Plea for Peace/Take Action Tour 2002 - live in Austin, TX (Cover Artwork)

Plea for Peace / Take Action Tour 2002

live in Austin, TX (2002)

live show

Plea for Peace is an amazing tour, with a diverse line-up that just makes for a great show everytime (at this show it was the Lawrence Arms, Common Rider, Cursive, Poison the Well, and Thursday). The phrase "something for everyone" really was true in this case. On top of the touring acts, four local bands played staggered sets with the main bands so you could sample everything from punk/ska to post-hardcore to hip-hop in one night.

On the main stage, the Lawrence Arms kicked things off. These guys are fantastic, pouring themselves into their shows. Another great chapter in the Chicago scene that gave us the Broadways and Slapstick.

Common Rider came up next (and of course on all the flyers it said "featuring Jesse from Op Ivy," and therefore half the fun at the show was counting all the Operation Ivy shirts being sported). I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't around when Operation Ivy was together, so I never saw them live. I had heard a few Common Rider songs and was interested but had decided to remain a newbie so I could experience them live before making any judgments. They did not disappoint. Playing a refreshing blend of punk with reggae, funk and ska, they were the odd men out on the bill (Jesse apologized to all the kids that came just for Thursday) but they were fantastic. A lot of energy was building up so with only a handful of songs left they invited the crowd to get moving. In a scene (Austin, mind you) where everyone stands and stares at the stage no matter what the genre may be, it was refreshing to have a good pit going (the obligatory shirtless jerks didn't arrive until Poison the Well, so it was a fun experience, based off the rhythm and energy of the music, not just violence). Jesse seemed a little restrained at the beginning of the show, but once the crowd started going (and he had a shot of alcohol running through his veins) he was in action.

Cursive came on next, and I was very disappointed. I enjoy Cursive, but they were just off at this show. They seemed strained and a bit forced, and some of their best material came out awkward. But then again, Cursive never really hit me as music best suited for a live experience, so I guess it was still worth seeing them.

Poison the Well came on next and set the crowd off. They were in full command of their time on stage, blasting out their set with an energy that was just electrifying. Even some of my friends who beforehand didn't like Poison the Well had to admit they put on a great show.

Thursday finished up the evening, holding off their starting time so everyone could have a chance to catch the last local band wrap up. When they finally emerged they were playing to an expectant and captive audience. They did not disappoint. They brought out new material, honored crowd requests, made non-confrontational political statements (it's rare anymore at shows when a band concedes to both perspectives onstage) and just had the time of their lives throughout their entire set. Though to me hardcore conjures up images of Black Flag foremost (some of you may respond with a "duh, are you a moron?" but I have some friends who think hardcore started basically in the past five years and all the 80's hardcore was just fast punk), Thursday had the hardcore mentality downpat. Geoff is both a fantastic singer and showman, thrusting the mic at the crowd (actually getting it in front of their faces, not just in their direction) and pacing the stage with all the passion of a charismatic preacher. For those of you still awaiting Plea for Peace's arrival at your town, you can expect good things.