Sum 41 / No Use For A Name / The Starting Line / Authority Zero - live in Jacksonville (Cover Artwork)

Sum 41 / No Use For A Name / The Starting Line / Authority Zero

live in Jacksonville (2003)

live show

I know I'll probably get a lot of crap for saying I went to this show from all you "purists" out there, but hey, it was free for me, so lay off a bit.

When I arrived at the venue (Plush, for you Jacksonville kids), the line was already enormous. This was kind of good, since I had to take pictures of folks in the crowd. However, I was surprised at the sheer amounts of young teens, it being a school night and all. While there were a couple groups of college age kids, it was mostly a bunch of Hurley folks aged 12-16.

The first band up was Authority Zero. I'm just tossing out a guess here, but I'm guessing this band is from Orange County. Honestly, I wanted to not like them, with all the air play that their mediocre single is getting and how it seems they're just another band riding the latest mainstream trend. I was very pleasantly surprised. Aside from that single, Authority Zero sounds like they went to Punk Academy originally intending to study Bad Religion, but then changed their major midway through to the Clash. Their sound paid homage to lots of influences, but managed to hold the energy at a high level, getting the crowd going for songs other than their hit. I wouldn't say I was persuaded to pick up their CD, but the set was a very solid, fun performance. On a negative note, I could tell right away this would be the type of Jacksonville shows dominated by 21 year old meatheads there with their 14 year old girlfriends and trying to prove how tough they are.

Next was the Starting Line. I don't like to talk a lot of smack about bands simply because I don't like their music, but I'll make a bit of an exception here. They played there generic emo-pop-rock with a lot of "passion," making sure to throw up lots of hardcore signs and jump off the speakers once or twice. At one time, the lead singer even told everyone to jump the fuck up!!! wow, it got my blood PUMPING!!! The thing that really pissed me off about this band was that they felt the need to make fun of Limp Bizkit. They just said "Is Limp Bizkit the worst band in the world or what?!? Everyone say fuck limp bizkit!" Of course, the crowd obliged. I'm not defending Fred Durst or Limp Bizkit in a musical sense, but the band really helped open up the music scene in Jax, and if it weren't for them, half of the bands here who have gotten label attention probably still wouldn't be on the map. I realy don't see how insulting them to try and look cool adds to a performance. I mean damn, it wasn't even clever. Then the lead singer continued to prove his maturity by telling everyone how he was gonna get laid and how he has a recurring wet dream where his girlfriend and Avril Lavigne get in a car crash and die on impact. First off, the band wasn't exactly far enough from the pop spectrum to be making fun of pop bands, especially considering Avril sounds more like a man than that dude. Also, considering all the girls singing their words were probably about 14 and had just gotten over wearing ties and sock elbow thingies.... ah well. Anyway, their performance was boring to me, but the meatheads in the pit started to take off their shirts in addition to pummeling each other. Finally, the band reach the Finishing Line (HA! HA!) and No Use for a Name took the stage.

Consider this a message to all the Jacksonville kids: when the lead singer asks for a circle pit, that doesn't mean you form a circle and beat the shit out of each other. No Use played for about 45 minutes; I don't know the names of many of their songs, but I'd say about half of the songs were off the new one in addition to a couple classics. The band still plays with a lot of energy, and should still be a must see for you fans of that kind of punk or what have you.

Sum 41 ended the show on a high note. The band has progressed quite a bit from a technical standpoint since the last time they were here (10/01), and I was really impressed by their newer stuff, which sounds much faster and heavier. If the music has matured, however, the band has still kept their playful attitude, keeping up a pretty funny chatter with the crowd, who continued to just continue trying to see who could beat more shit out of whom. The songs spanned all 3 of their releases. Aside from their singles, the high points I'd say were "The Hell Song," "Pain for Pleasure," and "Machine Gun." Sum 41 is definitely at the top of the whole pop punk game as far as I've seen - they genuinely rock without being annoying or sounding superficial.

Now, on an interesting side note, the security guards were the same as from the Most Precious Blood show, and the lead singer from Authority Zero pointed out the fact that they were fucking pricks. None of the other bands said anything despite the fact they continued to be jerks. I think the low point was when this drunk girl was getting thrown out; this one guy Jacob said "Yeah! Fuck beer!" The security guard gave him a look of death and asked if he was getting smart. So Jacob said "Yes sir, no sir, yes sir, no sir!" and was thrown out. When his girlfriend asked if she could go get her stuff from him, she was basically kicked out too. So to Jacob, keep rocking the Boy Sets Fire, something needs to be done about these guards.

After the show, 4 police officers were waiting to rush everyone to their car. As much as I wanted to wait by the door for my friend and see what exactly their hollow threats would bring about, I decided to leave it alone and take some more pictures for the article I was working on.

In summary, 5 stars for Sum 41, 4 for Authority Zero, 4.5 for NUFAN, 1 for The Finishing Line. 0 for the crowd. 0 for the ticket price. For all the good cops and security guards, if they exist, the very best! and a bullet for all the....