red letter dayyyyy!!

January 31, 2011

published on January 31 at LARECORD.COM


January 27th, 2011

It’s hard to believe that turn-of-the-millennium emo is already approaching throwback status, but when Steel Train opens for the Get Up Kids at the Troubadour and the show sells out to a group of amped 20-somethings, it forces you into acceptance. After Steel Train played through their new round of Bon Jovi-meets-Brendan Flowers Superbowl Halftime songs, everyone replenished their overpriced Coronas and settled in for what collective consciousness hoped would be a night of old school Get Up Kids jams just like their 2009 reunion tour. But the band has a new album to promote (the first one in seven years, titled There Are Rules), and they made it clear we were going to have to earn those trips back to our innocently weepy teen years. After opening with “Automatic,” off of the new album, and following it with “Action and Action” from 1999’s Something To Write Home About, Matt Pryor and company teased the audience with a new-song-to-old-song ratio of 3:1. It isn’t that the new tracks are horrible, but more that the morose, keyboard riffs are too great of a contrast from the naïve pop-punk songs of yore to be of any good at a Get Up Kids concert. As a result, the audience danced and thrashed during songs such as “Red Letter Day,” but reduced their movement to a slow sway for those like “Keith Case.” Pryor somewhat acknowledged this fickle L.A. constituency by referencing late 1990s concerts at now-dead venues PCH Club and the Living Room, using them as a way to thank everyone who has supported them from the beginning. Despite giving us a taste of the more-mellow Get Up Kids of-the-future, the band eventually delivered the cream of the nostalgic crop during an encore that included a sing-a-long version of “I’ll Catch You” and a slam-pit inducing “10 Minutes.” Every inch of 15 year-old me was happy.


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