May 3, 2009

The Get Up Kids @ Blender Theatre

The Get Up Kids, one of my favorite indie rock meets second wave emo bands, killed it at a reunion show at the Blender Theatre to a crowd that seemed quick to forgive the fact that they broke up in 2005, leaving us all broken-hearted, confused, and unwilling to accept the reality. Having been at their farewell show, I found my eyes welling up with some tears during the beautiful "Long Goodnight" (while a fan ran across stage with a white sign that said "Say Goodnight, Mean Goodbye") because the show was fantastic, it was a bittersweet moment in my personal musical history, and it's hard to say goodbye to a band in their prime that single-handedly soundtracked your college career. And any true G.U.K. fan will agree. They were there for everything: the moment you got into their music ("I'm A Loner Dottie, A Rebel"), helped get you ready ("Ten Minutes"), came on road-trips with you and your pals ("Holiday"), witnessed you realizing you're "in love" ("Mass Pike"), and didn't even laugh at you when you were crying on the drive home when you found out the "love of your life" is a total asshole ("Valentine"). For every moment, there was a song.

There was an "unconfirmed opener" that the secretive venue people claimed was some band called "Matzah Balls," and even the PR rep at Vagrant Records refused to tell me who it would be. We sensed the phony band name only hid an inevitably great surprise. Rumors swirled about it being Face to Face (or any comparable punk band in town for the next day's Bamboozle Festival), but it ended up being Brand New! Everyone went nuts for them, as we grew hungry for The Get Up Kids to take the stage. They were greeted with the loudest screams I've heard in a while.

Playing a mix of old and new (see set list below), they were admittedly rusty but no one seemed to care or notice. You could tell their hardcore fans were in the house since not only did everyone know every word to every song, but they insisted on singing along almost as loudly as the band. In fact, Matt Pryor stopped every now and then to let the audience finish a song or belt out a chorus. There was crowd surfing and a pseudo pit to my right that slightly irritated me (either because it truly was annoying or I was annoyed with myself and the pending fact that I may be "getting too old for this." I'm embarrassed to admit the latter is probably more likely.) Honestly, none of that even mattered because I was so happy to be there. It was an incredible night and lead to lots of post-show gushing about the G.U.K. with equally obsessed friends.

I have no idea if their few shows of late have been "reunion shows" or hint at a formal reunion slash tour, slash recording new material. Beats me. All I do know is their set rekindled my love for their entire discography and I've been listening to Something To Write Home About non-stop ever since. Oh, and I'm proud to say that I'll never outgrow or be too old for The Get Up Kids.


Mona said...

I took video clips of a whole bunch of tracks and I'll try to link 'em here, so stay tuned for those!

awmercy said...

It's always a little risky going to see a reunion show by a band you loved. I am glad that it was such a great performance.

Mona said...

Dude, you're gonna have to check out their discography and give them a proper listen. Their songs totally still hold up, and I'm still in love!