I started my way to this show, taking the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) for the first time on my own, so not getting lost was a task within itself. I met with a friend outside the Great American Music Hall and we headed in. I hadn't been to this venue before, so I was interested in checking it out. It's a very nice place with a big, old-fashioned chandelier in the center above the floor and balconies on three sides of it.
The opening band was Timmy Goes Boom and they were already playing by the time I got in. I had never heard of them and couldn't find any information about them on the internet so I was curious about their sound. The couple songs that I caught were called "Decision 2000" and "I Was a Teenage Altar Boy." They dedicated every song I heard to Fat Mike. The singer was wearing a Straight Edge shirt and had a cigarette behind his ear, so I don't know if he was joking around or what. They pretty much just had the basic fat wreck chords punk rock sound to them, nothing too groundbreaking here.
On the PA between sets they were playing Ted Leo/Pharmacists which I was glad to hear since I've been listening to a lot of that CD lately.
The next band up was The Lawrence Arms. They had released their new CD on Fat Wreck Chords since the last time I saw them. They played quite a few of their new songs and I enjoyed what I heard. Their lead singer talked about how he met Little Richard in L.A. the day before and also that he saw MTV News' Gideon Yago. He said he was going to go up to him and say, "Hey, you look like that Gideon Yago guy from MTV" but he didn't. One of their songs was "First Eviction Notice." During their last song the drummer got up and played bass and then kept on drumming, which I thought was somewhat amusing. Their drummer had to drive back to Illinois after the show and they kept asking if someone would go ride with him. I kind of thought about it, since I'm from Iowa, but I decided not to since I don't have the airfare to pay for my way back. The Lawrence Arms had a good set and the kids enjoyed them.
Alkaline Trio was next and they had some pretty cool intro music. I think every band should have intro music, it always seems to gets the kids hyped up and into a frenzy. They opened their set with "Private Eye" and the kids were going pretty crazy, I could feel the floor shaking as people were jumping. Considering the size of the place, I couldn't believe it was doing that and it made me think about earthquakes a little bit. Apparently it was Matt Skiba's 25th birthday and Mike Park and Miya from Asian Man Records came out with a birthday cake all lit up, which Matt then blew it out. A little while later I looked over and Fat Mike was there, so I guess that's why Timmy Goes Boom kept dedicating every song to him. Corona was Matt's drink of choice and between most songs he would take a drink and lift it up to the crowd. During the song "Bleeder" the crowd was so into it and singing so loud that Matt would just let the crowd finish the lyrics. I noticed that mostly the kids would just sing to the new album, which is kind of sad cause their older stuff is so amazing. "My Friend Peter" was their last song of the set and the crowd went crazy when Matt started the guitar solo. Some more songs from the set were "Mr. Chainsaw" "Stupid Kid" and "Crawl".
Bouncing Souls were the last to play for the night and I had never seen them before so I was excited. They opened up their set with "Here We Go," with everyone singing along to the soccer chant-like song. The lead singer for Bouncing Souls has a really strong presence and his vocals sound really clear â?? almost like a CD. After the song "Hopeless Romantic" the fog machines went on and the lights shined though â?? it really gave the Great American Music Hall a great look for Bouncing Souls. Later during the set Mike Dirnt from Green Day came up next to me and watched the show, which is definitely something that I'm not used to. The rest of the songs that I saw were "Needle on the Record" "I Like Your Mom" "Gone" "East Coast! Fuck You!" and "BMX Song." Unfortunately after that I had to leave to catch BART before it stopped running for the night and stranded me in San Francisco, so I couldn't stay to the finish but I had a great time.