Live Reviews

The Starting Line vs MXPX

The Mean Fiddler

The opening bands were The Avalanche and Match. I didn’t get to see them, but they were highly praised by both headliners. I will be sure to keep an ear to the ground and check them out for next time!

With 7 albums under their belt, MxPx has been around since the early 90’s. The Christian-themed outfit from Bremerton have just released their latest 2005 album, Panic. They played a punctual full hour set from 8:30. Their new tracks Wrecking Hotel Rooms and I Heard That Sound, were perfectly slotted in between some old favourites.

The crowd went wild! Me and my camera were saved so many times by the bouncers I lost track…so a special thanks to those guys for running such a tight ship-or I would have been squashed by legions of crowd surfers! Road kill!

Chick Magnet had EVERYONE singing along…apparently Tom from The Starting Line was the ‘player’ of the tour, so this track was a tribute to him! I hate comparing bands, but it’s the only way you can get a rough idea of what they are close to – if you haven’t heard them…So think: New Found Glory, Good Charlotte, Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters and, No Doubt and then you are on the right melodic pop-punk track.

I have seen MxPx so many times, it’s safe to say that you will always have a great time at any of their gigs. They are energetic, engaging and fucking talented. Besides, I’ve been listening to them since 96/97, so the reminiscence brings back sweet memories and makes me feel a decade younger. What deserves a special mention is the cover song they played, Leaving On A Jet Plane. I enjoyed it so damn much, it slipped my mind until the next day! If you want more covers from this band get an album called On the Cover. They give Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s a run for their money! The only song I wish they had played was from my favorite album: Slowly going the Way of the Buffalo; I’m ok, You’re ok. This track is also covered by their other side project The Cooties.

MxPx’s sound has changed since their earlier albums. It has matured and lost the high-school edge I found so damn irritating. You no longer visualize cheerleaders when listening to their albums! Great if you in the mood, but for general listening, it is definitely a step in the right direction. Another great thing about them is they don’t shove Religion down your throat. It makes their music more pleasurable for the rest of the Atheist Universe.

The Starting Line mainlined with MxPx. This tour not only celebrated their new 2005 album, Based on a True Story, but they also recently parted ways with Geffen Records and signed with Virgin. This means that their albums will be easier to get hold for you and me! Rad! The 4-piece is often compared to MxPx, but I would say more influenced by MxPx, and sound more like 100 Reasons.

Crowd surf fest continued, and was enthusiastically encouraged by the band. Whilst maintaining an air of cool sweetness on-stage…a few public apologies were made to ‘Florida the sound guy’ who was punched the day before. Kenny is a self-professed grouchy git when off stage! So don’t be fooled by his sweet fa├žade. Still waters run deep!

They played an awesome set of all their current hits; Photography, Artistic License and Stay Where I Can See You in tribute to his girlfriend. One of their last songs were tribute to (surprise, surprise), MxPx – sickeningly sweet I know! Both band’s made tributes to each other. One tour together and they are like fuckin blood brothers!

Again, another short, neat 45 min set for the night-which finished at 10:45 sharp! Maybe the bands had a curfew – or couldn’t wait to get back to the party bus! It was a heck of a short gig, and it would have been great if they had stayed on longer for all the fans that waited around after they left the stage. Yes, they don’t have a decade of tracks behind them, sure, understood…Put the band with the most tracks on last-so they can carry the crowd through to closing time…

Niki Kova’cs