour. I was also curious to see Against Me!, whom I was not too familiar with, but heard very good things about

I was late to the show and got there just as Smoke or Fire was setting up. I missed the Soviettes and still don't know how they sound or how they are live. After sound-check, Smoke or Fire started playing. This was my second time seeing them; the first time was at a small restaurant/bar to about 30 people who probably had no idea who they were. This time the venue was much larger, and the band was more energetic, with a small pit quickly forming as the band tore through almost everything off of Above the City and a couple older songs (prompting me to pick up Worker's Union later on, which was released under their old name, Jericho RVA). The band closed with "Point Break" (yes!) and kids swarmed their merch table. If you haven't heard Smoke or Fire yet, the best way I can describe them is a faster version of Hot Water Music with shorter songs. The vocals are even really similar. Not that any of that is bad.

Next up, a band that I was completely unfamiliar with started to set up. Keyboards were set up. There was a giant EPOXIES banner with little light bulbs that lit up the words. The band's merch all looked very `80s-inspired. I knew the singer was female. I figured I wouldn't really care for this band. The keyboard player/vocalist came out and sound-checked his mic. He told everyone that the Epoxies would be out in 45 minutes. In the meantime, the stage was filled with fog, and about 20 minutes later the band came out to a darkened room. There was a strobe light and flashing colored lights and the fog machine pumping, and the guitarists had lazers attached somewhere on so that it shot out parallel to the guitar neck. I can't say that I care for the band musically, which can be described as pop-punk with synthesizers, but it was really entertaining. All the band members were dressed up in some crazy 1980-inspired plastic/tape/bright-colored outfit. The keyboard player was hilarious and would often incorrectly tell people how many more songs the band had left to play. Two songs into the set he yelled out "This is our last song," which wasn't true. The keyboard player even used one of those "guitar keyboards" at one point. He told everyone to buy 8 thousand dollars in merchandise. The band played for what seemed like a good 40 minutes and seemed to have a pretty good reaction from the crowd all throughout.

Against Me! finally set up and without much said the entire set, played for almost an hour. And honestly, when it was over, I was hoping they would have played for another 30 minutes. Unfortunately for me, like I mentioned, I didn't know much about this band before going to the show but I wish I had. There was plenty of crowd participation during Against Me!'s set, full of stage dives, crowd-surfing, people on stage, people singing into their mics, fists in the air. A fan got onstage at one point and the bass player put the kid on his shoulders while he sang. Towards the end of the set, the stage was filled with people singing, taking over the three guitarists' microphones. They played a few songs off Searching for a Former Clarity and even ended the set with the title track. Against Me! set down their instruments and took off. Everyone yelled for another song and I left, which too bad since outside I heard the band taking stage again for what I assumed would be an encore.

I highly recommend seeing this tour, and really, there isn't a reason you should miss it with it stopping everywhere inside the U.S. This is one of the better shows I've been to in a while and, with the exception of the Soviettes, I can say that all three bands are worth the price of admission.

Smoke or Fire's set list: (the order gets more out of order the more the list goes on. So what? I don't write this shit down while I'm standing there. I may have forgotten a couple songs too, it's been over a week.):

  • Fire Escapes
  • Filter
  • Cops and Drugs
  • Sunday Pints
  • 50 Cent Hearts
  • California's Burning
  • Delawhere
  • Point Break
  • (and possibly a couple other songs off Above the City / Worker's Union…they didn't play "Culture As Given" for sure, though)

 


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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.
PacePicante (March 25, 2006)

I still love these guys

PacePicante (March 25, 2006)

I saw these bands in October or November or something like taht in LA,
Smoke or Fire was good and Against Me! was good but the crowd was kinda gay. Stealing the mics from the singers and shit like that . I was disapointed. And Agianst Me! played too much of their new CD.
The good thing was that they played Impact

Anonymous (February 14, 2006)

Saw AM! a couple of nights ago in little old New Zealand, they fucken rocked man.Opened with From her lips to gods ears (i think thats what its called), played a good combination of new and old shit. Everyone went nuts for that first track off SFAFC, which I was suprised at. Supported just by local bands (which we missed), would have been mad to see smoke or fire though, loving those guys at the moment. Also loving Modern life is war. Anyone given those guys much of a listen???

Anonymous (October 30, 2005)

Whoever went to this show walking away thinking The Epoxies were the best band of the night needs their head checked.

Against Me! and especially Smoke Or Fire is the next level shit. Check yourself.

SenorRefresco (October 29, 2005)

"Remember when the Fat Tour used to have great band play like Propagandhi, Good Riddance, No Use for a Name, Mad Caddies, The Ataris (back in the day), and the fucking show was actually worth going to??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????/??????????????? ???????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??? against me! is still the most over rated band in history."

Spoken like someone who's never seen their live show. They're better than ever on this tour.

crackpotdemagogue (October 28, 2005)

"fists in the air"

Once more without meaning.

Didn't like that review.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

I'm still getting into workers union. They seem to usually play a song or two off of it live. The production isn't as great as Above the City and the songs are longer. It's good, though, in my opinion, and it's only 8 bucks. Personally, I can spend 8 bucks on a band I completely support. Maybe that helps?

Anonymous (October 27, 2005)

Is workers' union worth getting? I already have Above the City and like it quite a bit.

Anonymous (October 27, 2005)

The few songs I've heard from smoke or fire made them sound like a second-rate version of Fiya.

Anonymous (October 27, 2005)

This review was pretty good, but here's how I'd make it better:

1. Get superdude to reply to it.

Gowb (October 27, 2005)

Were all those question marks really necessary? We understand that you're incredulously asking a question. They just make you look stupid.

punkinohio (October 27, 2005)

Remember when the Fat Tour used to have great band play like Propagandhi, Good Riddance, No Use for a Name, Mad Caddies, The Ataris (back in the day), and the fucking show was actually worth going to??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????/??????????????? ???????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??? against me! is still the most over rated band in history.

etwiels88 (October 26, 2005)

"Yeah, I'm posting this again."

.....

Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

smokoe or fire hac crappy tattoos? sorry they aren't tribal and dragon tattoos, brah

allison_le_gnome (October 26, 2005)

Yeah, I'm posting this again.

First date of the Fat Tour- Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT on 9/18.

(WARNING: This is mostly my horribly biased personal experiences, injected with some of the obnoxious tone of a show review. Sorry.)

The Soviettes played first. They're amazing, though you could barely hear anyone's vocals (except Danny's) over the instruments. He and Sturgeon (guitar) kept looking at each other and cracking up during their last song. Later, I talked to Annie (guitar) and Danny (drums) a little bit, and they signed my copy of LP I (Exact quote: "My name is Danny and I just signed this compact disc sleeve"). I can't remember many songs, but in no order: Paranoia Cha-Cha-Cha, Multiply and Divide, (Do) The Stagger, How Do You Like That, and Middle of the Night [?].

Next, Smoke or Fire. To put it plainly, they sucked ass. They opened with their only song I had previously heard, California’s Burning. However, we did have fun making fun of the ridiculous faces the band and their fans were making, as well as their crappy tattoos. They actually managed to give me a headache.

Thennn... THE MOTHERFUCKING EPOXIES. Their set was probably the best thing I’ve seen in my life.
They first came out to set up their gear, then turned on the fog machines and left. Some people were getting pretty impatient, but when they returned, it turned out they had been preparing their trademark bizarre clothing. FM Static (synths), for example, was wearing a black shirt and pants covered in tape, a blazer made entirely of duct tape, and a caution tape tie. And, of course, those weird skinny sunglasses (which they were selling at the merch table). The 4 male members of the band came out first and started with Stop The Future, while Roxy Epoxy (vocals) came onstage partway through the song. Even the visual effect of seing them play was outstanding- besides the usual fog and bubble machines, strobe lights, tight pants, keytar, and duct tape clothing, the bass and guitar were actually outfitted with green lasers! Viz (guitar) soon discovered the disco ball on the ceiling, and aimed his guitar/laser so that it reflected all over the crowd.
Roxy was all over the place- her strange mix of dancing and a seizure is infectious [That phrase sounds familiar. I may have accidentally stolen that from some other review]. Partway through a song, she started kind of looking through the crowd. After a moment, she pointed at me and mouthed (though she could have been yelling, actually, I wouldn’t have been able to hear her over the music) “Are you Allison?”, then pointed at the friends I had mentioned I was bringing along, and asked if they were with me. I said yes, and after the next song, she pointed at me and said, “This is my friend Allison, and some friends, who I’m glad I finally got to meet.” or something along those lines. I’d never talked to her anyone from the band except through email/Myspace/their message board, etc. before, so that was pretty astounding. I had a chance to meet FM and Shock Diode (bass) later (any to have them sign their s/t album on vinyl, which I had just bought) later, and the first thing both of them said was, “Are you Allison?” as well- it was starting to sound like the catchphrase of the night.
Except for a few minor glitches, their set went quite well. At one point FM complained that the volume on the synth was fluctuating (Roxy: “How about you just shut up and play the song?”), and for one song the guitar was overpowering the other instruments, to the extent that I couldn’t even recognize which song it was for quite a while. During Please Please, something happened to Viz’s guitar. He put it down on the stage and started frantically trying to fix it (someone ran over with a flashlight to help), and jumped back up just in time for the guitar solo. Songs (those I remember, in no particular order, except for the first and last two): Stop The Future, Don’t Talk To Me [GG Allin], Radiation, Need More Time, Everything Looks Beautiful On Video, Wind Me Up, You Kill Me, It's You, Stop Looking At Me, Synthesized, Please Please, and You.

Against Me! played last. It was announced that all of their profits from the show would go to the parents of someone (I can’t remember who) who had had a heart attack onstage and died. We left the immediate stage area at that point because, to be honest, I’m not really that huge an Against Me! fan. While they played was when we were able to meet some of the Soviettes and Epoxies at their respective merch tables, though it was obviously pretty hard to talk to anyone over the noise. I didn’t recognize any songs, except for Sink Florida Sink. During their last song, there were probably at least 20 kids onstage, which the security (all two of them) tried their utmost to prevent, though they gave up pretty quickly, when they realized they couldn’t do anything.

Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

I'd recommend Above the City by Smoke or Fire, they have a previous release(s?) called Worker's Union but it's only 7 songs..just get Above the City for now. It's great, I don't skip a song on that CD. Like someone said below, I don't understand why these guys aren't any bigger considering how great that album is.

Gowb (October 26, 2005)

Wait, wait, POP PUNK WITH SYNTHESIZERS? No. Just no, good sir. They are modern new wave, and not really punk at all. Their live show sounds excellent, and as I love most of their songs, I get the feeling that I shall enjoy them greatly.

Otherwise, and I didn't say this before, good review. I am twice as excited about this now. Hitting them in Houston as well as Baton Rouge, and can't wait.

Gowb (October 26, 2005)

I'm a fan of all four bands on this tour. Smoke or Fire is the only one I haven't heard a bunch of - though what I have heard has been nothing but excellent. Any recommendations on a good starting CD of theirs to buy? Or songs to download?

localh (October 26, 2005)

I really do not understand what people see in the epoxies or phenomanauts they played with aquabats this summer and they were horrible...

the_other_scott (October 26, 2005)

ken, you're right, kind of

i don't really hate kids who only go to 4 shows a year, that's there shit

but seing a band you've never heard can be super rewarding (it also means that when they come to your city the next time and its more expensive and at a bigger venue you have an excuse not to go)

Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

Hey, I encourage people to go to shows where they don't know any of the bands. If you want bands to keep coming to your town, you better get your ass out and see them...even when you don't know their music very well. I hate kids who are so punk that they only go to 4 shows a year. Going to random shows is how I've found some of my favorite bands, and its usually the only time my horizons are really stretched into other genres.

-Ken

darkstarm (October 25, 2005)

"So you completely missed a band and didn't know anything about two of the three that you saw. Awesome!

-Will"

So he missed one band. Big deal. He gave good descriptions of the performances of the band's he didn't know, which is great because I'm sick of reviews riddled with "Then they played this song which I love and I flipped out but they didn't play that one song off a record they put a billion years ago, but they still rock, man ____ is the greatest band ever!

I'd say stop just being an asshole but, I guess that's your forte. So keep up the good work.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

Score is for Smoke Or Fire.
I fuckin' love Against Me!, but that Smoke Or Fire album is so goddamn terrific. Sucks it's only 24 minutes though.

Fuck, they are so good.

burningfeeetman (October 25, 2005)

This tour is great.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

The bass player of this band is a very nice guy, as I'm sure they all are, Although the new album hasn't grown on me as I expected it too, RIAR will still forever be a classic in my eyes.

yayforapathy

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

So you completely missed a band and didn't know anything about two of the three that you saw. Awesome!

-Will

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

smoke or fire should be about 10 times bigger than they are now. every song on above the city is so good and catchy, i can't believe they're not selling better.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

shit, they closed with the title track off SFAFC? that would have destroyed me.

*majorly regrets not seeing them in omaha a few weeks ago*

You missed a pretty good show.

About the review...I thought the Epoxies were decent. I have heard a few songs by them, so I knew what I was getting into. But, Christ. Let's get fucking going. They stood there for like 20 minutes before they started playing. They were funny and everyone had a good time, but that doesn't excuse wasting 20 minutes of my life shielding my eyes from dangerous lasers.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

damn you all too hell the Soviettes are so good. Never reviewed or apparently seen on this tour = (

SenorRefresco (October 25, 2005)

""I missed the Soviettes"

I think this is everyone's reaction to the Soviettes. There is almost no point for them to be on this tour - they're just going to get burned every night."

Sucks 'cause they are honestly the best band on this tour that isn't called Against Me!.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

Against me didnt do a encore in New haven, the first night of the tour, although tom was nice enough to give me an interview for my radio station.

etwiels88 (October 25, 2005)

Cause we rock. And it's us against them, and we found the wronngggg reasons to stay.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

Stomach pains, eh?

He should have just taken some midol and put on a pair of sweatpants.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

smoke or fire closed with 50 cent hearts both times i saw them in Washington

and in seattle tom from against me had a bunch of stomach pains and they couldnt play an encore because they had to rush him to the emergancy room

they did play an encore in Bellingham though with it being Impact and closing with We laugh at danger and break all the rules

gladimnotemo (October 25, 2005)

"I missed the Soviettes"

I think this is everyone's reaction to the Soviettes. There is almost no point for them to be on this tour - they're just going to get burned every night.

BTown (October 25, 2005)

Against Me! always play an encore! Come on kids.

Anyways, last time I saw Against Me! and Smoke or Fire there were about 40 people there. I was wondering how large the crowd should be now, since it's getting alot of publicity and such.
I plan on going to two shows and would like to know.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

No, Smoke or Fire closed with the last song off above the city

elliot (October 25, 2005)

shit, they closed with the title track off SFAFC? that would have destroyed me.

*majorly regrets not seeing them in omaha a few weeks ago*

sickboi (October 25, 2005)

"Above the City" has REALLY grown on me in the past couple of weeks. I cleaned my car out and left a few cd's in it, that being one of them.

It will definately be finding a spot on my top 20 of the year.

8dollarclarinetsolo (October 25, 2005)

i liked the review... its a shame that smoke or fire always plays the same set pretty much, id love to see a little variety. also are they still closing with a jericho song? its kinda anti climactic when they do one ya dont know

colin (October 25, 2005)

That's what happens when you're a socialist, baby.

baby, i'm an anarchist. you're a spineless liberal.

TheOneTrueBill (October 25, 2005)

"slightly disapponted that against me didn't play longer, though. their set seemed about the same length as the epoxies and smoke or fire. but then again i wanted them to play every song they'd ever written. great tour though."

That's what happens when you're a socialist, baby.

TheOneTrueBill (October 25, 2005)

The Epoxies are one of the most fun live bands around. I was sick as all hell last time I saw them but they picked me right out of it and I felt fine by the time they were done.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

Is the song "Point Break" about the classic movie with Keanu Reeves as an ex-quarterback star now in the FBI working undercover to infiltrate a group of surfers who rob banks? Because that would be awesome.

allbutone (October 25, 2005)

keytar

greenerton (October 25, 2005)

Fucking awesome tour, gonna see 'em in December.

colin (October 25, 2005)

i saw this tour in portland and it was fucking great. epoxies i'm not too fond of, but smoke or fire, the sovietts, and against me all brought the house down.

slightly disapponted that against me didn't play longer, though. their set seemed about the same length as the epoxies and smoke or fire. but then again i wanted them to play every song they'd ever written. great tour though.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

That's enough, Trevor.

-Chinatown

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