Planes Mistaken For Stars/Smoke Or Fire - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

Planes Mistaken For Stars / Smoke Or Fire

live in Chicago (2005)

live show

I'd been salivating for a dirty, gritty punk rock show since Warped, and luckily, Planes Mistaken For Stars brought it, and with great openers.

There was a local opener. I skipped them.

Glass And Ashes performed first. That is to say, performed in spite of a horrendous sound guy. Both the vocals AND lead guitar were set to 0 in the monitor, and the amps were set about 3 notches too high. Suffice to say, this was a change from the usual sound being loud, but not overly as so to be dangerous. This was their first time in Chicago and they played their hearts out. Maybe next time they're in Chicago someone who knows what they're doing will be manning the boards.

Fat's Smoke Or Fire were up next, and had changed terribly little since their moniker had changed from Jericho RVA. They still sounded like a cross between Avail and Dillinger Four, and out of the context of Avail, with whom I last saw Smoke Or Fire, they sounded on point and tight as hell. The mixing seemed better for Smoke Or Fire; at least this time the overall volume wasn't at "kill everyone within a mile of the speakers" level.

Smoke Or Fire briefly made light of Brendan from the Lawrence Arms' kneecap injury and asked for the venue to say "HI BRENDAN" when he walked in. He hobbled along during one of Smoke Or Fire's last songs, and consequently, elicited no such response.

But Planes Mistaken For Stars? How'd they do?

The term you're looking for is staggeringly good.

I'd previously seen Planes Mistaken For Stars in Denver, and they had unleashed a kind of manic, unbelievably tight performance that decimated the 100-person crowd, including a Relapse Records exec.

In Chicago, nothing had changed. From the opener of "Belly Full Of Hell," Planes Mistaken For Stars made one thing clear: Their rock will fuck you. Both guitarist Mikey and bassist Chuck ably backed up a perhaps slightly inebriated Gared on vocals, as he growled his way through an all too short set.

I'm tempted to make a grand statement about how Planes Mistaken For Stars plays rock the way it should be, speak with eyes tilted down that Planes will "save rock and roll," but that's shoddy music journalism no matter where it is being published. Point is, Planes Mistaken For Stars plays brutal, intricate, gorgeous, textured, layered music, blending the best parts of emo, hardcore and metal into something you haven't heard before.

I'm sure there's a bio for a screamo band out there that uses a phrase like that, but Planes sounds like no cheap act out there, and the insinuation that there's anything remotely close to screamo is just as incorrect as saying there's anything remotely close to nü-metal

Planes Mistaken For Stars is a volatile, explosive, dare I say dangerous act that has yet to be truly discovered. As I and anyone in the 100 or so people who were in attendance can say without hesitation, Planes Mistaken For Stars is dirty, beautiful and classic.

Odds/Ends/Stuff you may or may not give two shits about:

  • Plans are still in effect for the new record to be out on June 6th of next year.
  • Onstage, Gared announced that this might be Planes' last tour for a while. After the show, Mikey said that the reason was because the group wanted to spend time with their families and children.
  • Additionally, the rumored move to Relapse is not final, and "there may be other possibilites," according to Mikey.