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08/01/2004 Finger Eleven, Thornley, Moments In Grace, Strata (Rochester, NY @ Steel Music Hall)

By Eric | August 1, 2004 11:59 pm

Steel Music Hall is a pretty small place, smaller than Water Street’s main stage, about on par with the club side. Regardless, Finger Eleven probably wouldn’t have filled Water Street, so this was about the right size room for them to play. I got there just as the doors opened, and parked myself fairly close in front. Strata was on first, and I kind of knew what to expect since I’d seen them on the Sno-Core tour in March. This time around, however, their singer sounded really hoarse, and wasn’t quite hitting everything. The band sounded pretty good, and there seemed to be a healthy amount of people there for them. Moments in Grace were next, and I wasn’t digging them at all. An emo-ish type band, the songs were just kinda plain and bland, and while the band showed a lot of excitement, the crowd didn’t at all. Their half-hour came and went, and then it was time for Thornley. What a difference! Rocked the joint from beginning to end, and they sounded awesome. Seeing Ken, the bass player, was a shock compared to how he appeared when he was with the Watchmen. Mowhawk anyone?!?! They played a good chunk of the Thornley album, including my favorite (which is the next US single, hello overplaying!) Easy Comes, All Comes Out In The Wash, Found Another Way, Keep a Good Man Down, Falling To Pieces, Come Again, and of course So Far So Good. They capped off the set by playing a Big Wreck tune, The Oaf, which was surprisingly well received by the crowd. I guess more people had heard of Big Wreck than I thought. I moved to the back after Thornley, and I’m glad I did, because Finger Eleven was just okay. Not terrible, but I’ve certainly seen them better (Thursday in the Square last year for one). A big reason for this was the fact that they had a heavy slant on the latest self-titled album. It’s not that the music on the album is bad by any means, its that a lot of time-honored favorites got left out of the set. Guys, you have three albums, and the latest one has been out for a year now, you can mix it up! No Suffocate, no Tip, although we did get Above, Costume for a Gutterball, and Stay and Drown. They also did a cover of a Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar) song called Can’t Fight It that was pretty cool. The obvious closer was One Thing, and the encore was Good Times. Band-wise, there was energy, but it seemed like they were back to the 5 guys in 5 separate worlds thing again. So the show was good, okay, but not stellar.

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