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The Explosion / Modern Life Is War: live in New Yorklive in New York (2007)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)
For the Explosion's final show, the band pulled strings for two terrific openers, the Ergs! and Modern Life Is War; each had their own niche fanbase in attendance, and considering the stylistic differences maybe it shouldn't have been all that surprising. The Knitting Factory main space wasn't ha.
For the Explosion's final show, the band pulled strings for two terrific openers, the Ergs! and Modern Life Is War; each had their own niche fanbase in attendance, and considering the stylistic differences maybe it shouldn't have been all that surprising.
While the venue still wasn't up to its capacity for a sold-out show, the band's fans were present and energetic, moving from left to right and crawling over each other to scream the lyrics back into Eaton's face -- naturally exploding the most when "D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S." rolled through. Still though, this was an arguably "punk," sold-out show on a Saturday, and it seemed that the band's last stint at the Knitting Factory, opening for He Is Legend, actually had more of their fans in attendance; a little weird, I guess, but maybe attribute that to many of MLIW's followers not being able to snag tickets in time. It was pretty raucous overall though, and the only time it really died down much was when the band presented newer fare like "These Mad Dogs of Glory" (actually a year old by now, though) and "Pendulum." I was holding out for specific cuts "Screaming at the Moon" and "Night Shift at the Potato Factory," but perhaps they'll be integrated eventually as the band is sure to mix up their set list with touring plans booked out the ass. Overall, another damn fine time, especially since all the instruments sounded loud, booming and unusually focused, as surly as they seemed (but seeing them in the basement of a Williamsburg bar with no stage tonight? Uhh, that won't be beat. And who can argue with them opening up for the likes of Lifetime and the Souls next month?).
Set list (7:23-7:54):
Along the way, saucy vocalist Matt Hock made multiple drink requests, bounced around the stage manically and got in a mildly awkward semi-confrontation with (I assume) some photographers / up-front patrons when he called someone a "faggot." In any event, he commanded a hell of a presence and was generous with the mic when it came to the urgent chorus of voices on the floor below him.
Personally, I was stoked to hear the band play a fucking fantastic rendition of "Filthy Insane." Seriously, this song is pretty killer, but having not listened to it for a while, its delivery during "this is not you! / this is not me! / this is all of us! / this is everything!" left it resonating in my head long after the set ended.
"Sick of Modern Art," while not quite as abrasive as its studio version, was efficiently performed too and a definite highlight itself.
Elsewhere, the Loved Ones' Dave Hause came out for one of the band's still unreleased, new songs to provide some backup vocals. He didn't exactly make his presence felt, but it was cool to have another familiar voice in the mix.
After "True or False," requests from the crowd came for "Novocaine," so Hock offered the mic to anyone in the crowd to take the lead vocals on it. One nervous volunteer came up and was instructed to introduce the song; one slight hesitation later, the mic was confidently ripped out of his hands by another audience member. Ultimately it was decided they would share the duties, with a third person from the crowd jumping up on stage mid-song to make it a trio.
"Mother's Cry" came to a close and the band convened for a big, heartwarming group hug. And then? "No Revolution," with half the audience spilling onto the stage and shouting "there's no revolution anymore!" along with a couple of very cramped guitarists, vocalist and percussionist. The song finally finished at some point and many started to exit straight out the doors, flowing into the bar and outside the front entrance. Still, a select few remained inside the main stage room, vehemently demanding another song. A good four minutes or so had passed, and suddenly the band came back out, Hock promising this would be fun, and they tore into "No Revolution" -- again. An even greater percentage of the now thinned-out crowd took up residence on stage and fist-pumped in agony, death approaching ever so closer. But the Explosion delayed his icy grip one more time, playing the song again. I watched a crowd surfer dive on top of kids clustered on stage as Hock was huddled around by sweaty, aching faces looking into his mic and simply yelling the last words in near-eulogic fashion.
Set list (8:33-9:38):
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