October 12, 2002
Muckruckers, Wit's End, Fenway Park, Willknots, Phenomenatus, & The Locals
iMusicast, Telegraph Ave. Oakland 6PM $9
We haven't seen The Muckruckers in a long time, so we really were stoked to see them. They are so different now because of the change in members. After seeing Nick play drums since the beginning of the Muckruckers, it was kind of hard to get used to him being on guitar and there being a different person playing drums. It's also strange without Eric's crazy stage antics, but definatly not in a bad way. One of their songs was suprisingly on the pop-punk side, but the rest of their new material had more of a new-wave sound derived from the Briefs' style of music. Something that more bands should concentrate on doing is tuning their instruments, but we found the Muckruckers doing that after every song. Being in the audience, we found we were appriciative of such care in sound, but there were empty silences which probably should have been filled with maybe a joke or an intro to a song. Being long-time fans of the Muckruckers, we were very pleased to hear three older songs mixed in with six new songs, so we got the best of both worlds. Their last song was "2-million Dollar Man" which definatly ended the show on a good note. Zach made us laugh when he said 'This is a song about Nick's dad.' That would make him Nick "if we knew your middle name we would place it here" Bin Laden. Rock!
Wits End hit the stage second. Providing us with a very different sound then the previous band it was interesting to see what they were all about. We went to Jen`s car during their set so when we returned it seemed as if it was almost over. We throughly enjoyed their song "Sorry" (or is it "So Sorry" Not sure..?) This song stunned us because the voices of the singers were amazing. Their vocal ability literally left us in awe. It was clear that these boys are not amateurs in playing live shows they had a healthy balance of "rock out sessions" and "serious singing sessions." We are definatly looking foward to seeing them again soon. Also! Expect an interview from this rockin band soon!
Third to grace us with their presence was Fenway Park.Again, providing us with a very different sound then the previous two bands they were more of an "emotionally thoughtful band." The lead singer reminded us of Rivers of Weezer, they were definatly 50 million times better then Weezer. In addition, they had an Ozma tone (again, better then weezer. Better lyrical content) to them but less catchy and more heartfelt. At iMusicast they have computers for you to communicate with people either at the show chatting at another computer or at home watching the show on the internet. We chatted on this briefly and discovered that Fenway Park has an amazingly devoted fanbase! We spoke with the Rivers look-alike singer after the show and he informed us that one of their more devoted fans, Lara (I beleive that was her name) moved to Canada and she watched their show via internet. We think thats awesome! Again, stay tuned for an interview from Fenway Park!
The Willknots were up next. They're from Sacramento, so it's really awesome that they came all the way to Oakland to play a show (and I thought coming from Mountain View was far!) They have sort of a "Blink 182-ish") sound and played with lots of energy and did a good job of making sure the crowd heard their music. They`re drummer was awfully talented, we were pleased by this. This is just one of those bands that you can`t help but think they were meant to be put together. Their live show seemed to come with ease to them, and it`s always good to see a band that doesn`t have to be crazy for you to enjoy them. They rocked.
The Phenomenauts have so much energy, and so many stage antics and props,you couldn't help but keep your eyes glued to the show. One downside is that since they have so much going on, you can't help but wonder what they're going to do next, which keeps you from paying your full attention to the music. The bassist played an upright bass, which he played very well. Some of their unique stage entertainment tecniques were lighting the drums cymbals on fire, shooting toilet paper and silly string into the crowd, everyone seemed to know the words to the songs and the guitarist on stage right wore this weird, silver helmet which added to their whole 'space vibe.'
The Locals rocked the stage last. They arrived just before showtime, with a good excuse though, they were recording their new album! We're anticipating the upcoming release. (upon the release of the record, there will be a review, brought to you by Mel-O-dy so make sure you come back and check that shit out yo!) Even though we've seen The Locals before, we were again stunned by the ammount of energy they put forth to the audience. That really adds to a band's performance because it shows that they really enjoy what they're doing. One bad thing, which is really insignificant that only someone who reviews shows would notice was that they switched mics a lot which made it hard to follow them. There definatly needs to be movement on the stage, but too much distracts from the music. We must say that all things considered, this was really a minor default. Any venure would be lucky to have such a band play their show because The Locals not only give all their energy, they give everything they have to make it the best show they possibly can. We believe they would give the same ammount of energy even if they played for five people. The highlight of our evening had to be when Shawn fell on his ass after tripping over numerous cords. Upon bumping his wanker, everyone had a moment of silence for his 'kids.' They rock. The end.
Here are the pros and cons for iMusicast:
Pros: a real stage, good sound, video taping, ample room for merch, room for band to chill in, very organized situation, back room with lots of seating and internet access and TV screens so you can watch the show, ability to view show from internet, so people that could not make it to the show can still watch it, the whole chatting system mentioned above, good parking. We must say that reguardless of the amount of bad vibes we got from the place/people that is very insignifiant to the fact that this is another place to have shows. Any place that will hold a show and let kids come hear the music they love just plain rocks. We think we would rather deal with people who have large sticks up their ass then not be able to come at all.
Cons:this is going to be a long one... we'll start with the minor details. $9 boo! it should be way cheaper since kids go to these shows and a lot do not have their own money supply, their bathrooms were in Timbucktwo, even though, this was mentioned above as a pro, having a back room makes it so that if you don't get a good impression of band, you can just go to the backroom and ignore them, since they have their own videotaping proccess, they won't let the band's photographers take video although they can do video if they purchase the video iMusicast made which to me is rather greedy, also we heard about this "no sticker rule" apparently if your found with a sticker you get a fifty dollar fine. I don`t quite know how they would enforce this "sticker rule" unless your cought in the act of sticking it somewhere. But whatever... Now I'm going to tell you a story: I, Mel-o-dy, have never been here before, went to go get something from Jen's car and as I was walking out the door I was grabbed by the arm by some ass and he literally turned me around. I would have said something, but I was just shocked that it happened. He informs me rather rudely that there is a '15 minute pass I can take' to go outside. I ask if we can use it for more than one person and he basically yells at me not to negoatiate with him even though i was asking a question. I really think that they should have security that actually wants to be there rather than people who are bitter for having a shit job, after all, that isn't anyone's fault but his.
Jen aka "xMarilyNx" and Mel-O-dy