Rival Schools with Honor System and Ultimate Fakebook - 12/11/01 - Fireside Bowl

Heyoooo longtime its been since I went to the ol' bowling alley. Consarnit!! (sic) Looks like there's a show instead...and I bought brand new shoes and everything...

Seriously folks...although I have a PBA level average (205 thank you very much I need a sponsor) but I was in no mood for rolling big balls. I was here to see one of my fave bands of 2001 - Rival Schools! 8 bucks, a bargain to see 3 cool bands...in a nutshell lets run through the openers.

Honor System was an energetic punk rawk band which hails from right here in this great Chi-town...they opened with frantic 2-3 chord punk stuff that got the blood pressure up w/o aid of salted (insert your own snack food)...honor system was good but forgettable to this jaded rock listener (all honor system fans reading this do not harm me, I am a frail man).

Ultimate Fakebook...was good too, they remind me of Green Day before the commerical success...and the lead singer was a crazy fool with Rivers Cuomo looks and a theatrical rock flair of someone who just loves his job.

The played a great set of emo sounding melodic rock with a lot of jumping around and a very hairy drummer.

2 great exchanges I heard this evening having to do with UFB:
"8 bucks to get in?...do we look like we are made of money?" (shows are normally 5 at fireside).
"Hey man, blame it on Fakebook, they are on Epic now...thats big time" (said by guy collecting cash at door).
"hey the drummer needs more guitar on his monitor" (said by lead singer of UFB between songs to his sound guy)
"He needs more hair!" (yelled one fan in the audience)
"Did you say he needs more heroin?" (the lead singer responded).

Rival Schools came on next.

By the time they got through their first song...they blew away the other two bands. They rock like its 1993 and alternative rock is in all its glory. The band consists of members of indie bands-Civ and Quicksand, and even going back farther...the Gorilla Biscuits...their debut album "Rival Schools United by Fate" came out about 4 months ago I wanna say, and its one of the best rock albums I've heard this year. Honest and energetic, guitar driven and emotionally charged lyrics...these guys are indie, but could make the big time if they had exposure. Not young guys either (compared to the other 2 bands that played) they are all in their late twenties early 30's...the lead singer looked like he was 35 and resembled my dentist. But they had such a crazy energy of powerful spiraling to great heights kind of rock, that makes you stop breathing in regular intervals which thereby causes you to yawn instinctivly. (But this is not a bad thing!! yawning because you haven't taken in any oxygen for a full 5 min, because you are lost in the music). Well I got some looks and was reminded of when I had to yawn during the Strokes earlier this year (they where so good I silently wept in the car afterwards.)

Well the show was great and I'm still feeling the effects of it. As of 24 hours from attending the show, my right ear is still ringing. That show was LOUD and I was right next to a speaker...so if I lose my hearing, at least it was a good show I lost it at. Don't worry however...I am taking a lot of medicines for this problem, and right now the ringing is more like a soothing buzzing.

One thing I did get from a lot of kids I talked to that went to the show...and I'll agree; Rival Schools didn't fit in with the other two bands.

You got a punk band, and you got a punk/emo band...then you mix them with a rock band. What I disagreed was that the mixing of the genres was a bad thing. Some kids got turned off by the rock because its not emo or punk or whatever...but hey you punks...you need to embrace other sounds...there's only two kinds of music...good and/or bad (I'll stop now, I dont wanna preach).

After the show I went up to the lead singer of Rival Schools (he was just sitting on the stage saying hi to the kids) and yelled in his ear that I worked for Virgin and I was gonna get the word out and someday they'll be big. He shook my hand and said..."yeah man thats what I wanna hear...thanks for coming out."

That's rock and roll at it's bare bones...stripped down and honest, that show at the fireside. It was great to see such an intimate performance with a band who pushed me another step closer to a hearing aid...one of the more pleasant suprises of the year for me in terms of live shows.

--Steve Chyba - Chicago - Walkaabout@aol.com


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