Rx Bandits / Shafter / Over It / Amity - live in Santa Clara (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Rx Bandits / Shafter / Over It / Amity

live in Santa Clara (2005)

live show

An hour drive and an hour's wait in line in the basement of Santa Clara's student lounge led up to this oddly matched show. I came for the Rx Bandits, and while I was glad I got their early (as the show sold out quickly), I could have lived without seeing any of the opening bands.

Amity was probably the best, as their kind of noodling, whiny emo pop-punk was the most interesting (yeah, that shows how horrible the others were). Nothing memorable, and overall a pretty bland stage presence. I can't really say much more, as there isn't much to say.

I'd heard some good things about Over It from some friends and other zines. I hope to God the band was sick that night. It's either that or their producer flogs them in the studio and pretty much makes the songs up in ProTools, as their live performance sounds nothing at all like their recorded documents. Add to that a complete lack of stage presence and some nicely out-of-rhythm drumming, and I'm pretty much done.

Shafter (heh, shaft) are Yellowcard without the hooks or the violin. They're local to Santa Clara, so people knew them, danced, etc. Still boring, and if you actually can hear the lyrics, you'll burst out laughing (as I did).

The Bandits played (finally) and killed it. Their set was composed of mostly stuff from The Resignation but included a few tracks from Progress ("Nugget," most notably for me) and one older song which I can't remember the name of. If you've never seen them, and appreciate their music in the slightest, you're doing yourself a great disservice. Their style of jam-influenced ska/reggae/rock is fully realized in the live setting, with crazy fills on the drums, impromptu between-song jams from the horn section and the intensity of an early 80's hardcore band. It's hard to say anything about these guys without just gushing, because they do what they do so well.

If you can stomach some horrible openers (or just come late or something) the Bandits are very worth seeing. After the show, you'll still be wondering why they're on that label.