Dashboard Confessional/Ash/Hot Rod Circuit - Live in Worcester (Cover Artwork)

Dashboard Confessional / Ash / Hot Rod Circuit

Live in Worcester (2002)

live show

"You know you guys are being real pricks." These are the words that I will remember from my night at the Worcester Palladium. As Chris Carraba steps up to the mic before singing his songs he dedicates the song to the "dickheads that come to our shows just to mock us." He must be talking about a general group of people huh? No. 2 kids standing near the front. Then proceeds to have them picked up by security and escorted out of the building. Yes this is the event I will remember of my night... sadly.

On Saturday October 12 I attended the Hot Rod Circuit, Ash, and Dashboard Confessional concert with the BostonMusicGal. A surprise opening act (to me anyway) was the Remedy Sessions. Gut wrenching vocals, horrible drums beats, and very weak guitar work topped this performance off by the trio from South Florida. I can not say I enjoyed one song that they played although some of the so called emo kids around me (and my own girlfriend... but only because there were no vocals) enjoyed at least one of their songs so I guess somebody must think it is good.

Looking around and viewing my fellow concert goers I learned 3 things. I never knew it was cool to be ugly, "emo" kids really need to take a shower and wash their hair, and 12 year old rules the new "punk" trend. As I stand on the dance floor I get the feeling like I should go and sit somewhere and not hang out there anymore because I feel out of place being 21 and over 6' 4". So I go and take a seat for Hot Rod Circuit. I had never heard anything from Hot Rod Circuit and now I dont really feel like I want to hear anything from them again. The songs were boring, seemed uninspired and the guys, just as their fans, needed a shower. They were entertaining to watch though. The one guitar player (I think, cant really remember) was wearing a bright red jump suit and jumped around did splits and spins and all sorts of stupid stuff. While the bass player (again not sure about that) and other guitar player/singer did the obligatory head bang on the stressed notes. Since I was sitting rather high up in the balcony seating of the old play house I couldnt understand much that was sung or said in between songs.

So after a pretty boring performance from Hot Rod Circuit we awaited the arrival of Ash. Is it me or do they take a lot longer to change equiptment during bigger shows like this one. It seemed like at least 20 - 30 minutes in between each set which added the the boredom. I wasnt expecting much from the foursome hailing from Ireland going into the concert but I was pleaasantly surprised. Now I know this concert did not match up with their recorded songs but they had a lot of power, intensity, and energy. I had heard the song "Burn Baby Burn" and (reluctantly) enjoyed it. But the other songs I have heard from them have been really cheesy and poppy. This was not what happened tonight. Do not confuse what I am saying and think that I am comparing the two bands at all but the vocals and simpleness of the songs they played reminded me of the Ramones. Do not crucify me for this. I was pretty impressed with the Ash performance but I know this is not what I am to expect from their recordings. And I know that I will not ever prusue further Ash performances or recorded materials, as I dont suggest any of you do.

Now I know we all have pre-determined feelings towards Dashboard Confessional. Phrases like "selling out", "pussy rock", among other insults come to mind of those I have heard before. The Dashboard performance was not what I was expecting. I saw them last April at Skate and Surf Fest in Asbury Park and was pretty damn impressed by the energy and emotion that Chris puts into the performance. But this time I realized something... it isnt actually Chris that you are hearing a lot of the time. Throughout the set all I could think was that the only thing missing was a screen with the lyrics and a little bouncing ball. Fans knew every word to every song, save a few new songs. Despite hearing people I didnt pay to hear sing most of the songs from the set I wasnt upset at all. Playing all of my favorites like "Saints and Sailors", "Screaming Infidelities" (yea I know), and "Again i go unnoticed" I had no complaints and took off early to "beat the traffic."

The concert was very unimpressive in my mind although it seemed that most of the kids and my very own BostonMusicGal seemed to enjoy themselves very much. I have never ever seen so many people stand completely motionless for a majority of a concert. I guess faking some sort of depression gets to you after a while...