Glassjaw/Sparta/Hot Water Music/Dredg - live in Philadelphia (Cover Artwork)

Glassjaw / Sparta / Hot Water Music / Dredg

live in Philadelphia (2003)

live show

Ah, the Electric Factory. What a lovely venue. Giant, fluorescent images of Ben Franklin everywhere, what more could a kid ask for? I was there mainly to see Glassjaw with two friends, and ...hey, wow, alot of hot chicks must like one of those bands, because they were present. Before I was able to embarass myself by speaking, Dredg quietly announced their presence onstage ("Hi, we're Dredg").

After reading some stuff about them and hearing from other people, I was ready to hate this band. But, as you've probably figured out by now, I ended up thinking that they were awesome. Don't judge a book by its cover and don't judge a band by its desire to bring weird tree branches onstage. Dredg is one of the most creative live bands I've seen. Yeah, you've all heard how he sings into a trumpet, but trust me, it gives this really cool effect (think singing in the depths of a giant cave). Plus he is a great singer. He also implemented a shovel and a saw into the music, and the cool part is that it actually worked with the music. At one point he was chopping at a saw...or something...with another metal thing in his hand, and it was really rad. The band closed with an epic, 7-minute closer called "The Canyon Behind Her"; the opening lines "Does anybody feel this way? Does anybody feel like I do?" really gave you a cool feeling. Despite the nu-metal-sounding name, Dredg is closer to Sigur Ros and Radiohead than, say, System of a Down. Once the band's set was done, the guitarist, drummer, and bassist kept playing some mellow instrumental as the stage hands took everything down. The drummer played even as they started to disassemble his set. By the end he was just hitting his sticks against a cymbal, until that too was taken away. Gah, stop it with the're making my brain hurt. So you will definetly check out Dredg in the future. Why? Because I am cooler than you, and you must do my bidding.

So theres a break and Hot Water Music comes on next; everyone's favorite punk-indie-posthardcore-emo-rocknroll-newwave-ragtime-techno-[insert completely obscure genre ending in "core" here] band (there, now no one can get mad at me when I called them the wrong genre. god forbid I should do such a thing). They tore through a good set including material from all their albums. Yes, they played "A Flight And A Crash" to appease the gods of songs that bands should play. The crowd really moved around and got into them, to appease the gods of what fans should do during a HWM set. I need to get those glasses that have mirrors in them, so I can see crowd surfers that are about to drop kick me in the back of the head. But a really great set from the boys in HWM, despite some iffy vocals at times. Still a great set, not that anyone expected anything less from these veterans of rocking your socks. You probably have already heard HWM, so you don't need me to force you to listen to them. Just continue listening as you have been (pats a baton in hand).

Next up was Sparta, which came along with my biggest revelation of the night: Sparta is good. Hmm, go figure. I had heard "Cut Your Ribbon" before, but it just never caught on to me. I figured Sparta would just play a bunch of songs derivative of At The Drive In (yea, I named-dropped them. so shoot me. is it just me or does "Cataract" sound kinda like "Invalid Litter Dept."), which wouldn't be a bad thing, but I figured they'd all sound like "Cut Your Ribbon". I was really surprised with just how good - and cool - these guys were. The Philly show was going to be their last show on Snocore due to a funeral that they had to go to back home in Texas. And I know it sounds trivial, but the lighting was really good for Sparta, better than I'm used to anyway. Halfway through the set some kid started...I don't know what the correct word is...moaning I, this kid started moaning, like he was high or something, "Cedric". I expected the band to get kinda mad, but they appeared to take it in good humor. They also dedicated a song to a friend of theirs who was dying of cancer, and you could see the emotion and intensity when they played it. Also, whenever Sparta played a trippy, spacy echoing guitars part, my friend and I made hand motions like a butterfly gamboling gently through a peaceful garden. Later, the lead singer took his hands off the guitar and did the same thing. So while that was a highlight for me, it is in no way cool to you, the reader, and it is just some desperate attempt to make it look like I'm cool. But I mean, when a band acknowledges your prescence it is still pretty cool, c'mon, stop being such a toughass, you know its cool. Before they played "Cut Your Ribbon" (how many times am I going to name that song?), the lead singer said, "This next song is about feeling guilty...and it is dedicated to our President," which really got a big cheer out of the crowd. He also added, "We wouldn't be in this situation if more of our generation voted," and told us that it was a good idea to vote. So, you, vote. Vote now or we'll have another pointless war on our hands. Plus Sparta can say "I told ya so" and I hate it when bands say "I told ya so." It just ruffles my stockings, or whatever the saying is.

And so, another intermission ensued....hey, are they playing "The Boys Are Back In Town" by Thin Lizzy. Cool. Yeah, I'm a dork, but that was the highlight of the time in between Sparta and Glassjaw.


So, Glassjaw takes the stage. I can't even remember what they opened with, probably because I was thrown to the back of the crowd and back up to the front after they struck the first chord. Just like Sparta before them, Glassjaw really interacted with the crowd alot, telling jokes and the like ("Sorry about my voice screeching, what with that whole hitting puberty thing a couple weeks ago, I'm also kind of sick"). I couldn't tell you an exact set list off the top of my head, but they played mostly stuff off of "Worship and Tribute". However, they did play "Pretty Lush", "Siberian Kiss", and "When One Eight Becomes Two Zeroes" from EYEWTKAS. I don't think they played anything else off of that album, but I could be wrong. Furthermore, Daryl (the singer) is absolutely insane live. He was jumping around like nuts, and it didn't compromise his singing nearly half as much as it would have for anyone else...he must work out. I would list some song highlights, but all of them rocked the hizouse. Some songs I distinctly remember (besides the ones listed above) are "Mu Empire", "Cosmopolitan Bloodloss", "Cavalcade...", "Ape Dos Mil", "Must Have Run All Day", "Radio Cambodia", "Trailer Park Jesus" and the closer "Convectuoso". In the last song, Daryl changed the lyrics to "That's you, American MAN-hood" instead of womanhood. I guess he was saying that chicks could use guys as much as guys use chicks.

You will attend a show featuring one of the above artists in your lifetime. Why? Because they rock.