Saturday December 19th, 1999 at The Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS
Ultimate Fakebook, Proudentall, & Starsky
I arrived at The Bottleneck a little early so that I might show off my skills at the pool table, but I got sidetracked visiting with friends and only got in one game before Starsky's set. They began with the poppy Shawn Marie, a song that turns and lunges at all the right spots, and immediately grabbed the crowd's attention. They followed it with a couple of dissonant songs then several more obvious almost pop-punk ones in a short indie rock set that walked the line between pop and noise. The closer, Anakin, played both sides of that fence well and the audience seemed appreciative, if not wholly impressed with the band's set.
Proudentall set up as a three piece [for the first time in the 20 or so shows I've seen them] forsaking the violin and trombone that had become regular features in their live show over the last few months. As a result the songs were lean and raw with a dangerous pluck. Occasionally those jagged edges seemed too rough and I found myself missing the flowing and connecting trombone parts.
Also missing was the level of energy and intensity of a normal Proudentall show. The band seemed preoccupied and unable to focus on performing -- until their last song when the band seemed to finally click. It was a bit disappointing.
The good news however is that Proudentall are now playing their most powerful set yet. The songs vary in length and tempo but Matt Dunehoo's consistent guitar style makes the set cohesive. The songs jump and wind in a way that is just captivating. Give the songs all the credit for making this a successful show.
It is a tightly guarded secret in the KC indie-pop scene that Ultimate Fakebook have made a deal with Satan to insure their success. Tonight The Dark One made sure that everyone in attendance was an excited friend and fan who was buying the drinks. With that much positive energy flowing up to the stage, the band couldn't help but put on an incredibly fun show replete with silly jams between songs, guest vocalists jumping up on the stage (Jake Cardwell, Greg Franklin), a cover of The Replacements' Alex Chilton, the debut of two new songs, and a finale featuring the majority of the audience dancing on stage.
For many however, the highlight of the night came when Ultimate Fakebook played backing band for James DeWee's Reggie and the Full Effect studio project. The in-crowd audience was thrilled as they ripped through an raucous Girl, Why'd You Run Away? from the Reggie... debut CD.
Shortly after the band finished their set, the club kicked everyone out and the party moved down the street to someone's house. I stopped by for a bit but couldn't find any donuts [just imagine, pizza, pot and beer but no donuts!], so I left and headed over to Dunkin' Donuts to procure my own.