Matt Pryor / Chris Conley - live in Vancouver (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Matt Pryor / Chris Conley

live in Vancouver (2008)

live show

Few lineups could evoke the same kind of nostalgia that this one did: Chris Conley of Saves the Day and Matt Pryor of the Get Up Kids breaking out acoustic guitars for a solo tour. Both artists released albums that defined my high school years (Through Being Cool and Something to Write Home About), and to see both in a small venue seemed like a wonderful opportunity. The audience at the show was rather diverse, and judging by the T-shirts of the audience, was made up of as many people wanting to hear songs from Can't Slow Down as those looking forward to some New Amsterdams tracks.

Chris Conley started his set by doing a couple of requests. Though Chris did have a set list, after about three songs he stopped following it, and just started taking requests from the audience. It made for one of the most enjoyable concert experiences I've ever been to, because as long as you were vocal about it, you likely had your favourite track played. I was fortunate enough to hear a great acoustic rendition of my request (and favourite Saves the Day song), "Always Ten Feet Tall." Chris was very enthusiastic, and clearly was really enjoying his time on the tour, although he did have to discourage people from requesting tracks off Can't Slow Down. Surprisingly, Through Being Cool had very few requests or tracks played off of it, while both In Reverie and their B-Sides collection, Ups and Downs, were extremely well-represented.

Set list (as best as I can remember):

Can't Slow Down

  • Three Miles Down
  • Always Ten Feet Tall
Through Being Cool
  • Rocks Tonic Juice Magic
Stay What You Are
  • Freakish
  • At Your Funeral
  • Certain Tragedy
  • This Is Not an Exit
In Reverie
  • What Went Wrong
  • In My Waking Life
  • Driving in the Dark
  • Coconut
Ups and Downs
  • Jessie and My Whetstone
  • I Think I'll Quit
  • Take Our Cars Now
  • Hold
  • Sell My Old Clothes, I'm Off to Heaven
  • A Drag in D-Flat
Sound the Alarm
  • Don't Know Why
Under the Boards
  • Bye Bye Baby
Matt started his set almost immediately after Chris finished. Despite the venue being 19+, Matt's daughter was in the venue, sitting back at the merch booth watching "Animaniacs" on a portable DVD player. Matt's set was mostly comprised of songs from his new solo disc, Confidence Man. Accordingly, I have no idea as to the set list, but I will say that the tracks from the new album sounded very good live. Matt has a great stage presence, and though he didn't speak much, when he did, it was usually entertaining. Of particular note was when he introduced a song by stating that it was about divorce, and asked if anyone in the crowd had been divorced. One guy raised his hand and yelled out "Twice!" Matt quickly responded by asking "Shit man, didn't you learn the first time?" Though most of the songs played were Matt's newer solo tracks, he did throw in a handful of New Amsterdams songs and three Get Up Kids tracks ("Overdue," "I'll Catch You," and "Eastern Standard Time").

I suppose the only flaw that I can find in the night was that it was uneven. What I mean is that, while both artists performed exceptionally well, Conley really set it up to be a fun, request-all kind of night. And I think that this made most of the audience anticipate (or at least hope for) the same sort of set by Pryor, as evidenced by about 10 different kids asking for "Holiday" through Matt's set. But that's a rather minor quibble that should not deter anyone with the slightest interest in either of these artists from going to one of their shows.