red lights


A sad night for music

Bowling for Soup / American Hi-Fi
The Rave
Milwaukee, WI
Jan. 30, 2005
Bowling for Soup
Bowling for Soup's Jaret Reddick
Bowling for Soup
Bowling for Soup's Chris Burney
Bowling for Soup
Bowling for Soup's Erik Chandler

Story and photos by Matt Schwenke

On the musical menu for Sunday night at the Rave was the latest serving of what can only be described as punk glam: some evil reincarnation of the spirit that produced glam rock. However contradictory, this new brand of same-old tastes nothing of punk, is not glamorous, and is ultimately unsavory. The opener for the night, Riddlin Kids, showed some promise with their vocals that actually matched the aggression of their music, but by the end of their short set, their sound was inseparable from an area garage band.
Bowling for Soup What should have been the main course for the night, American Hi-Fi's set followed and had the most flavor in the otherwise bland night. One interesting section came in a song apparently inspired by Elvis Costello, and with the song "The Geeks Get The Girls" off of their yet-to-be released third studio album, American Hi-Fi started out with a Beach Boys style piano riff and blasted some punk rhythms over top. But, that is where the interesting part of their sound ended. The sections of song that were the most interesting, like the aforementioned intro, were sprinkled far and few between, too often reverting back to tasteless song-writing. After playing their annoying radio hit "Flavor Of The Week," American Hi-Fi left on a good note with a tune that included frontman Stacy Jones jamming a drumstick between the strings of his guitar and the band ending their set with a Radioheadesque barrage of noise.
Then, the Blink 182 sideshow began. Playing with their instruments more than playing them, the band set out to entertain the crowd with antics. Guitarist Chris Burney can do a neat flip trick with his guitar pick at a rate of about 10 to 15 times per song. Drummer Gary Wiseman has all the Tommy Lee flip-the-sticks tricks down. Bassist Erik Chandler has the rock 'n' roll hand signal and fist-pump mastered. And, lead singer Jaret Reddick can spin in many circles without falling over; however, the third song of their set was abruptly halted when Reddick almost lodged his guitar in his ass after a guitar whip-around gone bad. Then, out of nowhere on either side of the stage, two large balloons slowly took the shape of hands in the rock 'n' roll sign. The crowd cheered, but the music didn't get any better. In what was their best display of musical talent during the night, Bowling For Soup sang an acappella version of the "Laverne and Shirley" theme song. Then it was back to making funny faces and acting silly. Their latest album title says it all; A Hangover You Don't Deserve. Great night for anthemic songs, including the silly "1985," of teenage angst and immaturity by a bunch of twenty-somethings. Possibly a good night for entertainment. A sad night for music.

American Hi-Fi
American Hi-Fi

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