Wednesday June 16th, 1999 at Davey's Uptown Rambler in Kansas City, MO
Shiner, Jimmy Eat World, & No Knife

This lovely evening started around 7pm when Danny and Brad stopped by to drop off artwork ideas and a rough mix of the final 4 songs for The Hillary Step debut CD. We sat out on the porch and talked in the lovely cooling evening while the shadows grew before heading over to Waldo Pizza for a nice relaxing dinner. I mention this because normally Waldo Pizza is anything but relaxing, normally there is an hour wait and a tonnage of screaming kids and it's a few dozen degrees above the comfort zone.

After dropped the kids off a their car, I nabbed Ryan and we drove up to Davey's Uptown Rambler. The show had like a $7 or $8 cover which is pretty damn big for KC. I understand we had three fairly large bands but sheesh, that's just too steep for a dive like Davey's that is gonna be pulling in money from drink sales. I didn't notice anyone I knew so Ryan and I just stood up front and No Knife started about forty seconds later. Wonderful timing for once.

I haven't heard the new No Knife album but I remember not being terribly impressed with the last one. The set struck me much the same way. I really should like this band. They executed their forty-five minute set well, had interesting song structures, nice guitar noises and good vocal variety between the two singer/guitarists, however it just wasn't there. There is nothing to push 'em over the top into that "woah" ground and they were just another band emo band rooted in pop punk with the exception of the second to last tune which was a sprawling 8 minute beast with an incredible bass line that definitely gets my vote as divine.

A quick fifteen minutes later Jimmy Eat World started. Honestly I can say I had never heard Jimmy Eat World. I think I was the only one on the planet though. Everyone was raving about their new album, they consistently make top 10 lists, and tour like mad men but still I was in the dark. The band were tight, professional and worked the crowd well. The audience seemed to know the words to all the songs and they were moving pretty well. I thought the band sounded a lot like The Get Up Kids actually with very rock based pop-punk songs with personal lyrics. Fifty minutes later they headed off stage and the room cleared.

As we waited for Shiner to set up I watched the crowd swap out. The kids that were there for Jimmy Eat World vanished and folks on the dark side of thirty moved in. The show room was still pretty packed when Shiner started. Last time I saw them I just wasn't that impressed so I hoped this would be different. Unfortunately it wasn't. After standing on tired legs through about 20 minutes of their straight forward blend of alternative and indie rock, I slipped into the other room and stretched out in a booth. I think I crashed after like 5 minutes and woke up to Ryan asking me if I was ready to split. Sure enough.

I guess Shiner just isn't my thing though I really enjoyed the earlier stuff. Their songs have good formula and form but the bite and growl have been reduced (IMHO) to allow for greater commercial appeal. They are solid and have been there forever but I think they just are looking to transition out of the indie world and into one dominated by your local "X" station. In short, they're just not making music that appeals to me or attempts to.