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Face to Face / Pegboy / Polar Bear Club: live in New Yorklive in New York (2009)
Face to Face
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Face to Face and Polar Bear Club book-ending a show in New York City promised to be at least a pretty good time. I hadn't seen the latter all year -- a practical drought for a band whose hometown(s) is/are 5-7 hours away. And I'd never even seen the former, though admittedly, I own a single Face to .
Face to Face and Polar Bear Club book-ending a show in New York City promised to be at least a pretty good time. I hadn't seen the latter all year -- a practical drought for a band whose hometown(s) is/are 5-7 hours away. And I'd never even seen the former, though admittedly, I own a single Face to Face album, and not even a highly lauded one. But why not check out one of my favorite bands, as well as some '90s punk legends to see if they still had it?
Pegboy was more comical than musically enjoyable, but the Chicago outfit played their worn brand of adequately poppy punk decently enough. Frontman Larry Damore strapped on his guitar for a few songs and drunkenly stumbled around the stage fist-pumping otherwise. He talked a lot about how old he was, which in itself got a little old; his age showed, as during a few of the later songs, Damore merely crouched down besides one of the monitors for a song's entirety. For real. The band also trimmed down their set (seemingly voluntarily) by 15 minutes. But he was an amusing character and the vocal issue was fixed, as his raspy shout was totally clear for the set's duration; he also engaged what few fans the band had in attendance way better than either Stadt or Trevor Keith would do, coming down into the barricade and wrapping his arms around stoked nostalgia trip-takers. A decent interlude of a set that may not have inspired anyone running home and pirating their Touch & Go discography, but hardly an abysmal affair, either.
Set list (8:45-9:25) (I may be off...):
The sound checks, instrument swaps and banner raise took a little longer than desired, but when Face to Face took the stage, all was forgiven. I mean, I know the band's pretty much been back in commission the last year or two, but I was still shocked at how absolutely tight they sounded. All those fast punk songs of theirs were lightning-quick, and they kept the tempos just consistently driven and speedy. Danny Thompson was a goddamn animal on the skins and I think the reason everything moved along at such an excellently urgent clip. Hearing just fast punk songs in this day and age was actually kind of a refreshing treat, especially since they were played so well.
The band put on a show, too. I'm talking all the silly "ohhh-ohh" call-backs and audience participation sing-alongs that seemed to keep everyone's attention in check ("Disconnected" must've been like seven minutes long between the mid-song delay where Keith asked fans to vote on whether they wanted to sing along or not, and the song's fake ending). Keith would often jog around the stage and hype the crowd, too, even as the band bustled through steady quartets of songs that, to the audience's delight, spanned their whole catalog. His vocals sounded great, and it seemed like the band barely missed a note. Total mid-'90s Warped Tour mosh pit action, too, but that wasn't too surprising.
Set list (10:05-11:19):
Even for fairweather fans, this might be worthwhile to check out.
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