The Get Up Kids were once a band that headlined tours aroudn the world along with the Skate and Surf Festival in Asbury Park. They were also a prominent force in the emo-music revival in the mid 1990’s, along with Jimmy Eat World. Now, the Kids are adults and have been touring their first full-length album in seven years. Though they’re not the band they once were, it’s rare to watch a band grow up right in front of your eyes.
On Wednesday, March 2, 2011 The Get Up Kids performed at Webster Hall in New York City. This was the first time they returned to this venue since their break-up tour. The band was excited to be back and showed it as they played an inspiring set with a number of old fan favorites mixed with tracks from their latest album, There Are Rules. But the night felt uneven because of the departure from their original, emo sound off of the new album. The crowd was jumping around frantically during hits such as “Action & Action,” “I’m a Loner Dottie, a Rebel,” and “Don’t Hate Me.” But when TGUK played anything off of There Are Rules, the crowd was stagnant.
Combine that with some technical difficulties and an unruly crowd that caused the security to go bonkers, the show was a forgettable one. But no matter what, I’ll never get tired of seeing The Get Up Kids.
Round Two! So after the concert on Wednesday, I listened to There Are Rules and I must admit, I enjoyed the songs twice as much as I did prior to seeing the songs played live. I’m not sure how that worked, but I’m sure glad it did. So on Thursday, March 3, 2011 I rolled into Brooklyn to catch The Get Up Kids once again at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. I’ve never been at this venue before so I was excited to explore.
Once my friends and I entered the venue, we were confused as to where to go. Somehow we went down a flight of stairs and found ourselves at a bar. I ordered myself a Sixpoint Brown Ale and then walked around the horse-shoe bar, up the stairs, and through the doors to the main room. The room was about one-third of the size at Webster Hall’s Grand Ballroom. On the sides of the room were narrow platforms that allowed those standing there a view slightly above the ground floor. That’s where we watched the performance.
I’m not sure if it was the sold-out crowd that night, or if TGUK were feeling generous, but they played a much crowd-pleasing set than their list of songs at Webster Hall the night before. They were on stage for 90 minutes, just like the night before, but their song selection in Brooklyn was simply better for us kids who wanted to hear the hits. Playing tracks like “Coming Clean” and “Mass Pike” instead of new material, the crowd was going wild. Ending the main set with I’ll Catch You and then burning through their energetic encore like it was a party, TGUK rewarded a fun crowd with a fun-filled show.
It was great to see The Get Up Kids on the stage again. They’ll most likely call it quits soon, but I hope I can see them a few more times before that happens. TGUK for life!