Dashboard Confessional/The Anniversary/Ben Kweller - live in Iowa City (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Dashboard Confessional / The Anniversary / Ben Kweller

live in Iowa City (2002)

live show

You're all sick of Dashboard Confessional. So am I. I just don't get how or why he's so popular. Shit, just over a year ago he played in my friend's basement to about a dozen people. I don't think anyone knows what happened. So why did I go to the concert? Three reasons:
1. I've wanted to see the Anniversary for some time now, as I've really been digging their new material.
2. It was free for me to go, and I had nothing else to do on a Friday night.
3. There's this *insanely* hot girl that wanted to go with me. There is no better place to put your mack on a girl than at a Dashboard Confessional concert.
So anyways, we ventured into Gabe's Oasis, home of all things rock and roll. After seeing the Promise Ring and Schatzi only 11 days earlier, I didn't know if this show could live up.

Ben Kweller opened the show up [no Legends of Rodeo - thank god!] with a cover of Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." It was okay. His set only got better. Taking the best parts of Ben Folds, Ben Lee, and Beck [hey, two outta three ain't bad], he sufficiently warmed up the crowd in his half hour set.

The penultimate band tonight was the Anniversary. They opened up with a semi-reworked rendition of "The Death Of The King," getting me pumped for their whole set. The band, looking like a bunch of dirty hippies [shit, cut your drummer's beard, man!], rocked out like some old mods on their last set of pills. To go ghetto for a second, their set was off the proverbial hook. Their set was "Your Majesty"-heavy, with the band jamming out the intro to "Sweet Marie" for about 5 minutes, turning it into a dub/rock fest. As the song ended, the band segued immediately into "Crooked Crown" and kept the crowd dancing. As singer Josh asked the crowd "do you like the devil?" and "do you like sex?", the band launched into "Devil On My Side," completely destroying me sonically. Oh, if you cared, the band played one pre-"YM" song - "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter."

As the damn dirty hippies in the Anniversary cleared off the stage, the crowd thinned out and then got full again. Apparently the crowd close to the stage was Anniversary-heavy, but there were a lot of Dashboard-a-holics in the back, because the place stayed packed.

After a long wait, Dashboard finally took the stage and kicked off their set with a horribly out of tune version of "Saints and Sailors." Thankfully Chris' voice got better as the set meandered on. The band played all the "crowd pleasers" like "The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most," "The Brilliant Dance," and "Screaming Infidelities." As the band finished up their fairly predictable set came to a close, the band announced "okay, that was our last song, here is our encore." Either they didn't feel like walking off the stage or they didn't think the crowd would cheer for one [the crowd was fairly tame, although plenty of singing along still occured]. Their encore consisted of "Again I Go Unnoticed" and "Hands Down," which was done with a full band and really rocked [opposed to the EP version]. Chris smiled, girls screamed, and I turned 20 during this show. Man, did I feel old.

As we left Gabe's, the insanely hot girl and I swung by the merch table and spent way too much money [kudos to the Anniversary for making sexy baseball shirts, though - the insanely hot girl has rarely looked finer]. The show's verdict? Ben Kweller - I could handle more. The Anniversary - I dug them, for sure! Dashboard Confessional - won't someone show them the door?