December 10th 1998 at the The Replay in Lawrence, KS

Karate, The Subrosa Band

I really didn't know much about this show. I knew it was supposed to be at the Replay and it was The Get Up Kids and Karate. That was about it so I called the club around 8pm or something to see what time the show was supposed to start. They told me 11pm which was pretty much what I was expecting, but mentioned that Karate had already played one all ages set at 6pm with The Get Up Kids. The 11pm set would be 18+ with The Subrosa Band. Oh well no biggie.

I arrived at The Replay about 11:11 worrying I would be a little late. I guess I really didn't need to worry about it as the opening band didn't even start setting up until midnight. So I sat around for an hour in a bar with no place to sit, nothing to read and knowing no one there. It was pretty damn bad actually so anyone would take the stage and I'd be thrilled. Skrewdriver would have been better than this ya know?

The Subrosa Band evidentially are a portion of T-Shirt. Now I don't know if T-Shirt has broken up or not, or really anything about them other than listening to their minimalist Slint inspired CD once at Recycled Sound, but The Subrosa Band sounded nothing like them. They were louder, rawer and much more rock. They had some interesting indie elements and sonic tangents that went on long enough to be fully explored, neither of which would fly anywhere else, added with some fun lyrics and catchier tunes that seemed custom made for a bar in a college town after midnight.

Like most shows at The Replay, I spent my evening about a foot and a half away from a guitar headstock and 3 feet from the PA speakers. Is a painful endeavour to see shows at The Reply but I guess bands like it because if there are 70 people at the show the place is packed to the gills including people watching from on top of the pinball machines and such.

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Karate didn't take the stage until after 1am. I heard them say they were doing different songs from the ones they did earlier but I was still happy with the selections of songs from the new and first album. Nothing real old but that was lifetimes ago I'm sure. The band was very polished, and put on a very intimate show. There wasn't any incredible showmanship but I would have been very odd to see a jump in the middle of a subdued Karate show anyway. I thought the show was everything it could be - a direct communication between the band and the audience.

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After the show I talked to Geoff about his solo album, thanked him for the show and headed back to the car for a tired drive home.