April 9, 2015 The Get Up Kids celebrate 20 years The Paramount Huntington, NY 3-28-15 w/ PUP & Restorations
Kansas City, Missouri’s The Get Up Kids are pioneers of Alternative Rock, widely thought of as having a major role in Emo Rock in the mid 1990s. Having released four acclaimed studio albums, two EPs, one live album, a collection of rarities, and has toured the US, Europe, Australia and Japan to sold out crowds too many times to count. Their sophomore album in 1999, titled Something to Write Home About, brought the band critical acclaim and is widely viewed as the cornerstone of the second wave of the aforementioned Emo scene. While they changed directions in records to follow, the band carried on through 2005 when they decided to breakup. Ending a ten year run of success, it was not until 2008 that they would decide to reunite in celebration of Something to Write Home About. Thankfully, the reunion would spark rekindled relationships between vocalist/guitarist Matt Pryor, guitarist Jim Suptic, bassist Rob Pope, drummer Ryan Pope, and keyboardist James Dewees, so much so they have carried on since. Now they make it to their twentieth anniversary in 2015, a feat many bands only dream to reach. In celebration of all they have accomplished, they hit the road to tour, and on Saturday March 28th, The Get Up Kids came to The Paramount in Huntington, New York with Toronto punks, PUP, and Philadelphia’s own Restorations.
Out of south Philly, Restorations began some five years ago, but their young age is betrayed by their rich musical background and talents. Consisting of Carlin Brown on drums, Dave Klyman on guitar/backing vocals, Jon Loudon on guitar/vocals, Ben Pierce on keys/guitar, and Dan Zimmerman on bass/backing vocals, Restorations has released a bundle of music and tour regularly. As the first act to hit the stage, they started with the airy and haunting “Misprint” from their 2014 release, LP3. Things quickly shifted into another gear as the heavy guitar-driven “New Old” began with rush of guitars and drums before becoming thoughtfully compelling. The Philly quintet continued through a few more selections from LP3, including the powerful “Tiny Prayers” and textured, nuanced “Separate Songs.” Restorations is a complex band that is not afraid to explore themselves musically and share their discoveries with the world. Be sure to check them out June while they are on tour with The Early November.
Next up was Restorations labelmates, the Canadian band PUP. Quite simply clarifying they play loud music, PUP brought with them a following that they seemed to be unaware of. Guitarist/vocalist Stefan Babcock, drummer Zack Mykula, guitarist Steve Sladkowski, and bassist Nestor Chumak took the stage, receiving a large ovation as they busted out “Guilt Trip,” an off-beat Weezer-esque song that had the crowd bouncing. Continuing on, they went into “Back Against the Wall,” a song featuring strong, catchy, vocal harmonies and a quick tempo. Floored by the overwhelming support from the audience, PUP was all smiles and offered up “Dark Days” and the anthemic tune “Cul-De-Sac,” which was greeted by even more crowd participation. Addressing the crowd for the first time, Babcock talked about pizza, the band’s first time on Long Island, and how far removed this tour is from playing in basements while covered in their own bodily fluids. Finishing strong, they played the heavy, bluesy track “Yukon” before going into their single “Reservoir.” PUP certainly brought excitement and gave their newly discovered fans a great, energetic show. They will be on Vans Warped Tour this summer, so it is safe to say there will be no more basements for this band.
After the two well-received open acts, The Get Up Kids’ arrival in Huntington was an event that seemed to charge the air with electricity. Simply put, this is a band that means a whole lot to a whole lot of people. That was clearly evident by the clamor going around the room, and in the mezzanine, in the moments prior to The Get Up Kids arriving on stage.
As the lights went down, Pryor, Suptic, Rob, Ryan, and Dewees came out to eager fans as they kicked things off with “Holiday” and “I’m a Loner Dottie, a Rebel,” evoking a mass vocal from the crowd. Bathed in orange glow, Pryor thanked the crowd for braving the snow and coming out to see them before going into “The One You Want” followed by fun-loving track “Off The Wagon.” Bringing it down a bit with the sweet love song, “Valentine,” which also had a giant sing-along occurring. Providing a dynamic flow between the band’s two styles, the band continued to shoot out quality tracks from their history including “Coming Clean” and “Mass Pike.”
Chatting with the fans once more, Pryor spoke about the last time they performed “Woodson” in 1997 at the Dublin Pub with Dewees, then a member of Coalesce, on guest vocals. Playing the song after the introduction, next it was Dewees himself who dedicated “Overdue” to a friend in the audience before moving into fan favorite “Red Letter Day.” Keeping the mood personal, Pryor admitted that they had learned the next song for this tour, and specfically Long Island. He was referring to the 1997 track “No Love,” which received strong approval. Moving forward, Suptic strapped on an acoustic guitar, and it was revealed to all that the reason for the time and duration of this twentieth anniversary tour was indeed due to the fact that Suptic was on his spring break from medical school. After some back and forth about exactly what Suptic was studying, he Sang “Campfire Kansas” from their 2002 album, On a Wire. Keeping things relaxed with “Long Goodnight,” the band seemed to have an endless supply of hits as they neared the finale with “Action & Action,” “Don’t Hate Me,” and “Walking on a Wire.” After a long fulfilling set of great songs, the band returned for an encore that included The Cure’s classic track “Close to Me,” The Replacements “Beer for Breakfast,” before their own classics “Shorty,” “I’ll Catch You,” and “Ten Minutes.”
Celebrating their twentieth anniversary in front of a huge Long Island crowd, both the band and the audience represented themselves well, as they fed each other the entire night. This is a band truly grateful for the career they sustained and the fans that they have attracted along the way. The nostalgia was all around, but the band, the music, and the fans were as fresh as the first time they met. They crafted a show which illustrated their musical evolution beautifully, artfully traversing their growth over two decades. At one point Pryor stated this was a definitely a show to write home about, and hoped the audience had a good time. Measuring the joy on the faces all around, it is safe to say they did.