No Motiv – Worcester – Worcester Palladium, MA – 2001-06-19

No Motiv
Where: Worcester – Worcester Palladium, MA.

When: 2001-06-19

Four bands I have not been able to get enough of lately, all in one show. Somebody at Vagrant knows what they’re doing.

No Motiv kicked off the evening with a solid set of their unique brand of melodic punk. The crowd hadn’t fully arrived yet, and those who were there took some time getting settled in and reacting to what they were seeing, with the exception of one small circle of kids moshing in front of the stage. Hence, some of the energy you hear on a No Motiv album was lost in their live show. Singer and guitarist Jeremy Palaszewski maintained his hunched-over stance, as the other three band members (bassist Roger Camero, guitarist Max McDonald, drummer Patrick Pedraza) chugged away for half an hour on the band’s first trip to Worcester.

Next came Hot Rod Circuit, a band that truly must be seen live, and tonight was one of at least three shows the band is playing at the Palladium this summer, and their last on this particular tour. Guitarist Casey Prestwood was full of energy as usual, as the other three band members (singer/guitarist Andy Jackson, drummer Mike Poorman, bassist Jay Russell) pounded away with contagious intensity, inducing sing-alongs on songs like “Remover.” They ripped through songs from both of their full-lengths and their first EP, as well as previewing material from their next release, which, from the sounds of it, should be something to look forward to.

The energy was raised, so there was wonder about how the crowd would react to Dashboard Confessional, led by Chris Carrabba and his rack of acoustic guitars. In fact, much of the band’s set was Chris alone on a stool, while on some songs, bassist Dan Bonebrake and drummer Mike Marsh joined him. The energy remained high, but in a quiet, thoughtful sort of way, rather than the raw power of the two previous bands. Chris began the set by encouraging the crowd to sing along, and to make up words if they didn’t know them. His own voice was as impressive as it is on record, screaming out his beautiful, heartfelt lyrics. He played songs both old and new, as well as a new song that will be released on a split 7-inch with The New Amsterdams in the near future. Lighters were held high, voices screamed out in unison, and couples cuddled closely as Chris and company performed a half hour’s worth of gut-wrenching numbers.

The show could have ended there, and many people would have been perfectly content, but next came Alkaline Trio. Fresh off a string of opening dates for Blink 182, Alkaline Trio were full of energy, dishing out a healthy dose of their angst-filled punk songs about girls, drinking and death, in a set they dedicated to Hot Rod Circuit for such a great stay on the tour. The energy of the crowd shifted back to a moshing, head-bobbing intensity, as bassist Dan Andriano and guitarist Matt Skiba switched back-and-forth on singing duties. The trio even took a request, blasting through “Fuck You Aurora” as the crowd sang along and proudly held their middle fingers high with each chorus. The crowd also responded well to “Radio,” pumping their fists to the classic chorus, “I’ve got a big, fat fucking bone to pick with you my darling. In case you haven’t heard I’m sick and tired of trying. I wish you would take my radio to bathe with you, plugged in and ready to fall.”

Some kids were exhausted before the show was even over, taking a seat on the floor by the bar, recovering from the mosh pit, quietly bobbing their heads. It is safe to say everyone left satisfied, and a little sweaty.