Streetlight Manifesto / Big D and the Kids Table - live in Long Island (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Streetlight Manifesto / Big D and the Kids Table

live in Long Island (2004)

live show

With the first day of the tour finally in effect, Streetlight Manifesto lead singer Tomas Kalnoky stated during the first few songs of the band's excellent set that "You can't bitch anymore about how we don't tour." Malibu Boy Scouts, a sloppy ska/punk outfit from the area, had to have been playing one of their first shows ever. The band, whose average age couldn't have been much higher than seventeen, looked nervous as hell. They shook some of it off to joke with the crowd, like how they introduced themselves as Streetlight Manifesto, played the horn intro from "Everything Goes Numb," thanked us, and left the stage. After a thundering applause, they came back to play a set anyway. They did a lot of goofy dancing, except for the motionless keyboardist/saxophonist, and their lyrical content (ska songs…skanking…ska songs) reminded me of older Reel Big Fish. The next band taking the stage were the Blue Barracudas, another ska/punk band. Their songs ran together a lot towards the end of their set resulting in a fit of boredom for what seemed like was a good portion of the audience. Since everyone is already aware of my undying love for ASOB, there needn't be much for me to say here. Having just jumped on the bill, they played a short but sweet, 25-minute set, which wasn't nearly as intoxicating as the last time I‘d seen them, but fun nonetheless. They introduced themselves as Taking Back Sunday and ripped right into a speeded, ska'ed-up version of the first two verses of "You Know How I Do," leading right into "So Let's Go Nowhere." I also remember them playing "Rock Rocket Rocketship" and "Kill the President" among others. Oddly enough, one song they played they said would be on the upcoming Big D album. Bearing in mind the fact that a different band was playing it, it sounded good either way. The High School Football Heroes, who had just finished recording their debut full-length after years together in the local ska-punk scene, put on a good performance. They ran onto the stage and busted into several "classics" and a few songs from the album, titled Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. They have a good following, and it showed, with plenty in the crowd singing along. The energy was admirable, and the set rocked nicely. Big D and the Kids Table played the final opening set of the night. They definitely stuck out a lot from the rest of the bands this night. Although they used minimal horns for the songs, I've never seen a ska band with a lead singer's on-stage swagger like Dave had. He has to be highly influenced by his native Boston hardcore scene, with his fierce strut, head bobbing, and finger lashes, just like any other hardcore band from the area in question. He also does some slick circle whips with the mike cord. They played "Checklist," "Girls Against Drunk Bitches," "Scenester," "Dirt Lip," "She Won't Ever Figure It Out," "Fatman," "Take Another Look," and a few others. One new song they played, which they said would be the opening track on the forthcoming How It Goes album, is yet another verbal lashing against scenesters everywhere, with a chorus that went something like, "Does my shirt match my pants? Do my pants match my shoes? Do my shoes match my eyeeees?" (as he bats his own). It sounded similar to Gypsy Hill material, so fans will likely not be disappointed. Streetlight Manifesto, however, owned the night yet again. Although a mere step behind in terms of tightness sine the last time I saw them only a few months prior, they were spectacular yet again. Their completely unexpected yet insane cover of the Suicide Machines' "Hey Ska!" was spot-the-fuck-on and had a good number in the crowd singing along immediately. The crowd was also explosive in general response for the entire set though…I was pleasantly shocked at Streetlight's apparent popularity and glad the band were getting what they deserved. They played nearly every song on the album, performing for well over an hour. Coming back on stage for the encore, Tomas gave us three choices as to what we'd like to hear; "They Provide The Paint For The Picture-Perfect Masterpiece That You Will Paint On The Insides Of Your Eyelids" got the biggest response. "Figures," Tomas replied, "you'd rather hear a BOTAR song than one of ours." As the last singalong finally died out, it looked like many were still mouthing one lyric in particular that summed up the past several hours: "this has been the best night of my life." Also, I asked Tomas when writing for the next album would begin and he said it was done. He mentioned it'd be out in 2005, which'll be "a big year for us."