Date: April 23rd, 2017
Opening Bands: Masked Intruder, PEARS
The last time I saw Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, it was 12 years ago at Irving Plaza. They just released a Greatest Hits album a few weeks ago and have been playing with fellow Fat Wreck bands Masked Intruder and PEARS for this east coast tour. It’s was a sold out/ or close to selling out show, which is always great to see for a Sunday night show.
PEARS were first and I wasn’t really familiar with them all that much. I think I’ve heard a song or two on a compilation or streaming. They hail from New Orleans and were also in another band called the Lollies. I was quite impressed with frontman Zach Quinn’s performance. He reminded me of an angrier Jello Biafra. He’d kind of act out things here and there and then go into full pitbull mode when singing. Not sure what was played but I’m assuming they played many tracks off their latest album Green Star. I’d definitely see PEARS again just for watching Zach Quinn sing and perform.
Masked Intruder were up next and I’ve seen these crooks twice now, this being the third time so I knew what to expect. I always enjoy their sets because they are funny, I like their music and Office Bradford is there to make sure the band fall in line and the crowd has a good time. He doesn’t really perform musically in the band but he’s standing on stage, a part of the act. Then he goes into the crowd and goes up to the a lot of people to make sure they are dancing and have a smile on their face. I’d imagine he’s had a few run-ins with grumps that don’t want him near them. Not sure where Intruder Red was, but it was just a non-masked drummer with the band…unless Red forgot to put his mask on.
The band played songs like “25 To Life,” “I Fought The Law,” and “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone Tonight.” Zach from PEARS came out and played a song with MI, and it ended up being one of the most cheered songs of the night…NOFX’s “Linoleum.” Later on, they played “Crime Spree” “First Star Tonight,” “Stick Em Up” and they ended with “I Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye To you Tonight.”
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes came out all in black and gold as the theme for their set. I like when they sport the Hawaiian shirts but you never know what they are going to dress up like for their sets. The band started things off with “Summertime,” and Spike came out a little after in the song. The last time I saw the band at Irving, Fat Mike was still touring with them and Brian Baker was playing with them as well. They had Jay from Bad Religion filling in for Mike and Chris Shiflett’s brother Scott, who plays in Face to Face was filling in for him. Dave Raun and Joey Cape of Lagwagon were there, but as Spike and the crowd referred to Joey that night: “Jerry.” The crowd kept chanting “Jerry” like Jerry Springer chants all night which I’m sure Joey loved.
Spike would introduce each song, give a little fun intro and then declare “this is a cover.” I forgot about that part and every time he said, it gave me a chuckle. The cover supergroup played “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Me & Julio…,” “Sloop John B,” “Danny’s Song.” I was never crazy about the songs from “Are A Drag” but they played songs from that like “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” and “Over The Rainbow.” I liked a few songs off the country cover album they did and they did a few of those as well. Highlight for me was the band performing “I Believe I Can Fly.” I need to see Spike’s band Uke Hunt play because I love when he plays the ukulele. The end of the set was great too because they played “Rocket Man,” which is one of my favorite covers that they do. Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” is a surprisingly great song to cover if you’re a punk band. They finished off their set with “Different Drum” and went off for a few minutes.
They came back to play a few more songs before the night was completely done. Spike brought out the uke again and played Nancy Sinatra’s “You Only Live Twice” with some of the guys. They then went into “All My Loving.” I took off around that point but read they played a couple more after that. Definitely an entertaining show from all three bands! Hopefully I don’t wait another 12 years to see Gimme Gimmes again.
All my photos will be on SkaPunkPhotos.com this week. For now, check out some of my favorites:
Me First and The Gimme Gimmes