Hot Rod Circuit / The Reunion Show / Bleach - live in Atlanta (Cover Artwork)

Hot Rod Circuit / The Reunion Show / Bleach

live in Atlanta (2003)

live show

Ahhhh… the Cotton Club. By far, my favorite venue in Atlanta. Over the years, so many bands and so many killer shows came and went through, and yes I was at a majority of them. But due to moving 3 hours away for college this past year, I had not been there since April 2002. So it was due time for a trip back up to Atlanta. First off, I just wanted to mention the great setting and atmosphere of the Cotton Club, perfect for any punk show, and anyone who has frequented there probably has a soft spot as well. Moving on with the actual show….

The show was scheduled to start at 9 and we arrived promptly at 8:45. According to local flyers and Creative Loafing ads, the lineup was Northstar, The Reunion Show, and finally Hot Rod Circuit. Out of my 3 buddies and myself, I was the only one familiar with Northstar, but I assured them that it would be worthwhile not to miss them and get there a little early. Early we did, and as soon as we walked through the doors, I heard Northstar blowing the crowd away with "Rigged and Ready". Just as I made my way towards the crowd, Northstar thanked everyone and left, leaving me to tears that I missed one of my favorite bands.

The night was young though, and I waited for The Reunion Show to play. As the band started playing I was surprised that, there was in fact another band playing tonight; Bleach. I was surprised to see them on this tour, and although I hadn't listened to them for quite some time, I remember Bleach as playing "space-rock/punk" if you will. Their lyrics were great, but sometimes to "uplifting" (See Tooth and Nail). As soon as Bleach started playing, the crowd was hooked, and their music seemed had a harder, faster, and overall different feel than what I remembered. This was definitely a good thing as they rocked for a good 30 min set. Due to the great atmosphere of the Cotton Club, and the lack of bouncers (yay), my buddy and I climbed up on stage with Bleach and we proceeded to air guitar our hearts out. Good times I tell ya.

After an unsuccessful stage dive into a sparse pit, we recovered and waited for The Reunion Show to set up. I was not especially excited about seeing them due to many negative reviews I had read here on, and I really wasn't expecting much more than generic pop-punk. But my main thing when going to a show is to give every band a chance, and that I did. For the first 2 songs, the crowd didn't really seem to dig TRS. Then came "Television" and for some reason, the crowd started going ape-shit. The band had plenty of energy, and soon the Cotton Club was rockin and it stayed that way for the next half hour. Now, to all The Reunion Show haters out there, if you have not seen them live, go check them out, they definitely have a killer live show. As for their music, it was well played, fun rock, which my have me at my local record shop looking for their CD.

So then came Hot Rod Circuit. Plenty of screams from the ladies out there, but not in an annoying "We love Benji and Joel!" or "Blink me!" way. HRC played almost every song of off "Sorry About Tomorrow" except my personal favorite HRC song, "Get What You Get". Hot Rod Circuit also played a few tracks off of their new B-sides album, "Been There, Smoked That", which the HRC faithful belted out every word with Andrew. "The Pharmacist" was also a crowd favorite, with virtually everyone singing the first verse at the top of their lungs. After chanting over and over for "Radio Song", HRC tore the walls down, proving that they still put on one helluva show. Out of the 3 times I had seen HRC, this was the best, even though Andrew cut the set a bit short due to "losing his voice". Rock!

All in all, this was a great show, and an even better homecoming to my favorite venue. Hot Rod Circuit rocked like they always do, and if you like them and you haven't seen them live, you are missing out. The Reunion Show shocked the hell out of me, proving once again think for yourself and don't base all your opinions on other people's reviews and opinions. The Reunion Show had plenty of energy along with their catchy as hell songs. Bleach rocked as well and now I will be looking for my old Bleach cd's and get them back into rotation. If your looking for some well done, rock and roll, check out their new album "Again, For the First Time", it will not disappoint. Though I missed Northstar, I know they kick mucho ass, and if you are a fan of Taking Back Sunday, etc., check ‘em out. Good stuff. Be sure to catch this tour in a town near you, definitely one of the best ways to spend 15 bucks.