Small Brown Bike / Bridge and Tunnel

Small Brown Bike / Bridge and Tunnel: live in Washington, D.C.live in Washington, D.C. (2010)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 3

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

I only go to two actual "clubs" in D.C.: the Black Cat and, on the rare occasion, the 9:30 Club. Smaller venues like the Velvet Lounge and the DC9 have either a lack of good bands or aggravating age restrictions. When Title Fight and Ruiner were scheduled to play the Velvet Lounge, for example, Titl.

I only go to two actual "clubs" in D.C.: the Black Cat and, on the rare occasion, the 9:30 Club. Smaller venues like the Velvet Lounge and the DC9 have either a lack of good bands or aggravating age restrictions. When Title Fight and Ruiner were scheduled to play the Velvet Lounge, for example, Title Fight graciously tried to put as many minors on their guest list as possible--including me--to no avail. We got in on time to see Daylight with six people at most before the show eventually made its way to a local basement. It's those kinds of altercations that keep me away from those places, but when Small Brown Bike announced their D.C. date at the DC9, I figured I'd ignore punk ethics, embrace my newfound "adulthood" and go to a real 18+ club. The employees were immediately helpful, offering me soda, food and overall were very welcoming and friendly.

I had mutual friends with the opening band Solar Powered Sun Destroyer, so going in, I was met with the hype machine. Honestly, they were probably the best-sounding band that night. They share a lot of the spacey qualities to Cave In and had an incredibly dynamic and powerful drummer. The plethora of soaring guitar effects were a foresight to what would become of the rest of the show.

Your Skull My Closet took the stage. I didn't really enjoy their music, but they played together very well. They had a real rock and roll swagger with a drummer equally as impressive as Solar Powered's. Apparently, he spent some time with Small Brown Bike in their later years.

Bridge and Tunnel sucked out all of the professionalism out of the club that night, but not in a bad way, mind you. They EQ'd poorly, but continued with a very modest and intimate set. After a short intro speach, they opened with a new song. I couldn't hear the vocals, but instrumentally, it sounded like an extension of their reverberating, post-hardcore sound. They played crowd favorites like "Wartime Souvenirs" and closed with "Call to the Comptroller's Office," but frankly, no one was really singing along. They seemed were very grateful to be sharing a tour with Small Brown Bike and told how they basically just emailed them saying they were huge fans and if they were interested in playing shows together. Evidently, they were interested.

I've been a Small Brown Bike fan since I was 15 years old, so I had quite a bit of anticipation growing in the pit of my stomach. I befriended a heavier-set gentlemen during the setup. He was a die-hard fan and told me about how the last time he saw them was six years ago at their "last show." After the lead guitarist had a Jameson-induced battle with his amplifier, they stormed into "The Cannons and Tanks" off of my favorite, Our Own Wars. Unfortunately, a lot of the newer and slower songs didn't get much reaction from the crowd. "A Declaration of Sorts," "The Cold" (my favorite!) and "See You in Hell" were among the highlights. What surprised me was that they weren't particularly tight, but they had a real reckless and sloppy punk attitude--well, at least the antics of their drunken guitarist.

It was a solid a show, but it didn't exactly pan out to be my "dream" show; each band delivered enough to make it worth the 14 bucks. I sure hope I never convince myself to spend that much for a show again, though.


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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.
mikexdude (May 27, 2010)

This is the first show of a band this size that I had to pay that much for. I've seen off with their heads, title fight, trash talk, lemuria, all for less. I think the damnation AD show is cheaper. I'm not complaining, I'm just not in the position to spend 14 on any band that isn't a big deal like SBB to me. Bridge and Tunnel isn't THAT good live at all. I don't get it.

suburbanxcore (May 27, 2010)

Gas is a steady $3 a gallon and people are complaining about the cost of shows? Vans don't run on broken guitar strings and good ambitions. The $5-6 show is great when it happens, but I think we're all past the point where that's really economically feasible in a lot of situations.

Also, Bridge and Tunnel is at a point where they are so good live it's embarrassing to other bands. They blew everyone off the stage at the Philly stop on this tour. I was bummed about Small Brown Bike's set too though. Not enough of the good stuff. This was the third time I've seen them (the first being on Our Own Wars) and it was by far the worse.

thepopeofchili-town (May 26, 2010)

I've paid less than that to see OWTH before, but I think those days may be over soon. To answer your question, no I probably wouldn't pay $14 to see Bridge and Tunnel, but I would sure as hell pay a lot more than that to see Small Brown Bike.

mikexdude (May 26, 2010)

14 is a lot for a show. The music scene in DC does not really include these venues, so I usually pay 6 or 7 dollars for shows. And I go to LOTS of shows. I paid 6 to see off with their heads, if small brown bike wasn't playing, would you really pay 14 to see bridge and tunnel?

thepopeofchili-town (May 26, 2010)

It's 2010. 14 bucks isn't that much for a show.

mcflynnthm (May 25, 2010)

Sounds way different from the Boston show. SBB was on top of their shit, tight as hell, and ripped through the songs. Crowd was good, too; everyone was going nuts and screaming along for everything, especially "Declaration."

bastard_squad (May 25, 2010)

This review makes me very glad that I missed this and that I caught them on the 'our own wars' tour years ago

kneel (May 25, 2010)

this show was so good. how did i not run into you, mike?

at the beginning, they were a little off... i think the bigger dude was kinda drunk, but halfway through their set they hit their stride.

now if only there were more than a couple of us who wanted to dance.

MN_DrNick (May 25, 2010)

When i saw them at Fest this year, I thought SBB was one of the best live bands I had ever seen. You must've seen them on an off night.

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