I went to Philly to see The Lawrence Arms at the North Star Bar last night. I’d never been to the venue before, but it was pretty cool, except for the fact that it was way too hot. It’s on the smaller side which is nice for creating a more intimate setting. There’s a balcony thing as well, but it’s practically right over the stage so you have to be in the very front row and you’re looking pretty much straight down on the bands as they play.
The lineup was pretty awesome, it was the Lawrence Arms, The Falcon, Sundowner, and American Steel. Since The Sundowner is Chris McCaughen of The Larry Arms and The Falcon is Brenden and Neil, those guys spent a lot of time on stage. Chris had Neil come out and play with him for the Sundowner and since Dan Andraino from Alkaline Trio couldn’t make the tour, Chris played with The Falcon as well. Dudes must have been tired as hell, but it was kind of neat to see the same three guys on stage most of the night. They made a lot of jokes about The Lawrence Arms and made fun of them a lot which was kind of funny, but it seemed like something that they do for every show on the tour.
The Sundowner and The Falcon were both pretty awesome, but American Steel played way too long. I had never really heard much of their stuff before, but always heard good things. They played well and the first few songs really made me want to check out their stuff, but their set started to drag a bit after a while.
The Lawrence Arms, as per the norm, didn’t really play any of the songs that I really wanted to hear. I think I could easily make a list of a dozen songs that I wanted to hear that they didn’t play, but it’s alright since I like pretty much everything they have. They played really well, which isn’t always a good thing for them. Something about playing a little sloppy makes that band sound a lot better. It’s weird how it works out. The one thing that I didn’t like was that Brenden talked way too much and they stopped after every single song for him to talk. They played a pretty good mix of stuff from all over their catalog which was cool though.
Both The Lawrence Arms and The Sundowner played Boatless Booze Cruise which was kind of silly, but they acknowledged the self-indulgence factor of it. It was kind of neat to see one version with Chris taking the lead and then another version with Brenden taking the lead.
Overall, it was a pretty good night, except for the fact that the show went until after midnight.