The Get Up Kids @ Emos
You want the Pixies reunion tour? At-the Drive In is back together? Nix all that! I want The Get Up Kids back together, and fortunately for me, they temporarily are reunited, and for hundreds of fans in Austin, we got the chance to live in memory lane, at least for one glorious night.
Mansions opened the evening, but the extensive line led to me missing their set, so I won’t hurt those kind fellas by saying anything based on the one song I caught. Up next came Kevin Devine, on the heels of his Brother’s Blood release. As always, the youthful man did his best to win over a crowd that had their eyes set on seeing the headliners. You had to give it to him, he was as entertaining as one could be in that situation, and the crowd eventually seemed to have warmed up to him by the end of his set.
And so the night really began. Glancing around the room, I saw old familiar faces from people I knew back in high school here in town. I have the feeling that everyone at Emos was in the exact same position, as The Get Up Kids brought out fans of all ages, but mostly an elderly crowd (in the rock show sense).
From the minute they opened, I looked to my right; people in their late twenties were jumping with their arms in the air, screaming like teenagers all over again. Same thing happened to my left. After all those years away, and a weak album to end their career, this was redemption for a band that meant so much to so many.
Luckily, the sound was actually pretty solid at Emos because the sing-a-long didn’t stop at the first song; it continued all the way until the end of the set. They played every song you really wanted to hear, which for me was “Mass Pike.” Hits came at us left and right from Four Minute Mile and Something to Write Home About, with a few thrown in from On a Wire and The Guilt Show.
Watching the band play, you could see Jim, Ryan and Matt loving every minute of it. When Jim took the stage to sing “Campfire Kansas” alone with James Dewees, you could tell that he was happy to see all those old faces singing one his best songs. Oddly, Rob seemed stuck in the robotic Spoon stance he has taken to as of late, but I suppose he was never the most energetic of the group; that role was given to Dewees. Sadly, James looked a little lost, almost a little broken. If anything, it served as a reminder to the adoring fans, that we all grow up, and eventually, we all grow old.
As the encore kicked off, we were treated to great renditions of “Close to Me” and “Beer for Breakfast,” before closing the night off with “Dont Hate Me” and “I’ll Catch You.” They gave it their all through the entire set, and for our part, we gave it all back to them. For a band that meant so much to many, it was a triumphant return to the stage, reminding us all that those fond memories of The Get Up Kids shows and albums do stand the test of time.
Our apologies go out to Headlights, who had the unfortunate slot playing at the same time as The Get Up Kids, but inside. We were lucky to catch them play “Cherry Tulips,” but then we had to leave. Sorry guys, we’ll catch you next time.
Pictures graciously provided by Mary Rehak.