Concert Reviews

Last Night: The Get Up Kids at The Granada Theater

[Editor's Note: Sorry this is being posted so late in the day. We had some technical difficulties in getting it your way. But, alas, here you go...]

The Get Up Kids, Youth Group, Pretty & Nice
Granada Theater
September 30, 2009

Better than: seeing The Get Up Kids in 2004 opening for Dashboard Confessional.

For a reunion tour, The Get Up Kids are not taking the easy route by just playing fan favorites. Last night at the Granada, the band definitely played the songs the fans wanted, but they played so much more.

And, judging by the crowd that showed up, a healthy majority of those in attendance were people that had been fans since the early days of the band. The band might be considered a cornerstone for inspiring today's mall emo/punk bands, yet any signs of Day-glo melodrama were very hard to find in the packed audience.

Walking onstage ten minutes before 10, Flight of the Conchords' "Too Many Dicks (On the Dancefloor)" played on the PA and proved to be a funny little moment right before the band kicked into "Holiday." The crowd went absolutely wild and even drowned out frontman Matt Pryor's voice.

For a moment, the Granada felt like a packed basement show--and that's not meant in a backhanded way.

The 21 songs played over the course of an hour and a half featured a number of songs from the band's highly-lauded first two albums, Four Minute Mile and Something to Write Home About. Without a doubt, songs like "Red Letter Day," "No Love," and "Mass Pike" generated 100 percent electricity from the crowd; given how loud the crowd sang along, Pryor stepped away from his mic and let the crowd take lead.

The nice twist on the night was the decision to play songs from the era where the band dared to challenge their longtime fans. "Overdue" and "Campfire Kansas" from On a Wire provided a welcome change of pace, as well as "Martyr Me" and "Holy Roman" from Guilt Show. The band even unveiled a new song that had a hypnotic, Krautrock kind of build, with a spacey chorus. It even threw in covers of The Cure's "Close to Me" and The Replacements' "Beer for Breakfast" during its encore.

There was a friendly, playful rapport between the five band members; they joked, laughed, and consulted with each other between a number of songs. Even though drummer Ryan Pope was loaded up on cold medicine, his playing was incredibly tight and direct. He definitely got the gold star for the night.

Pretty & Nice started at 8 p.m. sharp and proceeded to play a half-hour of post-punk with a sense of early Shudder to Think bravado. There were plenty of choppy drum beats and scratchy guitar riffs in addition to high-reaching falsettos.

Meanwhile, Youth Group, the second band in the lineup, brought their fine, spunky indie rock from Australia--and made quite an impression on the crowd, and ending on a great note with their cover of Alphaville's "Forever Young" and their own "Shadowland."

Critic's Notebook
Personal bias:
See chapter entitled "The Get Up Kids" in my book Post.

Random note: Between their first two songs, The Get Up Kids did an impromptu version "Deep in the Heart of Texas."

By the way: DFW's own Bryce Avery, aka The Rocket Summer, was in attendance.

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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs

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