Get Up Kids/Superchunk/Hot Rod Circuit - live in New York City (Cover Artwork)

Get Up Kids / Superchunk / Hot Rod Circuit

live in New York City (2002)

live show

Before going to this, I was oddly hesitant. The Get Up Kids first slew of releases are favorites of mine, but their new CD sometimes just doesn't rock where the rock is needed. I was rather skeptical going in, almost worried that I would leave the show much less a fan of their work. My only hope was that maybe the new songs that haven't taken a grasp of me will get a second chance after hearing them played live.

This show had some nerve being punctual. Guess that's what you get when it's held in a legit venue and not a VFW hall. As a result, I missed almost all of Hot Rod Circuit's set, which I wanted to catch. On the plus side, I walked in as they were playing the song I really wanted to hear, "The Pharmacist." After two more songs, Hot Rod Circuit was gone, gone, all gone.

With the layover before Superchunk, it's time to survey the crowd. Roseland fits a good amount of people and looks to almost be sold out. Lots of guys with girls, some who can't seem to can the public displays of affection. Buddy, I got news for you, I know she's your girlfriend without you having to kiss her every two seconds and wrap her in a bear hug.

Thankfully Roseland is more punctual than my grandmother and Sperchunk began their set after a very small amount of time. Now, I've only heard of Superchunk before this show. Somehow their music has eluded me over the years and I really have no excuse as to why. Last night, I found out I have some homework to do. Superchunk blasted through a rocking set that flew over the heads of half the audience who were unfortunately there just to see the headliners. After about 12 songs, Superchunk closed with their take on "Say My Name." Yes, the song by Destiny's Child. I never thought that could be pulled off, but their version was great and left their set on a high note.

The moment of truth soon arrived. Would the Get Up Kids still have that original spark that hot so many people hooked on them? The Get Up Kids opened with a song off of "On A Wire," "Let the Reigns Go Loose," and thankfully the song sounded a lot better and harder in a live setting. Compared to the CD version, the guitars were much louder and more prominent, giving the song the legs it needs.

Their set did have a heavy emphasis on new songs, which was expected, and most did indeed sound better live than my first impression of the new batch on their new CD. Suprise song of the set was theinclusion of "Up on A Roof," originally apprearing on their split 7" with Rocket From the Crypt. The furthest they went back into their catalog was their debut full-length "Four Minute Mile" for the songs "No Love" and the brilliant "Don't Hate Me."

The problem with their set was not how it sounded, but simply how it was arranged. Watching the crowd reaction was like watching waves in the ocean; it would peak when an older song was played and died down when a newer, slower song was played. The Get Up Kids opted to take the audience on an audio roller coaster as opposed to stringing similar-paced songs together. Also, the exclusion of songs like "Red Letter Day" and "Coming Clean" left some like myself hoping they would find their way into the encore.

Overall, I've seen them play a lot better (In fact, it was at Roseland where they gave the best performance I've seen them turn in when they successfully blew Weezer off of their own stage) but I didn't leave disappointed. The (Get Up) Kids have grown up, and in this bizarre scene which they are a part of, that takes a lot of courage to go against the grain and not do what is expected. For that, you can do nothing but respect them.