Live Reviews

The Get Up Kids – live

The Electric Ballroom
19th August 2009

They say good things come to those who wait….but five years is enough to test the patience of the most faithful of fans, and as a result the sold-out Electric Ballroom is full of a very impatient and excited crowd.

Having gone their separate ways shortly after playing London in 2004, this is The Get Up Kids first UK tour for some years, but its clear they haven’t been forgotten. With the ten year anniversary of their seminal album ‘Something to Write Home About‘ the guys have put their differences aside, and the group we see tonight, although a little older – are every bit as exciting as they were half a decade ago.

The Get Up Kids have been cited as a major influence for so many of the ’emo’ bands we see today – Pete Wentz even went on record to say that without TGUK, Fall Out Boy wouldn’t exist (TGUK’s response was to publicly apologise for pioneering emo, if bands like that were the result…). Tonight’s crowd is a mix of intrigued teenagers who probably never got to see them before they split and an older contingent who seem just as hyped up as the kids. And not a Fall Out Boy t shirt in sight…

We are treated to a set list of TGUK’s greatest hits – every song is someone’s favourite, lyrics are sung back word perfect . James Derwees, who’s been touring a keyboardist with My Chemical Romance and New Found Glory, grins and waves from the right of stage, whilst Jim Suptic takes up his residency at far left, leaving a lean Rob Pope (bass) and beaming Matt Pryor to take centre stage, in front of the insanely talented Ryan Pope on drums. Picking and choosing from their albums the band seem to have clicked back into place with ease – although at the beginning Pryor seems to struggle to reach some of those higher notes, but with Suptic trading vocals the arrangements seem to work well. Action & Action, Holiday and Valentine – the crowd pleasers – get everyone singing, and The One You Want (taken from their last album The Guilt Show) is one of the many highlights.

In between tracks Pryor and Suptic seem genuinely happy to be back in London, with the front man joking that they’re scared of playing such a huge sold-out venue instead of the little bars they’ve become accustomed to. A sublime version of Mass Pike showcases Ryan Pope’s seemingly limitless abilities on drums – he’s so good that you can even forgive him for disappearing mid-set for a quick smoke break. The crowds are lapping up every track, with one ardent fan actually throwing his wallet, with cash, on stage – lucky for him Pryor’s in a generous mood…and throws it right back.

He goes onto explain that Out of Reach was written about their first trip to the UK, and the line “Here’s me overseas, across a pond by the Dover peaks…” almost takes the roof off. There’s one unknown song played, which seems to stop everyone in their tracks…could this be new TGUK material?! An encore of a cover of The Cure’s Close To Me, and the stunning I’ll Catch You is followed by a promise from Suptic that they’ll be back soon, before the night draws to a close with the upbeat, bouncing Ten Minutes.

Tonight is a glorious come back for The Get Up Kids – a reminder for them that their fans appreciation of them is still as ardent as ever and there are new fans to be made. They have influenced a whole wave of music, and although they say imitation is the highest form of flattery, experiencing the real deal is a sparking reminder of how good this band are.

Look out for an interview with the band on this site soon!

Dee Massey