Opening Bands: Dashboard Confessional, Hey Mercedes
Date: March 9th, 2001
Venue: Cloud 9, Buffalo NY
First of all, if its at all possible do not go to Cloud 9 to see live music.
You shouldn’t go to Cloud 9 anyways, but that’s another story. The sound system there is completely fucked and shouldn’t be used for anything other than the horrible music it usually plays. Also, I had my doubts about the abilities of the sound engineer. It seems like every band that played there Monday night was pretty dissatisfied with the PA setup as a whole. But this was not to ruin the show… Four bands were featured on the Buffalo stop of the Vagrant records “Can’t Stop The Rock” tour.
They were: Tomorrow’s at Stake (locals I believe), Dashboard Confessional, Hey Mercedes, and The Anniversary. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Vagrant Records is probably one of the biggest up and coming indie labels. Most of the bands on Vagrant have a punk rock sound without that middle-finger-in-your-face attitude. Bands like Blink-182 and Alkaline Trio (once on Vagrant) have brought this type of sound back onto the radio and into popular music in general. First up was the power punk quartet Tomorrow’s At Stake. They played a tight set that only lasted about thirty minutes. TAS featured some excellent drum work and almost hardcore like vocals at certain points. They appeared to be slightly misbilled in retrospect. Every group following them seemed to have a softer sound and a lot more pop sensibility. Next was Vagrant Records first representative of the evening in the form of Dashboard Confessional. Their entire set was comprised mostly of acoustic driven emo songs usually with only guitar and vocals.
Occasionally, Chris (lead singer/guitarist) would have accompaniment in the form of bass and percussion. For me this was the highlight of the entire show. Chris had the almost the entire crowd singing along by set’s end and it was obvious that he stole the show almost single handedly. Hey Mercedes was the next Vagrant band up and they also had a great original sound to offer the packed in crowd at Cloud 9. Hey Mercedes is a blend of New Wave (think the Cure) meets 90’s punk rock. They had a difficult time warming up to the venue (the sound cut out midway through their first song) but, Hey Mercedes put together a good 50-minute set of both melancholy sing-a-longs and upbeat punk rock.
The Anniversary showed up just in time to put on the great show that everyone came to see. After setting up their amps, drums, keyboards, and guitars in their jackets, The Anniversary dropped song after song that basically blew away what was left of the Cloud 9 PA. Their sound is very Rentals-like with a bit more of an edge than Matt Sharp’s new band. The Anniversary set was the perfect way to end a great night of emo. You should really pick up the new Vagrant comp or check out the Can’t stop the Rock tour. Better yet do both.