Monday, August 26, 2002

Rock Shows of Note XXXVI
Another awesome Anchormen show this Saturday at the Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain. I just love playing shows with friends' bands, and the whole friends of friends dynamic has helped our shows immensely. The audiences are so much more receptive and fun to watch. Saturday's show featured two awesome bands, the Mary Reillys, Deb of Hi-Fi Records' band, and Spoilsport, only the cutest queercore band currently active in the Boston area.

True to form, it rained -- just like it does almost every time we play -- and I was early enough to grab a burger at Doyle's across the street before heading to the Midway for load in. After setting up and hanging out with the Anks and Spoilsport for a spell, we were treated to the "mighty pop" pretense of Top Heavy, which drew a sizable sorority girl crowd and played radio-friendly alt-rock, even name dropping Coldplay. Coldplay? Turns out that the Midway booked Top Heavy before learning that the Spoilsport kids had made plans with the Anks and the Reillys. They were definitely the outlier of the evening and went so far as to describe themselves to one showgoer as follows: "We're from Boston, but we're not really a Boston band. We usually play in New York and DC. When you hear us, you'll understand why we're not a Boston band." Um, because you tease the audience with a Kiss cover and don't deliver? Because you end your set with a Neil Diamond cover? Because you leave early without sticking around to hear the other bands? Huh.

Notice the Tardy T-shirt. Support the scene!

This was the first time I've seen a full set by the Mary Reillys, and they didn't disappoint. A three piece, the Reillys traffic in power pop by way of garage rock and feature some excellent boy-girl vocals. The crowd seemed to respond well to their sing-along choruses, and they finished with me needing to see them play again soon. Perhaps this Thursday? After their set ended, I was lucky enough to snag their set list. Here's what they played:

  • No Way Fuck You
  • Pollyanna
  • Shoot the Moon
  • Love You More
  • Almost Lost
  • Enron Girl
  • (Way Somewhere)
  • (Marni & Luara)
  • Hot Rod
  • A Match Made in Dedham

  • Kudos to the Reillys' drummer Kira for helping her friend deal with a low blood pressure moment. We were concerned!

    The Anchormen make their move.

    Then we played. Scan gives me a hard time about reviewing Anchormen shows, so I'll go light on the Anks this time. We had a lot of fun, and we hope everyone else did, too. Chris encouraged us all to do tequila shots just before we took the stage, and as someone who never, ever does shots, I was a bit surprised by the warmness in my gullet. Fuel for the fire, I suppose. Our set was fast-paced, raucous, and pretty tight. None of us really screwed up -- unless you count me not knowing the words to Billy Idol's "White Wedding" -- and folks were bopping along on the dancefloor. Hooray to everyone who came out to see us play.

    Suzanne and Craig rock the casbah.

    Last up, Spoilsport. And you know what? This is the best show of theirs that I've ever seen. In the past, I've described them as unabashed, fun-in-the-sun pop, but Saturday, they rocked. Their sound was bigger than I've ever heard it before, they didn't seem as shy and awkward as they have in the past, and Suzanne, the guitarist, was all over the place! So much fun to listen to. So much fun to watch. I was especially impressed by the new vocal parts they've added to the older songs, and I look forward to more gang vocals and boy-girl harmonies in the future. Spoilsport just keeps getting better and better. Check 'em out.

    As an added Media Diet bonus, here's what Jef had to say about the show:

    I think that was the rowdiest show that I've been in in a good long. Mosh pits! Stripping drummers! Tequila shots! Wrestling! Dancing! A special appearance by the Goo Goo Dolls!

    Now I know to start drinking 12 hours before the show for best effect.

    Indeed, it was a fun night. I even avoided a wrestling match with Scott. Oh! And Mike Faloon, publisher of the zine Go Metric! even came up from New York for the festivities. It was super cool to finally meet him.

    You can also read Koshka's review of the show. Photographs courtesy of Koshka.

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