I timed the day pretty well so we could run errands down in the great white south of Overland Park and head over to the show at Gee without it meaning a sickening half-hour drive into the suburbs. However the Jackie Chan movie sold out so things got fucked and we ended up watching youth soccer somewhere out in the middle of nowhere and talking a long walk before heading to the show. Probably better anyway, more grounding at least.
So Nessa and I arrived at the show at like 7:45 or so for the 8:00 show, so that wasn't bad. We paid our $6 and grabbed a table to set up URININE stuff at. The Anniversary were just beginning their soundcheck, and because of the keyboard and synth, there was a large amount of fussing with levels in the various monitors. Too much actually but oh well.
I watched the door hoping that someone I knew would be coming in so we could avoid the awkwardness of staring at kids we don't know that really don't want to know us all night. Soon we were rewarded with special kid Brett and Wade followed by Papa Chubby and later Tim. The awkwardness actually happened when someone came up and chatted me up that I had no recollection of. Nessa said he was at the first [all things] State Fair show. I guess I remember him but I don't remember things being that friendly. But that's cool, it's always better to find out you've got a friend that you didn't know you had than to find out you don't have a friend that you thought you did.
So Nessa and I sat there with the piles of CDs, and for a short time Matt's Paper Brigade 'zine and his Anniversary/Proudentall split 7". That didn't last long though because as soon as The Get Up Kids started setting up their merch table, the 7"s got transferred there. Oh well I really didn't want people to have to come to my table anyway.
The normal Gee Coffee kids came up and looked and the CDs, noted none of them were Operation Ivy CDs and then moved on. A few asked what things sounded like, but evidently they didn't like the references or explanations Vanessa or I threw out I guess because we didn't really have any serious bites all night.
Later I got the soundman to play the Free Range Pilgrim CD over the PA, but that didn't lead to any sells despite the number of toe taps I carefully observed. I left the CD with the soundman and he assured me it would get play. That's cool I guess, even though I'm more likely to believe it'll be sold mid week.
Nessa got a little burnt out (everyone gets burnt out of Gee Coffee) and went to take a walk. I sat manning the CDs while The Anniversary took the stage around 8:30.
Despite committing myself to release something by The Anniversary I had never actually seen the band live. Sadly because of the merch I really didn't get to be up-front for the show. TA are a local five piece with two guitars, bass, drums and keyboards with both guitarists and the keyboardist handling the vocal duties, usually one of the guitar boys with the keyboard gal actually. The set started off kind of shaky. You could tell the band were having trouble with the monitors and on stage sound, however by song three things started picking up.
TA played for about a half hour, maybe a tad longer. They walk the indie rock line, still keeping a foot in the emo community born from The Promise Ring. The dual vocals were great when they could be heard and the keyboard lines, when they work, work great, when they don't it sounds forced. The crowd (about 50 or so) got into 'em and it was a good set despite the fact they didn't sell a single 7".
After the band had offloaded I had Matt introduce me to Justin from TA who I had been talking to over e-mail business for the last few weeks. We talked for about an hour all through the Revolvers set so I wont be able to comment much on it. The Revolvers were more pop and less punk than I remember, executed well and loved by the locals who had assembled (about 100). It was odd to hear a Jawbreaker song (late Jawbreaker at that) come from them. Next time I'll have to listen more, maybe there is more to the band than I remembered.
While TGUK were loading their stuff on stage I continued to talk with Justin and he introduced to the rest of the band. I felt a little like label weasel. Oh well. I do want to work with 'em so I guess I hafta feel like a weasel and they have to pretend to like me.
Vanessa (who had returned at the beginning of the Revolvers set and vanished again in the middle of it) returned again as TGUK were beginning to play and Justin excused himself to go check them out. There was buzz all around and un-hip guys with video cameras from major labels were filming the band. Rumour is they'll sign before the week is up. I hope they get a good deal.
The crowd has swelled to about 150 at this point and everyone it seems, was here for TGUK. They worked their hometown crowd like the seasoned pros they are, and looked good doing it. Their presence reminded me of a 1994 Split Lip actually. TGUK are an emo band that refuses to let go of a pop punk past, or its hardcore audience. A new breed of artful sensitive rockers weaned on Sunny Day Real Estate rather than Samiam.
Nessa needed to go though, so we snuck out about four songs into the set and began our drive back into town. I figured I'd just e-mail Justin a goodbye.