By Eric | July 6, 2009 11:10 am
I took Friday off and headed back to Lockport, where I had spent two years of my high school life, and it doesn’t look like much has changed. After a couple shopping detours, I rolled into downtown Lockport around 4:30pm, found a parking spot, and wandered down to Daily Grind, where Sixpin was doing a full-band acoustic set outside. They’ve been around for awhile, but only now was I finally able to see them. Their frontman, Andy Mitchell, was an old acquaintance of mine back when he was in Hollowpoint, around 2000 or so. This really wasn’t part of the Canal Concert Series, but it was a block away, and led right into the show, and hey, it’s my review! The band played a bunch of cuts off of their Made To Bleed album, a couple new tracks, and a cover or two also over their hour set. One can tell they’ve been doing the acoustic sets for awhile, because everything meshed very well, and the improvisation between the normal electric version and these acoustic versions really stood out. Aside from the PA cutting out every once in awhile, they sounded great, and definitely had people stopping to listen as they’d walk by towards the big venue. Adam joined me towards the end of their set, I chatted with Andy for a second and bought a CD, and then we were in search of food.
After grabbing some grub, we walked the one block down to the Ulrich City Centre, which could better be described as a parking lot enclosed by buildings, albeit a big lot. There was plenty of room for plenty of people, and on this night they used all of it. We met up with Mary just inside the gate, grabbed some beers and proceeded to completely ignore the two openers. (Neither Inland Eyes nor The Incurables made any sort of impression, so I can’t even really list them in the heading.) Adam’s friend, also named Mary, found us later along with her boyfriend Tom, so we had a good group going on for awhile. We were nowhere near the front, so we had prime people-watching spots, easier beer access, breathing room, and could actually hear ourselves think and talk. While waiting through the openers, among others, I ran into Christine from the high school co-op, which was only fitting due to the fact that the first time I ever saw OLP was with her, twelve years and fourteen OLP shows ago! Which brings me to the fact that yes, I wore the eclipse shirt. All 15 OLP shows wearing the same, now fairly ratty, shirt that I bought at the first show! (Should I be proud? I’m not sure.)
So all this build up to see what used to be my all-time favorite band. 15th time seeing them, but first show since February 2003 at RIT. Six years. What have I missed in the meantime? Well, not a whole hell of a lot. The show opened with a lot of promise, starting with Naveed and Superman’s Dead, getting two classics out of the way early. Raine sounded pretty good, the band sounded really good, and the crowd was into it right away. Angels Losing Sleep was next, followed by a new song, which I determined from the new track listing is called Never Get Over You. The new stuff just doesn’t have any punch, nothing that hooks me into want to really listen to it. Perhaps the album versions will change my mind, but live I’m not sold. Innocent was followed by Clumsy for two nice big singalongs. Another new one (Paper Moon), then Not Enough, and another new one called The End Is Where We Begin (Pumpkins much? The begninning is the end is the beginning? (is the end?). Neither of those new tracks did much for me either. Raine started selling out notes around this point too. He simply can’t hit some of the notes live. It kinda sucks compared to what I personally saw/heard him do years ago, when they’d play Car Crash and he’d nail everything. Next was 4am, and in a nice surprise, Denied. Again, there were notes in Denied where if you listen to Live in 1995, Raine is just *on*. Here, not so much. The main set closer was the new single, All You Did Was Save My Life, which again, sounds okay, but nothing special. To this point, we were surprised that they’d completely neglected songs from both Happiness and Spiritual Machines. That was remedied in the encore, as the first two songs were One Man Army and In Repair. They ended the night with Starseed, which whipped the crowd into a frenzy, most of whom were feeling pretty good by this point.
It’s kinda sad in a way (Are You Sad? Yes, yes I am) that I just don’t care as much about OLP as I used to. I know things change, band members change, can’t do the same thing forever, etc, etc; but still, I can’t help feeling that they were better back when Mike was in the band, back when Bob Rock didn’t produce an album, back when they didn’t try to crack the American mainstream and “dumb down” their sound, back when I was probably a bit more naive to the whole concert-going thing. On the flipside, this show was certainly a little bit of nostalgia, and reminded me of waiting outside all day in line to be up front, racing to Delaware Park with frozen turkeys in the trunk for tickets, scribbling the CC/TH on our hands, and all that good stuff.
Angels Losing Sleep
Never Get Over You
The End Is Where We Begin
Somewhere Out There
All You Did Was Save My Life
One Man Army