Okay, so this show was almost two weeks ago, but I still really want to write about it. It was a really great experience with a punk show in Madison, which is not usually the case. The crowd knew all of the words, and the band was really into the show.
Sam Russo was the opener, a man from England with a guitar and a hell of an understanding of songwriting. When he’s up there with just his acoustic guitar you can tell that the song has a bass part and drums in his head, and you can even usually feel it as he stomps his way through some of his songs. I loved it. It didn’t seem weird to have him open at all, and in fact, he set a great tone for the rest of the show, breaking the ice between audience and performers.
When Russo was winding down he got a little chatty, which was actually really interesting. He told stories about writing his songs, about touring with Elway (one of my favorites), and just about the experiences he’s had. When he was done I was actually disappointed. I would’ve loved to see him play a few more. I ended up picking up his split with Brendan Kelly, as well as his full-length on the way out of the theatre.
The Copyrights were second, a band I knew nothing about. Apparently they’ve been around for about a decade. They were quite good at what they do, with good harmonies and really energetic songwriting. Quite the change of pace from Russo, but also thematically similar. I was impressed with their intensity, not as impressed with the crowd. No one else seemed to be really into the music, which was weird to me, but everyone was polite and cheered at least.
The Lawrence Arms blew me away. I realized that I really like Chris’ songs on the albums and Brendan’s songs live, but there was a really great mix of both. They played a healthy mix of tunes from all of their records as far as I could tell, and they sounded great. There was that one douche who decided to jump on stage during a song and try to sing, but that got resolved quickly.
This was a show that I would pay to see again, even when I had to work at 6:00 the next morning, I had no problem staying out to listen to three great performances, hiccups and all.