Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lifetime w/ The Draft & Four Star Alarm @ Subterranean

Every time I start to question whether my heavy rawkin’ days are behind me, I like to take in a show that reminds me that such a notion is foolhardy. I go to shows for a variety of reasons, but if a band is putting energy and passion into their set, they can almost always impress me. Call these acts post-hardcore or whatever you want, but they certainly brought the rawk.

Four Star Alarm was up first, and they were fine, but did nothing out of the ordinary to gain traction with an eager crowd. The vocals were impossible to discern and that was too bad because they were the only aspect of their set that could have distinguished them from a multitude of other acts. They played with enthusiasm, but failed to leave much of an impression on me.

I wouldn’t say that it’s impossible to talk about The Draft without mentioning Hot Water Music, but it’s probably not kosher. HWM was one of the most talented and innovative hardcore acts around, continually evolving their sound right up until they broke up in 2005. They were one of those bands who you could see a hundred times, and still not be sated. While many lament the end of that outfit, we’re at least fortunate enough to have The Draft, comprised of 3/4 HWM. They kicked off with forty seconds of “Cigarettes, Whiskey, and Wild Wild Women,” before going into Let it Go. Tearing through a quick, effusive set, they covered about eight songs off their debut album and a couple of new tracks. While this was clearly a Lifetime dominated crowd, there were plenty of people shouting and pointing during the choruses. I really wish they would have played longer, and of course everyone in the room was probably dying for a HWM track or two. That may have to come sometime later down the road, though. I’d like to see them headline a show, but perhaps they need more material before they could accomplish that effectively.

Immediately before Lifetime took the stage, a short guy wearing a White Sox hat turned to me and said, “I have been looking forward to this day for longer than I can remember. This show is the reason I’m still a punk!” He was obviously there by himself and had to tell someone just how excited he was. On the first note, a wild mosh pit opened up in front of the stage. Much beer was spilled. I’m not a huge Lifetime fan as I’ve always kind of felt like most of their songs sound alike. It did not help that the sound was terrible for their set. All you could hear were vocals, snare drum and then a loud, low rumble as everything else was all mixed together. But the fans did not care. They shouted every lyric and stage-dove as much as they could get away with it. Bouncers were ejecting people liberally, chasing them down in the pit for whatever infraction they committed – presumably stage-diving. One woman used me as a pick and got away from her pursuer - at least momentarily (ironically enough, the bouncer was wearing a shirt that said, “OBEY”) . In my book, the passion of the fans and the band overcame whatever sonic difficulties there were and made it a memorable time. I don’t think I’m going to run out and buy their albums or anything, but I’d definitely go check them out again.

1 comment:

PMaz said...

Holy cow! Is that Joe Weindel in the front of that photo?!?!