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The Evens

The Evens: live in Houstonlive in Houston (2007)
Dischord Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


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

The idea of punk rock has become a marketing tool to sell torn up clothes, oddball hair products and vintage shirts at the mall. The days of bands coming together with fans and playing shows that involved the audience as much as the performer had become but a memory in the old folks still trying.




The idea of punk rock has become a marketing tool to sell torn up clothes, oddball hair products and vintage shirts at the mall. The days of bands coming together with fans and playing shows that involved the audience as much as the performer had become but a memory in the old folks still trying to keep hope alive.

Even up-and-coming bands strive for the rock star attitude, with their own clothes lines, bars, action figures or anything else. The KISS business model of music has become the norm for all the younger bands today. Somewhere it all went wrong. Just like rap, punk rock and underground has been ravaged by the capitalist system in place.

On this night, all the walls created by band and audience alike were pushed to the ground. In the upstairs of downtown music venue Notsuoh, Ian Mackaye (best known for his time in Minor Threat and Fugazi) and Amy Farina brought their band the Evens to town for the first time. There was no major production, no stage, nothing to get in the way. It was simply Ian, Amy and some friends getting together to have a great night of music and discussion.

While Fugazi reached a level where this was impossible due to the size of their audience and their unwillingness to shun those who believed in the band, the Evens is a chance to reconnect in a way Minor Threat did years ago. It was not about a stage and a show -- it was about blazing trails, setting up whereever you could and connecting with people. It was about being a community. There was no dress code, no thugs in the audience, it was simply free ideas and a creation of energy. It was punk rock in its true form.

With no seats in place, the audience simply sat with their legs crossed on the floor like a group of students sitting around their teacher in elementary school. Ian and Amy took up their instruments, turned the lamps they brought for lighting on and kicked into "Shelter Two." The sounds of the baritone guitar with the drums was definitely unique for me and seeing it in person was great. From a seated position, Ian gave off the same energy he did bouncing around the stage in Fugazi. He and Farina harmonized on the songs perfectly.

The audience fell in like a choir singing along, chanting along when Ian requested it on songs like "Mt. Pleasant" and "You Won't Feel a Thing." Ian did everyone a great service by explaining the songs in great detail. "You Won't Feel a Thing" was especially revealing as an observation on the pain we'll face when we wake up from the numb caused by the insanity of our world caused by the hand of our government.

I can't think of a single song off-hand that the band didn't play on this night from their albums. As Ian said when they started, "We're going to play a little over an hour and when we play the last song, we'll be done. The last song is the song that another song doesn't come after." It was that kind of carefree fun mixed with intelligent discussion between band and audience that made the night an experience rather than a concert. That's what music should be about.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Minutemen - We Jam Econo DVDSlayer - Still Reigning DVDThe Evens - The EvensNirvana - MTV Unplugged in New YorkConverge - No HeroesThe Evens - Get EvensJane's Addiction - Ritual de lo HabitualMotion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills MeRamones - Halfway to SanityHex Machine - Run to Earth [12 inch]

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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.
epoch (December 7, 2007)

*sigh*

They came through jolly ole' Akron a little over a year ago and I missed it because I was working 80 hr weeks.

/self-hate

Great review, btw.

Punky_Chips_Ahoy_Oi_Oi_Oi (December 4, 2007)

I saw them in a coffee shop last year for $5.00 - score's for that show.

VandelayIndustries (December 4, 2007)

I saw them in Cleveland right before "Get Evens" came out and i'll agree it was an amazing experience. They do an awesome job involving the audience, just as the reviewer said, it was a community. Probably the truest punk show i have ever been to.

feeeding5000 (December 4, 2007)

Saw them at Ft.Reno this past summer. It was a religious experience, no joke. Everyone sang along to "You Won't Feel a Thing" at the end of the show.

Fresnoska (December 4, 2007)

This shit sounds gay as hell

marvtastic (December 4, 2007)

Saw them in Cincy, was exactly the same as the reviewer described it-an amazing musical experience, one like i've never had. Also, got to meet Ian after the show, I was speechless for about the next two hours, all I could say was, "I just freakin' met Ian Mckaye"

Amazing.

sfbarker (December 4, 2007)

I play music and so many bands you meet are driven by the idea of making money. Sure, there are people who aren't...like myself and plenty of other bands we're friends with, but it's an epidemic in the punk scene. Not just going to labels, etc...but selling out your moral/music to reach that point. Most of mainstream "punk" bands are pop products...

SonnySix (December 4, 2007)

oh houston. i miss you when i hear stuff like this. score is for the review. nice work!

sugarfull (December 4, 2007)

"Even up-and-coming bands strive for the rock star attitude, with their own clothes lines, bars, action figures or anything else. The KISS business model of music has become the norm for all the younger bands today. Somewhere it all went wrong. Just like rap, punk rock and underground has been ravaged by the capitalist system in place."

There are still plenty of bands out there that "keep it real". I don't think its nearly as bad as you put it.

petit_souris (December 4, 2007)

Viva Hugo Chavez

ericheartsu (December 4, 2007)

one of the best shows we've ever done.

LeightonESmith (December 4, 2007)

Punk Legend keeping it real.
Gotta love that.

SloaneDaley (December 4, 2007)

I missed seeing them because I was sick, SICK.

allison_le_gnome (December 4, 2007)

I missed seeing them a while ago (for an incredibly stupid reason) and I still get depressed thinking about it.

HonestAbe (December 4, 2007)

This probably isn't the place, but what the hell...

Anyone on here have any suggestions for electronic artists or bands, whatever their called
preferably something more mellow like Air or The Album Leaf or Diplo....shit that you can kinda zone out and study, not like dancy club crap with sampled vocals, just more atmospheric mellow type stuff?

GlassPipeMurder (December 3, 2007)

punkest band out there.
score is for the evens.

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