What I WPR’d #7 – Of Concerts and Holidays
I needed to get a fire lit under myself and start producing a lot more. I’ve put off talking about the next few subjects but I’m more than ready. This time I’m going to talk about a concert I went to a while back as well as a few other random things I’ve been doing the past little while. As well as a little retrospective on the year 2010.
2010 was a really interesting year for me. I opened a lot of new doors and new beginnings while I had a lot of endings, some good, others bad, but for the most part I think I’ll remember 2010 for a long while to come. It started off really good. The games that came out in the first part of the year were really good. I remember vividly playing a lot of my first “casual” style games. 2010 was the year I discovered PopCap. I mean all of us have played “Bejeweled” or other similar browser or casual oriented games. But 2010 was the year that I discovered the magic of “Peggle” and that games didn’t need a lot overarching story to beat down your throat to be addictive and satisfying. I also played a lot of games that did rely on a huge story, games such as “Dragon Age: Origins” (at least the expansion pack, “Awakening”), “Fallout: New Vegas”, and “Heavy Rain”. Each of these games follow linear paths completely different and took gamers of these prospective genres into places they have only but dreamed about. In the movie front, we saw the rise of 3D. “Avatar” fever took over the movie industry and it seemed like every film that came out last year came out in 3D. While I haven’t seen a 3D movie that I really liked yet (and yes, that includes “Avatar”), it is really interesting how close we’re getting to seeing “Back to the Future 2” in terms of our entertainment and movies.
Think about that scene in “Back to the Future 2” when Marty walks down main street in Hill Valley. We see a 3D “Jaws” come out of a movie theater and attempt to “eat” him. As well as 80s nostalgia themed diner, which actually got me thinking about that. Remember the 80s when it seemed like every music video or every movie took place in a diner? I’m thinking along the lines of the “Bad” music video by Micheal Jackson or any Cindi Lauper song. I digress, what I was getting to was 2010 was a lot like the 2015 I recall from that classic film.
2010 also marked the year that I finally finished college. While I probably could have finished this years ago, this year I really finally finished something for once in my adult life. It also represents a lot of other feelings I’ve had this year. I feel like I’m more on the “down trend” of my youth. I’m only 26 years old, I don’t feel like I’m getting in the grave anytime soon. However, I feel like I’m beginning to see the disconnect between “my generation” and the one pushing me out of the way. But thats ok, I think. I’m also starting to see TV shows actually market their shows more towards stuff that I care about. I also feel like I can no longer connect with youth oriented shows. I don’t know, maybe I’m just growing up, but I still feel the same you know. I’ve also felt this in the kinds of media I choose to consume as well. More and more I’ve opted to see films that have more adult oriented themes, I’m watching way too many documentaries this year. I feel like I’ve becoming more interested in real life stories then those of make believe.
2010 I discovered “Scott Pilgrim”. While many savvy comic readers have been exposed to this wonderful series for a while, I found “Scott Pilgrim” when there was a lot of turmoil going on in my personal life and I completely identified all that within the title character. He’s a lot like me. Kind of lives life in a video game world and seems to be completely sweet and hopelessly romantic. I felt the book followed my life to a “T”. The movie was also one of the first movies that really spoke to “me”. I felt like it was the first mainstream movie (along with “Kick Ass”) to expose how it felt to be a geek in this period in time. I wish some of our contemporaries would be willing to accept the fact that everyone is a geek (here’s looking at you Patton Oswalt).
It’s fun to look back on, but what does this have to do with “WPR’d” this week? Nothing. I just wanted to get a lot of that out of the way. I have a lot of catching up to do with a lot of my TV shows and my ever expanding Netflix queue. I’m going to have a venerable gold mine of material. Before I leave 2010 behind for good I wanted to talk about a few things I did near the end of the year. Starting off with a concert that I’ve been promising to write my thoughts about for a long time now.
On November 13th, I went to the Bad Religion, Bouncing Souls, Off With Their Heads concert at In the Venue in Salt Lake City. This lineup is pretty much perfect for me. Bouncing Souls have been one of my all time favorite bands for years. They play a melodic style of hardcore punk that I really identify with. Their songs are from the heart and they always put a lot into a great show. I’ve seen them a few times the past half decade or so, they usually come in the fall or winter so when it gets chilly outside I think of the ‘Souls. Bad Religion is a band that just celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2010. They originated what a lot of people think of as punk today. There would be no Green Day or Offspring without what bands like Bad Religion did in the 80s. I’ve really only seen Bad Religion at Warped Tour stops. Which for a band of this caliber it is really a shame, it’s hard to get in all the songs your fans want to hear in only 30 – 40 minute Warped Tour sets. So, for my birthday, (and it seriously actually was my birthday) my gift to myself was this amazing lineup.
We arrived at “In the Venue” at about the usual time, roughly a half hour or so before the doors opened. One thing I vividly remember about this concert was that it was the first really cold night of the year. We wore thin hoodies, in hindsight, we probably should have worn boss leather jackets. My favorite part of punk shows is hanging out in front of the venue just watching the kinds of people who show up. There was a really good mix of people at this show, a lot people were there that have obviously been to punk shows for a while, I even recognized a few. There were the teens that this was the first time they had ever been to a concert such as this. It’s always fun seeing the excitement on their faces mixed with the jaded “old timers”. Once we got inside the venue we made our way over to one of my favorite viewing positions, which is as close to the sound booth as possible. At a punk show you have a few choices, you can either go hang out in the metal cage with the drunks, you go up front and get smashed by kids, theres the mosh pit but lets face it, I’m not built for the mosh pit, and then my favorite section, the sound booth. I’m also interested in things like lighting design and sound queues. I like watching them adjust it throughout the show. Anyways, back to the show, Off with their Heads came out first.
I wasn’t familiar with Off With Their Heads before this concert, so I appologize that I don’t recall any song names. What I do recall is that they were a really good punk band. A few of their songs sounded really similar, almost to a point where I couldn’t tell that they switched songs. They reminded me of a Green Day without all the polish. They played a really energetic set for about 25 minutes. They sold me on the giant Cat head they used as a back drop. In fact, all bands should have a giant cat face as their backdrop. I would probably love a lot more bands.
If I had to pick between Bad Religion or Bouncing Souls, I would most likely pick the ‘Souls. The came on next, I was actually surprised by how short the set was. The setlist was as follows:
Sing Along Forever
Lean On Sheena (Avoid One Thing cover)
East Coast! Fuck You!
Some Kind of Wonderful
K8 is Great
Wayfarer (Hot Water Music cover)
Here We Go
If you were to pick out a typical Bouncing Souls set, you’d probably come up with something close to this. The only real “surprise” in the set list was “Wayfarer” that at the time I didn’t realize was a Hot Water Music song. “K8 is Great” is one of my all time favorite songs and it was roughly the anthem of 2010 for me. Particularly with the line “five long years are gone.” Usually they play a bit more songs than this, I realize this was a Bad Religion headline tour, but I almost put them up on as high of a pedigree as them.
Bad Religion came out next. They played with as much intensity as I’ve ever seen them perform. They are almost ageless in that regard. Yeah, they are no spring chickens and are into their late 40s collectively, but they still remind me of the first time I saw them way back when they were just pushing their 40s in early 2000. Greg Graffin’s voice seems to get better each and every year he is out on tour. Greg and Brian have mastered the art of duel punk guitars. Brooks Wackerman (yeah that’s his real name) has been the real energy of the band since he joined them for “The Process of Belief” in 2002. Here’s the setlist:
Do What You Want Overture/Sinister Rouge
We’re Only Gonna Die Recipe For Hate
Flat Earth Society
Before You Die
The Resist Stance
I Want To Conquer The World
21st Century Digital Boy
New Dark Ages
The Devil In Stitches
Let Them Eat War
10 In 2010
Wrong Way Kids
Los Angeles Is Burning
Fuck Armageddon, This Is Hell
This was a landmark setlist in my personal opinion. I’ve seen them a few times now. This was the first time I saw “10 in 2010”, “Atomic Garden”, “Anesthesia”, and “Los Angeles Is Burning” performed in Utah. This was also only just the second time that they played “Infected”. The only real complaint that I really had with the setlist was they omitted “New America” and “Into the Unknown” from their set. I feel these two records are highly underrated. “New America” was one of the best punk records I had heard all year in 2000. It was a shame to see it not share the same light by the majority of the fans as I treat it.
I’m pushing 2000 words so I feel like I should leave it at that. I hope everyone is sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. I know I have. Until next week.
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Robert Chesley is a geek of all natures. He mostly spends his time on the forums under the moniker Urzishra.