This is my second date on the West Coast Winter tour. You can read my first review here; I stand by much of what I said then, so refer to that one for any detailed analysis you feel is missing here–I probably covered it there.
I arrived at the Hammerstein Ballroom midway into We Are The Fury’s setlist–I knew I didn’t need to see them this time. I wish I would have realized how the night would have unfolded, I would have showed up to miss them entirely, the crowd simply wasn’t “packing in” until Jack’s Mannequin. I could have been equally close if I showed up on Head Automatica’s last song..
theAUDITION were good again. Upon further review, this band is in the middle of a serious crisis. They want to have a “hardcore”, rough image.. but they don’t play that style of music. They need to embrace their current sound and leave the “let’s start a fucking pit!!” cries before each song, or simply write some harder songs (which I’m sure they’re capable of). They were hanging out in the crowd during Head Automatica’s set, pretty cool guys I’d imagine.
Head Automatica, in their home state, played pretty well. They played my favorite Popaganda song again (Oxy), but still didn’t play my favorite old song (Brooklyn).. I wonder if they even do that live anymore? They also introduced I think it was three new songs.. they’re very good, definitely better than the hit-or-miss-mess that is Popaganda. A lot more energy from this band tonight versus Philadelphia.
Jack’s Mannequin was tremendous once again. I’ve seen this band in many different venues (I didn’t catch them with OAR–they blow–or Panic–they too blow–though) in many different states, and they’re always great live.
Let me try to get this set list down, keep in mind I just got done a midterm that I didn’t study for since I was at the show, so my mind is pretty fried.
Holiday From Real (with a capella opening through the PA)
I’m Ready (without the first dialog, like normal)
The Mixed Tape (with extended “NYC/LA” rain ending)
The Mixed Tape
Dark Blue (with extended introduction)
Last Straw, AZ
She Paints Me Blue
Into The Airwaves (with extended introduction)
West Coast Winter
Message In A Bottle (The Police Cover)
MFEO (with brief U2 – With or Without You cover)
That’s very close to the order of the songs… the middle may be mixed up, but it’s very, very close.
I’m going to make notes, since I think it’s easier to read:
1) What happened to the pushing? At the Philly date and now this date, no one pushed. Aside from the very first JM tour (where no one knew the material), everyone ALWAYS pushes for EVERY show Andrew is at (Soco, JM). Everyone always pushes to the front.. I didn’t notice how “non-compressed” everyone was until the last song when the crowd moved up 20 feet and didn’t even get “compressed”.
2) I’m becoming in love with Last Straw, AZ.. these last two times live it has been stellar. I can’t get the chorus out of my head.
3) He didn’t explain some of the songs like he did in Philly, but Andrew gave the most detailed explanation about the connection between Dark Blue and She Paints Me Blue I’ve heard yet.. anyone who’s heard more, expand on it: he rented a room in the desert (sorry, I forget what city/state) from Jordan of NFG in the winter, and he only had one 75watt blue light to light the room. When he toured the east coast, in Atlanta, he really missed a girl he lived with in that one room, and that song is about that.. I’m forgetting some of it, sorry.
4) I’m loving the extended intros to some of the songs.. I think some of them are brief covers. Anyone know?
5) I didn’t expect them to pull off such a ROCKING cover of The Police, but, holy shit, they did. Danny from theAUDITION came out to close out the song. This marks the fourth non-Soco JM cover I’ve seen live: Everly Bros, Police, Tom Petty, Simon and Garfunkel.
6) Andrew was noticeably less intoxicated than normal. He didn’t have any beers on stage, nor did he really get down with the drinking until the encore.
7) Dr. J has a huge fucking collection of action figures. I’m going to give him one Friday, I decided. It has expanded way past the Larry Bird and Gumby days of past. Moreover, he is a sick bassist, but, like all the other solos, they went right over the head of the 16 year old average crowd.
8) PUNK ROCK PRINCESS.
I know hundreds (no exaggeration) of girls who live and die for this song.. well I finally got Andrew’s story behind the song. I’ve never heard this before, so it was big news to me.. apparently Andrew was a senior in HS and, “like most respectable seniors” [sic] he decided to hit on and pick up a freshman girl. He was pretty sure she was using him for his car (his mom’s Toyota Camry), and they had nothing in common. It was like a “Mazzarotti to an LA prostitute” though.
Anyway, this girl wanted him to take to her a Face To Face show. (At this point, I am cheering for Face To Face–RIP :(–, and everyone looks at me like I have six heads since this band is wayyy out of the listening circle of this crowd. Andrew responds to me at least, “sorry, I didn’t care about punk rock then and I don’t now”). He decided he’d write a song about this girl and shit really shallow relationship, where she was a punk rock princess and he was just a garage band king. I wish someone recorded this audio, it’s a good story, and Andrew, as one of my ex-girlfriends said at one point, “has an amazing way with words.”
9) Andrew explained many different times what it’s like to come back to the city he was diagnosed with his terrible sickness.. the pain, the suffering that happens again.. and how he feels shows overcome this (Irving Plaza was mentioned many times).
10) They played one less song tonight (no 21 and Invincible), but Andrew did mention Philadelphia, saying how he was carried throughout the EF on the crowd.. well he tried it again, this time a lot less successful. The girls were simply pulling him to the ground (they even got a sock and a shoe!).. I lifted Andrew up off the ground though and did manage to get him back towards the stage, while using my left arm to pick up the plethora of fat emo girls who were dying in the stampede on the ground. I’m a big guy, I lift, but God damn, some of these thirteen year old girls are fucking huge.
That’s all that comes to mind, I just wanted to throw this review up before I go to my next class and work.. if I’m forgetting something I’ll try to add it. Check out my Philly review for more information, too.