A Wilhelm Scream / Only Crime / The Swellers - live in Orlando (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

A Wilhelm Scream / Only Crime / The Swellers

live in Orlando (2007)

live show

On an uncharacteristicly balmy October evening (even for Florida), my friend Stefanie accompanied me into foreign territory: Island Oasis to check out A Wilhelm Scream, Only Crime and the Swellers. The first time seeing a show at a new venue can be interesting. There's the initial task of actually finding the place, and once I get there I wonder things before going inside. How big is it? How close is the stage? Will I be able to breathe or will the combination of smoke and sweat overpower my senses? Can I get a beer here for less than three bucks? Island Oasis turned out to be a cool place for a show, though. The stage was only six inches above ground level with no barrier, breathing was no issue and while I didn't drink, it didn't seem like the kind of place that would hurt your wallet for a brewski. And the 100 or so in attendance this night received a rare treat: a show where all five bands that played were at least decent! I can't even remember the last time I went to a show that didn't have some Throwdown tribute band or something worse as a local opener. Talk about a breath of fresh air.

Strike a Chord opened the show and their bursts of short hardcore were passable, if uninteresting at times. I'll give props where they're due, though. For playing just their fourth show ever, they sounded pretty tight. But yeah, nothing to write home about.

Years from Now were up next, sounding much like Strike a Chord, only the experience they had over the preceding band was blatantly obvious. They rocked an assortment of tracks from their We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat collection, although covering "Bikeage" with Bill Stevenson in the building was kind of weird. I dunno. They do an admirable job with the song but the whole thing just reeked of MTV Icon-type campiness. But "Richie Cunningham" and "Big Bucks, No Whammies" sounded rad live.

After a lengthy soundcheck and cries of "JUST FUCKING PLAY!" from some inebriated concertgoer, the Swellers just fucking played, and played well. Opening with the My Everest 1-2 punch of "Vehicle City" and "Bottles," the band sounded much more tight and focused than the last time I saw them. Every song was brought across with great energy unmatched by the previous two bands -- even the mid-tempo "Rain Check" came across as hard and abrasive in a live setting. They also changed up the set list a bit from the last time I saw them, which was welcome. The set, as well as I can remember anyway, is below.

  • Vehicle City
  • Bottles
  • By a Thread
  • This Is My Everest
  • Rain Check
  • Skoots
  • The Flood
  • They All Float Down Here
Unfortunately, the beginning of Only Crime's set was marred by some dude jumping on my and Stefanie's shoulders and spilling what felt like a bottomless cup of beer all down our backs. Her knee was driven into the stage pretty hard, so we limped out of the pit and watched Only Crime's set from afar. They sounded great and the crowd was really into it, getting right into Russ Rankin's face and screaming along with standouts like "Eyes of the World," "Shotgun" and "To the Nines." Seeing Only Crime live made me wonder why I haven't listened to them more avidly. I'll try to change that.

The anticipation for A Wilhelm Scream's performance was at a fever pitch and the band wasted little time soundchecking before bursting into "I Wipe My Ass with Showbiz" and "5 to 9" back to back. The band kept it as tight as possible, which is impressive given the frenetic nature of their sound. Mike from Alucard filling in on guitar went off without a hitch, which was expected given that he wails. Everybody there was way into them, including yours truly. I'm usually pretty reserved at shows, but I couldn't help yelling along and pumping my fists. Seriously, if you're into punk rock there's no reason for you to not love the shit out of AWS. The set was extremely satisfying and comprehensive, with a nice selection from Mute Print on up to Career Suicide. The set list by album is below:

Career Suicide:
  • I Wipe My Ass With Showbiz
  • 5 to 9
  • Die While We're Young
  • Career Suicide
  • Pardon Me, Thanks a Lot
  • The Horse
  • Killing It
  • Congratulations
  • The King Is Dead (with the intro!)
  • Me vs. Morrissey...
  • The Soft Sell
  • The Kids Can Eat a Bag of Dicks
Mute Print:
  • Famous Friends and Fashion Drunks
  • Anchor End
  • William Blake Overdrive
  • The Rip
  • Stab. Stab. Stab.
That recollection is purely from memory, so feel free to leave a snarky comment below if I omitted something.

[originally written for What We Hate]