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Strike Anywhere / the Lawrence Arms

Strike Anywhere / the Lawrence Arms: live in New Yorklive in New York (2006)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


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

Really, there are bands on Fat Wreck Chords whose music I get little to no enjoyment out of. However, it appeared as though that none would be on their 2006 CMJ showcase. While this did seem like a condensed version compared to the incredible 2004 lineup that featured all-stars the Bouncing Souls (o.


Really, there are bands on Fat Wreck Chords whose music I get little to no enjoyment out of. However, it appeared as though that none would be on their 2006 CMJ showcase. While this did seem like a condensed version compared to the incredible 2004 lineup that featured all-stars the Bouncing Souls (on loan from Epitaph for the show), Avail, Dillinger Four, Strike Anywhere, None More Black and the Soviettes, it was still like a melodic punk buffet to be able to witness Dead to Me, None More Black, Smoke or Fire, the Lawrence Arms and Strike Anywhere in one sitting.

Mildly pumped about seeing Dead to Me as their debut, Cuban Ballerina, is essentially just a followup to One Man Army's split with Alkaline Trio (as it is for many people I'm sure), I could have sworn they were a three-piece, but four graced the stage. Bassist Chicken is responsible for being part of literally the funniest interview I've ever read, so I was sure that in between songs I'd have nothing if not a good laugh -- and I was dead on. Early on he entertained the still small crowd with a short story of being pulled over in Baltimore for speeding (Jack's fault), even dealing with a few Homeland Security officials, but catching a smooth break as Brendan Kelly (the Lawrence Arms) had already done all the band's drugs the night before. A totally solid NYHC joke also made its way into the set later on. Mike Wiebe, former tourmate of the Riverboat Gamblers, even came out to lend a few notes to closer "By the Throat." As for the tunes on the whole, they were good -- I wasn't blown away by any sort of on-stage persona or anything, but the band shows a fair amount of energy and vigor, so if you like the album you'll like the band live, as I do/did. (And yep, that's an OMA cover.)

Set list (6:50-7:21):

  1. Don't Lie
  2. Visiting Day
  3. Still Heartbeat
  4. -----
  5. True Intentions
  6. Cause of My Anger
  7. Writing Letters
  8. -----
  9. Something New
  10. Special Professional
  11. -----
  12. Last Word Spoken [OMA cover]
  13. By the Throat
Many rumblings had occurred around the recent Fest V that the entire vibe made it seem as though None More Black would be calling it quits. That vibe definitely pervaded the band's set here, and while there were a few choice songs I wish they'd played, it could be the best I've seen them -- never have they looked so energetic, so passionate, nor so emotionally "together" as a band. I was happy to see that they were playing the better material off This Is Satire, as it all worked in the live setting remarkably. At the end of "We Dance on the Ruins of the Stupid Stage," loveable guitarist/vocalist Jason Shevchuk was leaning his head into the crowd, eyes clenched and screaming along with the crowd: "It's a struggle, but we're going...!" A little more on this later, but it it was quite an interesting moment during the last break and prior to the band's last two songs: Guitarist Colin McGinniss thanked Fat for everything but also called it an "arm wrestling match -- you've won some, we've won some...," to which bassist Paul Delaney looked at him and smirked. Awk-ward! Whether that's another hint to the abovementioned or one to label movement, it's all merely speculation at this point. In any event, the facts are creating some intriguing scenarios -- but if this really is the end, it was a tremendous one, with the members leaving the stage one by one until the drummer was on his lonesome, playing the sad, final notes of "Drop the Pop."

Set list (7:37-8:12):
  1. We Dance on the Ruins of the Stupid Stage
  2. Banned from Teen Arts
  3. Zing-Pong
  4. -----
  5. 10 Ton Jiggawatts [preceded by an impromptu jam Shevchuk said was a blatant Ugly Kid Joe rip-off]
  6. -----
  7. Oh, There's Legwork
  8. D Is for Doorman (Come on In)
  9. Who Crosses State Lines without a Shirt?
  10. -----
  11. Everyday Balloons
  12. Drop the Pop
None More Black's response was pretty impressive, so it was yet another weird thing that Smoke or Fire would play after them. Yet, I didn't mind this, as it seemed each of the main openers were getting a half-hour anyway, and not only would I say I prefer Above the City over This Is Satire, but SOF's live show has gotten better with each passing time I've seen them -- and this is all within the last two years or so. Though they seemed a little sloppy and tired with their opener "Fire Escapes," things really got rolling with the next one in the fantastic "Filter," with the band pretty much acknowledging the slow start saying "Alright, here we really go now." However, it seemed the real point of the set was to showcase new material from their recently completed sophomore full-length, This Sinking Ship, as five of the 12 songs they played were from it. The first was titled "Patty Hearst Syndrome," which sees the band coloring a little outside the lines of their standard fare; the second seemed to test Joe McMahon's vocal stamina; the third I liked a lot -- it was definitely one of the band's heavier and darker collaborations, with McMahon's emotional please of "We will shine!" driving the ending; the fourth was about the band drinking with each other and having good times during such; the last relied on the hook of "Divided we stand, united we fall!" (NOFX much?). "California's Burning" and "Culture as Given" got the biggest responses, but I was pumped we'll be two full-lengths in soon and the band is still referencing their Worker's Union EP, unlike a wealth of other modern bands who sometimes completely ignore pre-LP material. Obviously I would've loved to hear "Fifty Cent Hearts," but at least "Sunday Pints" is the next best thing off the EP. Great set as usual, and essentially getting an album preview was a good change of pace.

Set list (8:32-9:02):
  1. Fire Escapes
  2. Filter
  3. Cops and Drugs
  4. -----
  5. NEW: Patty Hearst Syndrome
  6. NEW
  7. Sunday Pints
  8. Delawhere
  9. -----
  10. Culture as Given
  11. NEW
  12. -----
  13. NEW
  14. NEW
  15. California's Burning
The Lawrence Arms played show no. 881 before a suddenly swelling crowd, and Brendan Kelly was slurring as soon as he took to the stage. Rolling through 13 songs in just under 45 minutes, it was a usual blast; the audience went nuts, going quieter for the more obscure tracks, but being able to hear clear versions of "Chapter 13: The Hero Appears," "Great Lakes / Great Escapes" and the fantastic "Lose Your Illusion 1" were welcomed. I was disappointed at the lack of "Necrotism...," but an otherwise stellar mix of material from the band's discography was integrated. They even threw the customary slow country interlude jam into "Porno and Snuff Films." Oh, and as for the additional, interesting commentary -- Brendan dedicated a song to None More Black and said "This is [their] big night," before adding, "I hope not too many of you journalists are here..." Sorry Brendan!

Set list (9:31-10:15):
  1. Recovering the Opposable Thumb
  2. The First Eviction Notice
  3. Alert the Audience!
  4. Turnstyles
  5. -----
  6. The Devil's Takin' Names
  7. Great Lakes / Great Escapes
  8. -----
  9. Porno and Snuff Films
  10. 100 Resolutions
  11. -----
  12. Are You There, Margaret? It's Me, God
  13. Lose Your Illusion 1
  14. -----
  15. The Ramblin' Boys of Pleasure
  16. Chapter 13: The Hero Appears
  17. -----
  18. Like a Record Player
So yeah, how many fucking times have I seen Strike Anywhere? Are you as sick of reading these reviews as I am of writing them? Naw, I take that back. I'm actually not quite to the point of breaking, yet. Not so long as they continue to play nearly flawlessly and bring more passion and aggression than most bands with half their age (experience, really) for the entire duration of their set. Honestly, I was a little worried I'd had my fill of them lately when they took the stage, but it was yet another good time, had not just by myself but all. Two things changed up the set a little bit, too, one being Matt Sherwood roaring drunk. Select slurred comments from him included hard shit-talking on CMJ, "That was the faaastest we've ever played that song!" ("Aluminum Union"), and getting the crowd to chant his name in a call-and-response -- pretty hilarious to see such stumbling outgoingness from someone usually a bit quieter on stage. Also, maybe it was just me, but Thomas seemed unusually operatic for a couple songs (including the very first one, "Refusal") -- maybe his occasional outpouring of gravel is getting to his voice a little bit, maybe he took some tips from Ignite's Zoli when the bands were on tour, maybe a bit of both. This could however be one of the first times I did not mind at all a succinct 44-minute set from them, as all four bands prior to them did punch in for (at least) a half-hour each. Plus, the band did include some of their best live cuts (helloooo "Laughter in a Police State"). We all got to hear a steady mix from EP through Dead FM, and the energy was reciprocated all throughout. Another satisfying set, yet one that capped off an expectedly great night.

Set list (10:33-11:17):
  1. Refusal
  2. Lights Go Out
  3. Laughter in a Police State
  4. -----
  5. Sedition
  6. -----
  7. Chorus of One
  8. Hollywood Cemetery
  9. -----
  10. Aluminum Union
  11. -----
  12. Three on a Match
  13. Amplify/Blaze
  14. -----
  15. Instinct
  16. To the World
  17. -----
  18. Prisoner Echoes
  19. -----
  20. You're Fired
  21. Sunset on 32nd

 

 
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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.
ConsolationPrizefighter (November 7, 2006)

Score is for the Larry Arms playing An Evening Of Extraordinary Circumstance last night in Cambridge.

tylerdurden8136 (November 6, 2006)

I would hope i speak for everyone else on here when i think we've had enough lawrence arms reviews for christ sakes....

I'm seeing the Larry Arms this Wednesday, so I'll be sure to write a review and send it in just for you!

Anonymous (November 6, 2006)

wow this website is so freaking biased. im pretty sure ive seen over 10 lawrence arms reviews in the past 6 months on here and they all get 4 in a half to 5 stars.

They freaking kick ass, I get it - everyone gets it. If your going to do this website right you have to diversify the shows you review. I would hope i speak for everyone else on here when i think we've had enough lawrence arms reviews for christ sakes....

onegirlarmy (November 5, 2006)

against me is gonna need a new copy cat if none more black hangs it up.

i hear that they broke up so hey could focus on cheeseburgers and bad hair.


wow, you're so cool.

skanknsmile (November 5, 2006)

i didnt get to see none more black, and if they break up, that will be the third time i was supposed to see them and didnt, and possibly never will. this makes me very sad. oh, and strike anywhere sucked.

Anonymous (November 5, 2006)

against me is gonna need a new copy cat if none more black hangs it up.

i hear that they broke up so hey could focus on cheeseburgers and bad hair.

Anonymous (November 4, 2006)

"contrary to this interview, chicken wasn't funny at all, he was really trying but the only thing i was laughing at was how poorly his humor was going over."

No shit, I like the record but his Brendan Kelly/Fat Mike impersonation falls VERY flat live.

damnitsderek (November 4, 2006)

Man, I fucking love The Lawrence Arms. I'll be seeing them for my first time in Brisbane with Frenzal Rhomb next month. One thing's got me worried, it doesn't seem like they ever play Presenting: The Dancing Machine on any of their setlists that I see, which would be disappointing because that's such a fucking amazing, fast song. It's only like, just over a minute - surely they can fit it in!

Anyway, cool review.

They opened with Presenting: The Dancing Machine the one time that I saw them live back in May.

Damo (November 4, 2006)

cheers bud

i agree with mike tho, i don't think this is satire is punk enough but it's still good. NMBs best songs like "banned from teen arts" and "affiliates" are all earlier stuff

Anonymous (November 4, 2006)

I spoke to the guitarist from None More Black after the show at the bar, he said fat mike didn't like the direction of the latest record, said it wasn't "punk" enough, and basically told em to re-do it. They didn't wanna do that, so instead decided to call it quits. That and the fact that traveling from NY, NJ and PA to rehearse was getting old. No ill feelings, just time to move on I guess....

Damo (November 4, 2006)

i should add that that was an outstanding review.

cheers mate

Damo (November 4, 2006)

hope to god NMB aren't breaking up

wonder what their struggles with fat were about...

TeddyTexas (November 4, 2006)

contrary to this interview, chicken wasn't funny at all, he was really trying but the only thing i was laughing at was how poorly his humor was going over.

onegirlarmy (November 3, 2006)

The deserted location sucked the life out of the crowd and made for a very blah show.

Sucked the life? did you even see how many people were going off for NMB and the Larry Arms and of course Strike Anywhere?

yeah the location probably prevented a lot of people who would have come from coming if it was in Manhattan in a more easily accessible location, but the crowd that was there was definitely into it. How did you not see that?

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

You forgot to mention that the venue for this show was out in bumblefuck Brooklyn. This place made the middle of nowhere look like a hotspot.

The deserted location sucked the life out of the crowd and made for a very blah show.

None More Black was the only impressive band.

onegirlarmy (November 3, 2006)

Definitely an excellent show for sure, all the bands played great sets.

The Hook is definitely a rad venue as well, too bad it's in the middle of nowhere.

frostbrewliner (November 3, 2006)

I really hope this isnt the end for NMB, i have yet to see them live and its somthing i have been wanting to do for years now. Also they have such a unique voice in the punk scene today cant think of any modern act like them. Anyways this show sounds like it would habe been way to much fun, damn east coast!

Scruffy (November 3, 2006)

"And the reviewer twerp considers himself a journalist?

Sorry, kid. Writing for some halfass "punk" site does not a journalist make."

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1) - Cite This Source
jour‧nal‧ist  /ˈdʒɜrnlɪst/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[jur-nl-ist] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
??noun
1. a person who practices the occupation or profession of journalism.
2. a person who keeps a journal, diary, or other record of daily events.

Also, just what about this site is "halfass"(sic)? The fact that they wait to report news until it is confirmed, ignoring rumors even when they seem true? The timely reporting? The proofreading work that is light years beyond other continuously updating websites? The ads and contests? Professional quality video of live shows? Album streaming from bands otherwise unrelated to the site?
Sorry, but, as someone who has dedicated a large amount of time to this site, I take offense when someone feels the need to attack it because of another commenter.
Again, sorry for being "lame", but I love this site.

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

I heard the Arms set was nuts and that people left after them.

inagreendase (November 3, 2006)

And #8 according to their setlist was Earthbound, not Three on a Match

You might be right about that one; I just remember the lyric "in our hearts," but that accounts for literally three of their songs pre-Exit English.

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

Strike Anywhere's second song was Infrared, and I don't think they played Lights Go Out.

And #8 according to their setlist was Earthbound, not Three on a Match, but I can't really remember if that's what they ended up playing, I'm bad at remembering song titles and I got hit in the head a lot by that point...

Either way, awesome set, and pretty cool venue except for when they tried kicking people out for diving and that security dude tried to unnecessarily sit on the front of the stage and keep people off... ultimately unsuccessfully by the end.

baseball (November 3, 2006)

guy below me

i've seen them play that song before....you might hear it

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

Man, I fucking love The Lawrence Arms. I'll be seeing them for my first time in Brisbane with Frenzal Rhomb next month. One thing's got me worried, it doesn't seem like they ever play Presenting: The Dancing Machine on any of their setlists that I see, which would be disappointing because that's such a fucking amazing, fast song. It's only like, just over a minute - surely they can fit it in!

Anyway, cool review.

Sally_Field (November 3, 2006)

And the reviewer twerp considers himself a journalist?

Sorry, kid. Writing for some halfass "punk" site does not a journalist make.


Yo Anonymous! I'd assume you'd have something more "punk" to do than spend time on this halfass "punk" site deciding whether or not some twerp is a journalist or not.

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

i saw NMB last saturday and 10 people were there. it wasnt so good thought due to the bad sound and not being able to hear jason

baseball (November 3, 2006)

i hope it's not the end of NMB

This Is Satire would be a good cd to go out on though, one of the year's best

only time i saw them live there was only probably 50-75 people there, really tight performance

SloaneDaley (November 3, 2006)

maybe no more NMB? thats is really sad I'm glad I got to see them live. This show sounded amazing Smoke Or Fire were a lot more intense than I expected them to be when I saw them last year.

baseball (November 3, 2006)

yeah and the Lawrence Arms set is close to what i saw on Halloween

they played "The Revisionist" though which was one i hadn't seen live before

baseball (November 3, 2006)

sounds like an excellent show

just saw Dead To Me the other day in Baltimore, they were awesome....as were the new Smoke or Fire songs

Chicken was hilarious with Dead To Me and hilarious when i saw Western Addiction...it's almost worth going for the banter

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

the arms need to play more of apathy and exhaustion. i mean i know they only have 45 minutes or whatever, and they are still kinda touring for oh calcutta. but come on just 2 tracks?! that album is phenomenal. they need to really explore the space and show it some love!

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

the strike anywhere/ignite.global threat/modern life is war tour was fucking awesome

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

good review. well done!

mattyd (November 3, 2006)

What was the NYHC joke?

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

Came down from Montreal to see this show, missed DTM and NMB due to horrific traffic.

I thoroughly enjoyed every second of what I did get to see, but was a little surprised that the crowd wasn't livelier. What's up with New York kids not dancing? I can nod my head to my stereo; I come to shows to move around.

All in all, excellent show though. Well worth the drive.

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

"Brendan said, 'I hope no journalists are here.'"

And the reviewer twerp considers himself a journalist?

Sorry, kid. Writing for some halfass "punk" site does not a journalist make.

ramo (November 3, 2006)

It really was a great show. Each band, to me, outperformed the other (except in the case with Smoke or Fire which I thought they were good but didn't top None More Black's performance). NMB's set was probably the tightest, most energetic set by them I ever seen performed. The Lawrence Arms were fucking great and this is one of those rare times where everyone started chanting along and moshing around to them. Most TLA sets in the past I've only seen myself and a couple of other people singing along. Strike Anywhere was absolutely amazing and a drunken Matt made things a whole lot interesting. He was the 2nd funniest punker of the night (Chicken remains 1st). I wish they played songs "Asleep" and "Timebomb Generation" but after a set like theirs, I couldn't care less. I was having a whole lot of fun.

One of the best punk shows of the year (that I've seen).

Ramo

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

none more black are great. the rest of these bands are watered down fat records cookie cutter shit punk rock.

marcusd (November 3, 2006)

That NYHC joke was lame. NYHC moved to jersey five years ago it is all about hipsters now.
(Turnstiles)

Fucking beautiful show. The Hook is a great venue

theonetruebill (November 3, 2006)

So has anyone else been hearing the rumors that The Soviettes broke up? I really hope it's not true but I've seen it several different places.

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

Brendan Kelly sucks dick for 20 bux after the shows if anyone wants to know.

maverick (November 3, 2006)

Oh, I forgot, we did get "Genuine Malaise And Misery" at the Fest.

-Scott

sickboi (November 3, 2006)

The new Smoke or Fire songs are insanely good. I loved Above the City, but their new drummer makes a HUGE difference. I'm really excited to hear it next year.

maverick (November 3, 2006)

Those TLA and NMB setlists are virtually identical to their Fest sets. I'm sure Dead To Me's is, as well, I just don't know their songs by name to tell you one way or the other.

-Scott

damnitsderek (November 3, 2006)

I've seen "Alert the Audience" on nearly every Lawrence Arms setlist, minus the one show of theirs I was able to attend.

I'm jealous.

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

Brendan Kelly why do you suck so much? Your live show is so boring.

Anonymous (November 3, 2006)

Brendan Kelley your a faggot.

BrendanKelly (November 3, 2006)

what can i say? i'm an interesting man.

colin (November 2, 2006)

this woulda been a fucken show to see.

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