Streetlight Manifesto / The Arrogant Sons of Bitches - live in Long Island (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Streetlight Manifesto / The Arrogant Sons of Bitches

Streetlight Manifesto / The Arrogant Sons of Bitches: live in Long Island

live in Long Island (2004)

live show


4.5
A cool, breezy night in Farmingdale. Ska was in the air. But not until after the first act. A quaint man covered from his mouth to chest with the resultant liquid from blood capsules stepped onto the stage with an acoustic guitar and nodded to us cheerfully. Immediately I thought, "Against Me?...

A cool, breezy night in Farmingdale. Ska was in the air.

But not until after the first act. A quaint man covered from his mouth to chest with the resultant liquid from blood capsules stepped onto the stage with an acoustic guitar and nodded to us cheerfully. Immediately I thought, "Against Me?" The following performance didn't completely qualify my guess, but definitely did remind me of the solo recordings of aforesaid band, without any gravel in the voice. He played some immediately catchy and damn funny tunes like the sarcastic "America Rocks" ("if you don't like rock 'n roll, then you're a terrorist!") and "The Nice Things People Do At Drive-Throughs," the second which had a pleading hook line the whole crowd was singing; "thaaaaaank yoooooou for buying me Burger King! Makes me want to dance and sing!" It was a fun warm up that set the precedent for the night.

My Big New Pants was a young and energetic eight-piece ska-punk band that played next. With shades of the Mad Caddies and a more punk-oriented Reel Big Fish, the music they played allowed them to dance across the stage wildly, and they were clearly having fun. The keyboardist kept feeling himself up and the goofy-looking lead singer looked like he came straight out of "The Goonies." The looming problem however, was the brass section. They reminded me of the band that plays the theme music for Saturday Night Live's skit "Wake Up Wakefield." Sure, they played tight, but the tenor sax's amp was entirely too loud and he looked ridiculously uncomfortable, and the other two were almost motionless, save for some clapping during the last song. Guys, it's ska...you can smile once in a while, trust me.

The first ten minutes of the show had been spent by an old friend hyping to me The Superspecs. He promised big things, but I was let down by the band's rather mediocre brand of a midtempo version of Alone in a Crowd-era Catch 22. To give them credit, they claimed to be down a few men, and the last two or three songs were interesting. One got me skanking a bit and another was a great cover of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," helped out a bit by Jeff and J.T. from ASOB.

Now, I know full well that the Arrogant Sons of Bitches were turning a few heads on last year's Warped Tour with their Big D-influenced ska and consistently energetic performances. But if you thought they were giving it their all at a festival tour, it's obvious you haven't seen them in a club setting. The band had Mindless Self Indulgence clips playing on the P.A. and swore not to start until everyone was dancing to them. When everybody started moving, so did ASOB. Opening with their more accessible number, "So Let's Go Nowhere," the fun began. Although the band had to take time between songs to let their drummer rest after he had blistered and broken his hands during a day at his construction job, it really was non-stop camaraderie. Just about the whole set had the band taking requests, like "Abnormalities," "Royale Fuck Deluxe," and a new one, "1-800-ALARM-ME." After the band asked what they should talk about at one point and was answered with a request for writing a song about the drummer's broken hands, they did just that. A thirty-second song ensued, and the band kept randomly jumping into short parts of the song thereafter. At the end, they held a small contest for who could offend the lead singer's mom (who was there videotaping the set) more based on a one-to-five scale. The first contestant won with a '5' due to his short story involving a prostitute and some glue-like semen. The band was crazy and interactive as always while still keeping their stage presence and energy intact. One of the best live bands you can see.

As if that set wasn't enough, Streetlight Manifesto then took the stage. Never have I seen a band play tighter; it was possible they didn't miss a single note. The first song had extended jam sessions for each member of the brass section, allowing for Tomas to introduce the members. They played the whole Everything Goes Numb album plus a Squirrel Nut Zippers cover and had the crowd singing along and throwing fingers like it was 1996. The trumpeter pointed his instrument at us like a rifle and sang his words of weapons. These are seven very talented individuals. It was a fantastic, unified one-hour set and capped off a great night.

SET LISTS (from the paper and accurate)

The Superspecs
twice the pulimanary
dr evil -->
up and down
take me down
pigs fly
sobbing
straight up -->
listen up


ASOB
[no set list, just took requests for the most part]

Streetlight Manifesto
If/When
Few
Failing
Numb
Saddest
That'll be
Annie
Hell
Point/Counter
Silence
Violence
Heres to Life
Big Sleep

MORE PICTURES [ALL TAKEN BY FRANK MERCADO, INCLUDING THE ONE UP TOP]

ASOB
1, 2, 3,

Streetlight Manifesto
1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19