For those who have been fans of “emo” music for the past several years, the Vagrant Records Tour performance at the Electric Factory on Nov. 9 was a sad affair.
For those younger folks just getting into the bands on the Vagrant roster, who are finally receiving regular radio and music video play, it was probably quite a good time.
Older fans of Alkaline Trio and Reggie and The Full Effect still came out in droves. For most of these old fans, though, seeing these groups in large venues can never be the same as it was before they made it big.
Opening the show was No Motiv, a band that has been knocking around for nearly 10 years now, but most attendees of the show seemed to be unfamiliar with them.
While their music isn’t terribly exciting live, No Motiv is a hard-working band that tours between 8 and 10 months out of the year, and it was a bummer to see them met with this ambivalent reaction at such a big show.
Next up was New York’s From Autumn To Ashes. This group’s rise to popularity has been incredibly swift. It wasn’t even two years ago when they had only recorded their demo. For their second full-length album this year, they were courted by major labels before ultimately signing with Vagrant.
Their inexperience shows in their live show. None of the band members had any energy, and the singer was noticeably off key. Perhaps in a few years, From Autumn To Ashes will be a truly exciting live band, but they still have a long way to go.
Reggie and The Full Effect was originally a joke band formed by members of The Get Up Kids with their keyboard player James Dewees on vocals. Their live show has always maintained a humorous tone, and this outing was no different.
Undoubtedly putting on the best show of the night, Reggie came out in cheeky 1980’s theme costumes, complete with long wigs and an Afro. Their show included white makeup, chocolate syrup, and a mini toy Jeep. The set was definitely entertaining, but it was difficult to escape the vibe of parody in the air.
Nothing on Reggie’s new album, Under The Tray, is very good, and it was hard to get past the fact that they seemed to be onstage doing dumb things for a laugh with no good music to back it up.
The headliners, Alkaline Trio, also put on a set very unlike themselves.
Longtime fans of the band know the Trio for their drunkenly sloppy live performances. Thankfully, this performance was an exception. The band was very clean and sober looking and gave a tight performance. They came out dressed in suits and carried the show with a very frank and businesslike delivery. Their set seemed to be geared towards their newer fans.
While there were some interesting rarities thrown in, the majority of their set was pulled from their newest Vagrant release, Good Mourning.
Fans of these bands will always come out to see them, but it is hard to escape a certain amount of dissatisfaction with having to see them in such a large venue with so many new fans.
During No Motiv’s set, a young girl shouted “You suck!” and their singer responded with “What do you know? You’re 12 years old.” This summed the evening up rather nicely.
Chuck DelRoss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org