Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Featured Live Show: Small Brown Bike / Bridge and Tunnel

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Small Brown Bike / Image taken from last.fm

12.04.2009 - Beat Kitchen - Chicago

I’m sure many of you have heard that Small Brown Bike recently got back together and are actually playing shows and working on new material. In fact, you all should know because we posted this news on the Belly a little while back. Well, I managed to get myself some tickets to one of the two shows they played here in Chicago, and while my plan was to get turbo-drunk and rock out to some hella tunes with my friends, let’s just say things fell a bit short.

Let me begin by pointing out that I could only get tickets to the earlier show of the two. Of course this ended up being the all ages show, and I think as we get older we understand that all ages shows can really start to suck. All the usual pop-punker teens were there, probably only showing up because they heard one SBB album from their older brother or something along those lines. Fact: These kids are little shits. Look, I know there was a time when we were all younger going to punk shows too, but at least back then most of the underage crowd actually hated MTV and bands signed to major labels. We had somewhat of a handle on what we were talking about because we still used mail-order to get records and read zines. The fucks that show up now have no clue that punk and hardcore are actually not supposed to be mass-marketed and that eyeliner doesn’t make you look cool; it makes you look like a dumbass. I just wanted to make this disclaimer ahead of time in all fairness to the bands since it’s hard to enjoy yourself at a show when the kids in front of you are making the same jokes over and over that are about as funny as those found on South Park (which aren’t funny, by the way).

Alright, now let’s move back to the bands. I’m not even going to go into a lot of detail about the first band. I was in the bar while they played, and honestly, my friends and I all decided those jokers were doing everything in their power to sound like a Gin Blossoms cover band. So instead of heading into what seemed like an XRT sponsored concert in the 90’s, I drank beer. Since the beer was more interesting than the band, I’ll give you some deets on that. This beer was of the Pabst variety and came in a 16 oz. can of deliciousness. It was cold and crisp, and it managed to be the perfect vessel for routing alcohol into my ever-waiting body. If this beer was a band, it would be like mashing Hot Water Music, Leftover Crack, and Dillinger Four into a group that put out music that was completely unintelligible but awesome, and which also had the power to make you pee way more than normal.

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Pabst / Taken from my camera

When Gin Blossoms: The Second Coming got off the stage, we packed up and headed in to listen to Bridge and Tunnel, a band that I particularly like and have seen play before. As expected, they put on an excellent show, and I found myself yelling along with every song. If you want to get down to some excellent post-hardcore jams, you must check this group out. If you don’t want to get down to some excellent post-hardcore jams, then you’re probably waiting online to purchase Soulfly tickets right now, and I feel sorry for you. I would say half of the people at this show wanted to do the former, but that still wasn’t enough to really get the place going, which is very unfortunate.

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Bridge and Tunnel / Taken from B&T's Myspace

When it came time for Small Brown Bike to play, I figured things would surely pick up. People began to surge forward to get at the stage before the set started, so I had a good feeling. Straight out of the gates, SBB came through would a few of their most energetic and well-loved songs. Everyone old enough to recognize the sweet sounds being relayed from the band’s equipment went nuts. SBB had the crowd in their hands, but unfortunately decided to drop them all on their heads, presumably so we were all too unconscious to try and figure out what happened next.

The Bike played the slowest shit ever following this amazing beginning. It was like they sat down and picked out which songs would bore everyone to sleep. I don’t know if they wanted to force us to finally listen to all the songs we usually skipped on their albums, but the feeling was sucked out of the room leaving us all wondering, just like Superdrag, where the hell it went. Here and there the band would inject a few familiar numbers to wake everyone up, but then it was right back to naptime. In all honesty, I was completely disappointed when their set was over.

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Small Brown Bike / Taken from Smallman Records

So I would say the high points of the night were me imagining Pabst as a super-group (Slash’s Snakepit, anyone? No? Okay.), and Bridge and Tunnel’s fantastic set. It seemed like Small Brown Bike still needed some warming up, and I would be interested to see how their second show went.