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The Lawrence Arms / the Draft

The Lawrence Arms / the Draft: live in Portlandlive in Portland (2006)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


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

Let's start by saying that Justin was nice enough to allow me free passage to this show in exchange for a review for this here website. Unfortunately, my friend Kyle and I spent the hour before the show in the parking lot across the street drinking two bottles of champagne and singing to old Jawbrea.


Let's start by saying that Justin was nice enough to allow me free passage to this show in exchange for a review for this here website. Unfortunately, my friend Kyle and I spent the hour before the show in the parking lot across the street drinking two bottles of champagne and singing to old Jawbreaker and Against Me! songs, so combining that with the two whiskey sours and amount of blood I swallowed during the show (I'll get to that in a bit), this won't be the most complete review because I feel like shit today. So, sorry for that Justin. It's the Lawrence Arms. I'm sure you understand.

I arrived in time to see the Blackout Pact rocking out to applause but an unfortunately unenthused crowd. I love this band, more than I like the Draft really. Hello Sailor was one of my top albums last year, and I was really excited to see them play some cuts live. The band had an average stage presence as a whole, but the lead singer put his all into the vocals. It was fun and they did their best to try and get the crowd energized. They ended with the single, "We Drink So You Don't Have To," but the highlight was probably "You Punch Me, I Punch You."

The Draft's In a Million Pieces is not a record that grabs me. It's good, just not great. However, I was never the biggest Hot Water Music fan on record, either; however, I did love their live show. So, while on the album the band isn't the greatest, their live show was full of energy and just flat out rock and roll. Every second was on, every note supercharged. The songs sound so much better live than they do on record, which is probably why I will continue to see this band live. Hopefully on future recordings they'll be able to capture the intensity and the flat out good-time rock sound they provide live.

Another good part about the Draft was the 'bro' type dude who, after annoying everyone by crashing into them for the better part of the set, ran into the wrong guy who, with ninja-like reflexes, dropped this huge dude to the ground. I'm all for being drunk and rocking out at a show, but this guy was an easy 200 pounds and was running into people and shoving them into everyone else just for fun. But soon he was gone and it was time for the main event.

"Hi, we're the Lawrence Arms and this is our 865th show. If you know anything about ancient mythology, you know that 865 is a very important number so I have no doubt that this will be the greatest show we will ever play."

While Brendan Kelly's words were not nearly that coherent, that's the general idea of what he was slurring through to introduce the band. And, I have to say, this was the greatest time I've ever seen Chicago's finest. This set was beyond amazing. The crowd up front was smallish, but everyone was beyond into the music. The set was not measured in songs; it was a blur of lyrics you knew by heart, that the people around you knew and everyone was there to sing them together. It's actually sort of hard to describe; very rarely, especially now at 23, do I still feel a camaraderie at shows, where I feel truly part of something amazing. This was that feeling to the limit and beyond. Words flowed through the crowd like alcohol, with every passing lyric the energy growing and mood only getting more positive.

I couldn't remember the full set list even if I tried. The Arms played for the better part of an hour, if not more. Chris did one of his solo songs. Neil came out and played guitar with the band. I was surprised to hear "The Revisionist" and "The Ramblin' Boys of Pleasure" instead of set staples like "Porno And Snuff Films" and "Alert The Audience!," but these were also songs I thought I'd never see live, so it was welcome. The introduction with "Recovering the Opposable Thumb" started off a roar that did not subside until the end of the last of the encore with "Key to the City."

The only part of the Arms' set I didn't enjoy was the rocked-out-too-hard, got-hit-in-the-face nosebleed, which kept me along the sidelines for a few tracks while I let it clot up. Sure, I felt like shit the whole next day, but it was worth it. While I was making sure I didn't bleed all over the place, I managed to take some pictures for you orgcore kids to enjoy.

I don't really know what to say; if you like the Lawrence Arms, this is the time to see them. This was less of a show and more of an experience. It gave me faith in punk rock. It made me feel good to listen to the music I do. Shows like these sustain you for a long time to come. I wish the Blackout Pact had gotten a bit more appreciation, but their time will come. This set was about as fun as they come, and I've said before how I hate nonstop gloating reviews of live shows on this site; but hey, it's the fucking Lawrence Arms, and after this show, if you like punk rock and do not love this band, I don't know what's wrong with you.

 

 
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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.
Bowen (September 30, 2006)

I would say I've heard them play that a third of the times I've seen them, like 3/9, maybe 2/9...I think 3 though, I distinctly remember them starting with it twice.

"Do the Larry Arms ever play Presenting: The Dancing Machine (You know, the best fucking song ever?) Live? I'm seeing them for the first time in a couple of months (I live in Australia, sigh.), and I will seriously be fucking devastated if this doesn't get played."

Anonymous (September 28, 2006)

Do the Larry Arms ever play Presenting: The Dancing Machine (You know, the best fucking song ever?) Live? I'm seeing them for the first time in a couple of months (I live in Australia, sigh.), and I will seriously be fucking devastated if this doesn't get played.

Fucking awesome review too, thanks man.

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

those are amazing pics man, I really needed photographic evidence of this show to fill in some gaps (its was international talk like a pirate day and the rum was flowin quite generously) You got a shot of me in the red and white stripes. lookin right at the camera with hand in the air (I must say I look pretty douchey)
Good review all around.

Bowen (September 25, 2006)

Oh man I can't wait until Friday night, I am going to have such a good time.

everydaydude (September 25, 2006)

Thanks for the appreciation on throwing that dude on his face everyone! I didn't know it was going to be such a hit. I had just met that fellow before the show and he seemed like a nice dude... apparently not the case. I was just pissed that I had my camera out and was trying to snap a few of my friends The Draft while they were playing. Homeboy ran into my friend and I a couple of times so I stuck my leg in front of him and threw him. He got up and did it again... so did I. Someone told me that his pants came off the second time...hilarious. One guy was so stoked I had done that he bought me a beer after the Draft finished playing and we drank them and showed off our HWM tattoos. That everyone started clapping ruled.

Yossarian (September 24, 2006)

Ever since The Greatest Story Ever Told came out I've seen them do Ramblin' Boys Of Pleasure live....

grantino (September 24, 2006)

i saw the show in boise a couple nights before...fucking oregon got a way better show you lucky bastards but the boise show was equally as kick ass.

salsashark (September 23, 2006)

BK, I want to have it your way.

BrendanKelly (September 23, 2006)

fuck you shark. they can review as many shows of mine as they want.

salsashark (September 23, 2006)

Eight review of a Larry Arms show this year and perhaps my favorite.

However, as a huge Larry Arms fan, I must agree with the other people and say no more show reviews for them for the rest of the year, unless it's a real special event.

A Falcon show review, on the other hand, is what I want!

eyeslikebombs (September 22, 2006)

Let's stop posting Lawrence Arms tour reviews. They're always 4 and a half to 5 stars...it doesn't accomplish anything.

Anonymous (September 22, 2006)

righttttt.

daved4 (September 22, 2006)

YEAH branden

im wearing my red lawrence arms shirt today

whoopdie do

danielsan (September 22, 2006)

i like the draft cd, but can't get over how fucking similar the vocals sound to chuck

MedioCore (September 22, 2006)

"Did you remember all those songs or were you the kid who jumped up on stage and took the setlists after they were done playing?"

Remembered.

And that belly roll was funny as hell.

gypsymazzurco (September 22, 2006)

keeeripes, is there some sort of rule that says this site can't go a week without some kind of lawrence arms review?

Icapped2pac (September 22, 2006)

This score is for:

a.) The fucking awesome pictures you took.

b.) Tough guys in the pit getting dropped.

c.) This bill. I wish I had a chance to catch this show.

punkengineer (September 22, 2006)

The best part of the LA show was when the fat ass guy got on stage during the encore and did the wave with his stomach. The security guard didnt' even know what to do with him.

punkengineer (September 22, 2006)

Did you remember all those songs or were you the kid who jumped up on stage and took the setlists after they were done playing?

MedioCore (September 22, 2006)

Here's the setlist from last night's show in LA. It's by album, b/c I can't remember the order to save my life...

Oh! Calcutta!
The Devil's Takin' Names
Great Lakes/Great Escapes
Recovering the Opposable Thumb
Are You There Margaret? It's Me God
Lose Your Illusion 1
Key To The City
Like A Record Player

Cocktails & Dreams
100 Resolutions
Necrotism...
A Toast
Nebraska
Turnstiles

The Greatest Story Ever Told
On With The Show
Chapter 13
The Ramblin' Boys Of Pleasure

Apathy & Exhaustion
First Eviction Notice
Navigating The Windward Passage
Brickwall Views

Ghost Stories
106 South (w/ Neil on vocals)

Miscellaneous
Criminal (Chris solo)
Push It (yes, the played the first part of that old Salt-N-Pepa song)

I think that's it, but I might have missed a song.

Overall, it's probably one of the best Lawrence Arms shows I've seen. Good times...

punkengineer (September 22, 2006)

Wow, Brendan is wearing the same shirt in those pics that he wore last night to the LA show at the Troubadour. I agree, amazing show. Good review.

mikeshitter (September 22, 2006)

agreed, awesome pictures

Anonymous (September 22, 2006)

Those are some of the best live shots I've ever seen man. You should send them to the bands sites, they would fucking stoked to see them.

mikeinflames (September 22, 2006)

once again ... i am so jealous this tour isn't coming to canada

sickboi (September 22, 2006)

Nice pictures Colin.

Anonymous (September 22, 2006)

what Colin forgets to mention is that while taking those photographs he was bringing the sick mosh.
The drunk jock dude when he got slammed to the ground also had his pants fall off, funniest moment of the night.
To the guy that said George sounded off, did you watch him play? He never seemed so relax playing. I think he had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth the entire set. If anything I thought Wollard was way drunk. Anyone notice them covering Wilco as a soundcheck?
Brendan totally told me to kiss the dude next to me and I didn't.
Not that you can really see me in the pictures but I'm wearing a Latterman shirt.

Anonymous (September 22, 2006)

oh yea...and my voice has gone missing too

Anonymous (September 22, 2006)

wow...soaking wet...ears ringing...best show ever. No review could ever do this show justice...fucking amazing.

cash_money_hustla (September 22, 2006)

The SF show last night was fucking spectacular.

Anonymous (September 22, 2006)

do we need another fucking larry arms show review?

Anonymous (September 22, 2006)

One of the best shows I've been to in a long fucking time! Lawrence Arms are a fucking amazing band hands down!Anyone who reads this review, buy every fucking record ,and check them out! Cause ,if they strike a chord with ya, your in it for the long hall....great fucking show! Oh ya, im the greasy haired kid up front with the 45 grave shirt singnin my heart out...fuck ya!

colin (September 22, 2006)

Finally, reviewer failed to mention that there were some exceptionally pretty ladies at this show, but that's okay.

i know! first show in portland i've been to with some cute girls. i just wish i had balls to talk to them. then again i was really, really dr unk and sick from blood.

also thanks.

and rad to know there's people in portland who are not exclusiveto hardcore.

Anonymous (September 22, 2006)

Nice pictures.

Enemy_Will (September 22, 2006)

Hey I was drunk at this show too! I'm the kid with the long greasy hair and trucker cap (i just opened myself up, I know) in one of those pictures. I 'd never heard the Blackout Pact before, and while I personally thought they were pretty good, especially the guitars, I could see how they may have been mistaken for a genricore band singin' about girlfriends and shit. The Draft were excellent, and it was beyond awesome when that big red-haired dumbfuck instigating son of a bitch got his nose smashed up by the one dude via the floor and everybody within the proximity started clapping. Only complaint is that while Jason's bass playing is still on par with previous stuff, the drumming was kind of lackluster to me. The Lawrence Arms ruled, and it was the best time I've seen them too. For the record, Neil played 106 South. They played along time , even played Kevin Costner's Casino. Finally, reviewer failed to mention that there were some exceptionally pretty ladies at this show, but that's okay. Score's for a good and accurate review from Colin!

Fuzzy (September 22, 2006)

Same experience to the Arms in Sf. I have never seen a crowd go that nuts for a band at the Bottom of the Hill. BK sent 100 Res. out to my brother (it was his birthday) and we screamed the words until our throats were raw.

Be prepared, awesome falcon interview on Tuesday!

BrendanKelly (September 22, 2006)

Hoyl fuckl. I was at this showsldfm

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