Friday March 5th, 1999 at The Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS
Reflector, The Anniversary, Frogpond

I couldn't make it to this show due to some work commitments but I was able to pass the camera off to Greg Franklin from The Believe It Or Nots who got up on stage and took some killer pictures at this sold out show. He unfortuantely wasn't able to stay around for Frogpond so we'll all have to keep wondering what they look like. I also got a guest reviewer named Anthony Badgerow to write the following account...

So it was about 9:30 p.m. on March 5. I couldn't find Garon so I went over to Nick's place, getting there at about 9:45. He jumped in the car and we sped over to Lawrence, finally arriving at the Bottleneck at about 10:15.

As we joined the queue outside the door to get in, we could hear the characteristic Reflector tune hitting us from inside. After waiting in line to get our cool marks for our hands, we both were shocked at the sheer mass of people flanking us on all sides. Damn, there were a lot of kids there. At this point, the place was about half full. We walked ourselves to near the back of the multitude of bodies.

I think having seen Reflector so many times I'm a tad biased in the sense that I've seen the great stuff they've got to offer so many times that it's nothing novel but damn, were the kids enjoying themselves. Harry, the bass player, had his typical "I'm into this" stage presence and their drummer was slamming those bad boys. We only caught the last third or so of their performance but they were impressive as ever. So we really didn't get the full effect.

By the time Reflector was near finishing up, the kids really started piling in. They finished and Nick and I snuck up to very near the front to catch The Anniversary, who was setting up. Just as we were saying hi to Stephanie and Sheila who had subsequently zigzagged through the mass and ended up behind us, the mass erupted in a big-bang style burst worthy of study by Stephen Hawking and then contracted enough so it might actually fit in the Bottleneck.

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The Anniversary got set up and started their set. Josh and Adrienne were geared up in their cowboy costumes. This would have been only the second time I had the opportunity to see The Anniversary and it destroyed me even more than the first time. Their stage presence (to me) was great, especially considering the non-responsiveness of a large part of the audience, who were too drunk to realize how fucking great these guys are. A significant chunk of the audience was made up of the KU frat crowd (don't ask me why, Puff Daddy wasn't playing the Bottleneck that night), who were relatively peaceful at this point but still didn't allow everyone's attention to be on the stage. The two couples in front of me decided it was time for a little of the old petting but this was easily ignored. We were really getting into the performance. It was somewhere around 11 o'clock now. The band looked at each other and Josh asked the audience "so, do you guys like metal?" and proceeded to perform a tune that was an amalgamation of several metal ballads, all done Anniversary-style. It was great. The last couple songs really clicked with the audience and it was just an amazing feeling. There's something about the interconnectedness of the various instruments in The Anniversary that creates that emotional and rhythmic music that anyone who's heard them knows I don't even have to describe.

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After the set, we looked around and noted there was no way this show was not sold out. It had to have been. There was about enough room for one to move his or her arm to scratch his or her respective ass. Frogpond came on and proceeded to carry out an ass-kicking but beautiful and melodic performance. Something about these guys really clicked with me and, really, the entire audience. They did a set of both old tunes and new ones to be on their soon-to-be-released follow up to "Count to Ten." If the album sounds as good as what the way they played it that night, it'll definitely be a must-hear. Soon after they began playing, the crowd started moving to and fro and, for some reason, decided to mosh at this show. Frogpond's bass player, Justine, encouraged them saying "we want you guys to go crazy." This they did. Near the center-right of the stage, several large athletic kids near the outskirts of this moshing started pushing back and falling on people. People like me who are 150-some odd pound wimps and unable to keep them up for long. One inebriated athlete-type decided the close quarters of this crowd was the perfect place to fight with someone over a girl. Ah, nothing like chauvinistic violence to ruin a few kids' respective evenings. Aside from the more violent aspects of all this, there was something oddly attractive about the rhythmic moving to-and-fro of the mass of people. it's nothing different from any other great show the kids are really into except for the fact that here, we were all physically locked into a glob of one that swayed. Anyway, needless to say, the crowd was loving it. Heidi, the guitarist/lead vocalist seemed laid back and her melodious idiosyncratic singing style remained in tact. The bass player was jumping up and down, really enjoying it all. Their new guitar player (I forget his name) was quite into it as well. The blood in between the strings on the guitar was all too clear. The drummer too was keeping the rhythm in line. The audience ate it all up and enjoyed this great meal. Several kids near me were singing along to the old tunes and genuinely enjoying the new ones. That's always good to see.

Too soon after the show was over. I was once again taken aback at the sheer amount of people surrounding and belittling me as much as could me keeping in mind how much I was glowing after this show was out.