Acrobat Down – Denver – The Bluebird Theater, CO – 1999-10-23

Acrobat Down
Where: Denver – The Bluebird Theater, CO.

When: 1999-10-23

Despite being one of my favorite bands for the past few years, since the release of their fantastic emo-rock album Four Minute Mile, I have never seen The Get Up Kids live. It seems like I always miss them. I drive home to visit the folks and find out the Kids played there the week before. I look in the paper to see who’s playing that weekend, and they played the night before. I move to Colorado and find I missed them by one day. Geesh, talk about bad karma.

Well, I finally got to see them, but let me start with the openers first. And even before that, let me say that I’m old. I just hate all ages shows anymore, because I feel like I’m surrounded by junior high kids. My gosh, they must have been no more than 14 years old. And so they relegate the 21-and-ups into the balcony where they can drink and make fun of the kids but not really hear the music all that well. What a pain. And the kids just didn’t dance. A few at the front bobbed up and down a little, and a few others bobbed their heads, but no one was really into it. I think that’s pretty standard about Denver, however. That’s unfortunate. Nothing’s more fun than really getting into a good show.

As always Acrobat Down was excellent. Unfortunately, this was one of their first shows since their keyboard player left the band, and the lead singer/guitar player attempted to compensate by playing DATs of some of the keyboard effects, which really interfered with his guitar playing. My suggestion is just write new versions of the old songs. Sure, keyboards were fairly integral into the songs on the new album, but you can do without them. Other than that, the band rocked. And they played a new song with a great guitar riff that made me feel all good inside.

Reflector has to be one of the tightest, most perfect sounding live bands I’ve ever heard. Either this band is way talented or they just have an amazing sound guy. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m big fans. Their music had this big, almost glam feel to it that I don’t really go for. Sure, it was cool rock stuff, but I just pictured them wearing leather and having big hair. It was like they had that rock-star idealism going for them, and it showed. This was Reflector’s last show with the Kids, which means I didn’t get to hear At the Drive In play with the Kids. What a shame. But Reflector, from the Kids’ home town, was pretty good, and they sounded fantastic. It was a good way to get the crowd excited about the headliners.

And The Get Up Kids were as good as I expected. For the first time in Colorado, I saw a non-local band that was really into their show. These guys were having so much fun, leaping into the air and twirling around during the most rocking numbers, screaming into the mics, giving each other high-fives and threatening nipple-twisters on the bassist.

It’s official, after seeing this show. The Get Up Kids are rock stars. Why? Three reasons. First, they have a huge-ass bus. I think they were kinda embarrassed by it, and they apologized to the audience for it blocking out the sun. Second, they came out and said, “Denver, are you ready to rock?” I had to wince at that. And third, during their fan favorite, “Don’t Hate Me,” they went silent and let the crowd finish up the chorus. And the crowd shouted it satisfyingly damn loud.

The best part about the Kids’ performance is that they played so many songs. There was a song from their first single/EP (“Woodson”), a bunch of songs from Four Minute Mile, “Mass Pike” and “Anne Arbor” from their most recent EP, and several songs from their new album. It was a near perfect mix, and the audience really appreciated it. At least, I did. And their new songs, which are slightly diminished in rock factor, rocked hard live, especially “Ten Minutes.” Unfortunately, they didn’t play “I’m a Loner, Dottie, a Rebel,” but everything else was near perfection.

What a great band. What a great show. Check out The Get Up Kids live. I’m fairly sure they don’t disappoint.