Avail / The Casualties / Jericho - live in Jacksonville, FL (Cover Artwork)

Avail / The Casualties / Jericho

live in Jacksonville, FL (2003)

live show

I'd been sick as a dog for days leading up to this show, and still had a terrible feeling in my throat, but there was no way I was going to miss Avail in my backyard. So phlegm filled throat and all, I took myself to San Marco for an evening of good old RVA fun.

I don't know why Jericho opened, as I heard The Curse were opening the entire tour. I don't know how good they were, because I haven't been able to find their EP anywhere (is it out yet?), but Jericho was great. Their style sounded kind of like Equalvision days Saves the Day meets "Finding the Rhythms" Hot Water Music... ripping guitars that know how to slow to melodies and speed it back up without just sounding percussive, and a solid drummer and bassist to back it up. I'm NOT saying this band sounds exactly like STD or HWM, those were just the first two unrelated bands that popped in my head. The crowd didn't really react to their set, kind of understandable given it was the first time most of us had heard'em. I was persuaded to pick up the EP and hopefully, I'll be able to post a review here soon. Watch for these guys, they said they'd be touring again soon and would specifically be in Jax again in June.

Next were the Casualties. What can you say about the Casualties? They played approxamately 700 songs in about 35 minutes, one of which was a Clash cover. I couldn't really tell you what Clash song it was, because the guitarist was playing it really fast and I couldn't make out any of the words. But some of the other choruses shouted during the night were "Get off my back!", "Police brutality!", "Punxxxxxx unite!" and "Ask your mom for 40 bucks so you can go to hot topic and pick up our latest album along with Good Charlotte's!" during which a group of 12 year olds beat the hell out of each other. The Casualties are definitely a fun and fast paced band to listen to; I just wasn't feeling the fans, and its probably not something I would be interested in spending money on to buy the recording. If street punk is your thang, however, I'd say these guys got game.

I moved towards the front for Avail, and when the group finally took the stage, the crowd was more than ready. Tim motioned for the kids immediately surrounding the two center monitors to spread out, and nobody knew why until the first chord was played and he went flying into the crowd. For those of you who don't live in Jacksonville, Jack Rabbit's is a pretty small venue with no barriers, so the momentum from his jump landed him in the pit and the fun commenced. I think they brought a roadie along just for the specific purpose of holding the mic cable up while Tim was in the crowd, which was pretty damn cool. Beau Beau was sporting a Love is Red shirt, which surprised me since I didn't know they were around until last week. Some high points of the set included "F.C.A.", "Model", "Black and Red" and the epic closer "Scuffletown." The band probably played around 20 songs, including a lot off of "Front Porch Stories." The only noticeable omission was probably "Southbound 95." Avail also said they'd be back in the summer, so let's all hope that's true.

As a side plot, there was a really drunk guy in a backwards baseball cap who heckled Jericho and Avail during their entire sets. Tim Barry dedicated "Scuffletown" to him, and when the guy jumped on stage, danced around, and was generally whooping it up, Tim said "No, no, we were being sarcastic. This song isn't for you, nobody even likes you. Now get off the stage before you hurt someone." So, of course, the drunk bastard fell flat on his face. It was pretty funny if you were there.