Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - live in Detroit (Cover Artwork)

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

live in Detroit (2006)

live show

"We came here to play two styles of music: country AND western." Normally this statement is not something you would expect a punk band to say at the beginning of its set, but for Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, the statement could not have been more fitting.

The Gimmes took the stage in complete western attire. The band members all had matching outfits that included black cowboy hats, blue cowboy shirts with rhinestone designs, and black jeans. Singer Spike Slawson's outfit also included a black suit jacket and a pair of aviator sunglasses that he did not remove during the entire length of the band's extended set.

The band opened with John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane," which they identified as a "cover" when it was finished. They then proceeded to introduce practically every song after that as a cover. This played into the hilarious on-stage banter the band is well known for.

The Gimmes played a number of the songs off of their new album Love Their Country, fitting in with the theme of the evening. They played "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)," "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky," "Desperado," "Jolene," and "Goodbye Earl."

While their earlier releases did not get that much attention in their set, the band still managed to touch on all of them. Spike even broke out the ukulele on R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly."

The set ended appropriately with Boyz II Men's "End of the Road," but Joey Cape was back on stage by himself quickly to begin the encore. He began to play "Stairway to Heaven," but had the very energetic Magic Stick crowd sing the first verse instead of him until the rest of the band joined him on stage for the second verse. The Gimmes closed their encore and the evening with Elton John's "Rocket Man."

The Gimmes played with their standard lineup: Spike, Joey Cape, Fat Mike, and Dave Raun, but with one exception: Chris Shiflett was not playing this tour and was replaced by his brother, Scott Shiflett.

It is truly unfortunate that the band is a side project for its members and rarely plays extended tour dates, because this evening with the Gimmes was about as fun and entertaining as music gets.