His fingers pointed, right at me, and mine pointed right back at him, it was an odd moment of synchronicity… Wait a second, I think I'm getting a head of myself. Last Thursday night I sat in the back seat of a Little Nissan trekking it's way to Providence Rhode Island. And why was said car making this two-hour drive? Well if you haven't figured it out by now (and I really hope you have) I was off to see the Kids, the Get Up Kids that is, along with Saves the Day, and Hot Rod Circuit. Yea, I know what your thinking, great triple bill, well if you ask me it woulda been much better a few years ago, but I'll get to that later.
The Crowd at the show was interesting I must say, It was sponsored by Brown so there were a lot of college kids there, and almost all were sporting band t-shirts. Then there was your proverbial emo show fixture, Fat chicks in Dashboard shirts making stupid comments and generally being annoying. But thankfully once I got outta line I got away from them and escaped into the mass of youthful humanity. The two kids I was with and I wondered around the venue for awhile, glancing merchandise, going up to the balcony, but then with just a few minutes left before the show started we made it to the back of the lump of people right in front of the tiny stage, then the music started.
The first band Hot Rod Circuit put on quite a show with a certain kind of laid back intensity. Well except for the longhaired guitar player who was just all over the place and generally insane. I think every good band needs that, a wild man with long hair, the longer the better, although I don't know about that guy in Unwritten Law, he kinds weirds me out. But yes, back to the show, like I was saying Hot Rod had good stage presence, with the rocking out and such, but their set still lacked something as I am really only familiar with their first album, and they only played a couple songs from that. I mean I own their second, but never listen to it, which brings me to my point, what I believe the theme of the show was, "Former Greatness", in fact I think if these three bands where touring the world together it could be called the "Former Geniuses World Tour." Ok maybe genius is a bit strong, but you know what I mean. Neglecting "Irish Car Bomb" and that other song from their first album all the songs from their set just seemed to blur by. I mean not to say they were terrible or anything, not at all, just that Andy Jackson, although not an amazing lyricist showed amazing potential on the first Hot Rod album as a man of great emotion. Like those hardcore dudes can get out there and yell till their vocal chords break, but do they really mean it? That's how I feel about Hot Rod Circuit, once in their youth, they had great potential, they threw it all into the music, but now I dunno, it's all soulless and stuff, I can't help but wonder if Vagrant had something to do with this… they must have.
Next up was Saves the Day. Just in case any of you don't know them take human resources tactics of Whiskeytown the looks of the Backstreet Boys, and put that into a blender with Emo, pop punk, and hipster sensibilities and you've got Saves the Day. I saw Saves the Day Last February open For Weezer in this huge Hockey Arena in Massachusetts, and I must say that the club setting suits them much better. Something about the intimacy of it all, and the fact that there they actually played some older music helped their live show. Over the years Saves the Day has lost all it's original members except for the lead singer, I think they even got a new drummer different from the one I saw play with them last February, which leads me to one question. Did Chris Connelly just get too lazy to teach the new recruits how to play the songs on "Can't Slow Down?" I mean this really irks me, I hate to utter the old 5 word cliché, "The old stuff was better", but in this scenario, it's oh so true. Well anyways Saves the Day Came and played, and basically that was it… I mean there was nothing terribly notable about their performance, not to say that they didn't do it well, but they just kinda came and did it. But I suppose Chris would look rather silly if he like jumped around and shit while singing mildly about bad relationships.
"We have a new album coming out soon, and this song isn't on it" "We have a New album coming out soon and your gonna hate it." Always comedic, hands full of Brian Setzer-ish Guitars was Get Up Kids front man Matt Pryor. Previously I had only seen pictures of the Kids, and always assumed that their singer was the ducky looking bass player, cuz he's the coolest looking guy in the band, but oh well. The crew cutted front man took his band through over an hour worth of material the bulk of which from "Something to Write Home About" Backed by the excellent drumming of Rob Pope and the playful keyboard stylings of James Dewees, Pryor's mousy voice was just perfect. And Speaking of Mister Dewees, during a break in the set his dressed in black, head to toe body stage dove right next to me, and when his foot got caught on the barrier (that's right I pushed my way all the way up to the barrier) I freed it, and when he jumped back on stage behind his keyboards we pointed right at each other at the same time, it was great. Well enough bragging… back to the set, Like I said it was peppered with STWHA tracks: "Valentine" "The Company Dime" "I'm a loner Dottie, a Rebel" and "Red Letter Day" where all played and much to the appreciation of the crowd so was the earlier number "Don't Hate Me." And then there was the new songs, not really emo, hence Mister Pryor's comment that none of us would like them, however, even though it was a departure from their old sound some of them where real toe tapers, or head bobbers, you know however you prefer to look silly at concerts. Me, it's yelling along to all the songs I know, but yea, the Kids rocked, I was impressed. They came back with an Encore too, surprised huh? I love that, how people just kinda stand there after shows end, and then they're like oooh right, we have to cheer for them to come back, because everyone knows they were gonna come back, especially the band. The encore was good, with the regionally appropriate "Mass Pike."
The show rocked, I can say it was up there with some of the best I've seen, but then again, I just recently started going to concerts a lot, so yea. It was good, darn good, maybe even awesome, but the trouble is it could have been stellar, amazing, you know somewhere along those lines, I kept hoping for "Low" from Hot Rod Circuit, "Always Ten Feet Tall" from Saves the Day, partially because it's a cool song, but more so to silence the legions of older males who scream it at Saves the Day shows all the time, and "No Love" from the Kids, but oh well I guess you just gotta focus on what you get, and what I got was a great show.