My most prominent memory of The Get Up Kids is, doubtlessly, driving from Detroit to Ohio for a concert in the early summer of 2002. It was shortly after On A Wire was released and my friend and I decided to spin the album quite a few times during our 4 hour drive. "Overdue" was an anthem for my 18 year old self and it's a song that still holds a special place for me. In the seven years since, The Get Up Kids broke up, reformed, did a sweet Daytrotter session featuring the aforementioned favorite Get Up Kids song and I have fallen a bit out of step with the band. Let's be honest, when their two days stint at the Metro was announced over the summer, I was more excited for Kevin Devine's return engagement to Chicago although the prospect of seeing The Get Up Kids did make me slightly nostalgic and leave me trying to remember what the last name was of my friend who accompanied me on that Ohio trip almost ten years prior so I could look her up on Facebook.
On day two of The Get Up Kids brief tenure at the Metro, I made my way to Wrigleyville to observe the die hard fans in surprisingly rowdy crowd sing along with Matt Pryor in downtown Chicago.
It probably comes as no surprise to people who frequent my posts that I'm quite fond of that Kevin Devine fellow, who, with his Goddamn Band, was sandwiched in between the now-local Life and Times and the night's headliners. Sadly, as an opener, most of the elements that make Kevin's shows special were absent. The set played like a "Introduction to Kevin Devine for Beginners", relying on established favorites like set opener "Buried By The Buzz" and some of the most notable tracks off his latest release, Brother's Blood, closing out his set with the searing title track. I realize, of course, that after seeing Mr. Devine headline quite a few shows of his own, I'm spoiled and not used to seeing him lead the Goddamn Band through a more accessible set list. I was pleased to hear "Carnival", a gem of a track off Brother's Blood which I overlooked until I heard it live.
As I said before, the crowd for The Get Up Kids was quite raucous. Once the band took the stage, the excitement at the Metro reached a fever pitch and the cheering didn't subside once the band began to play. In fact, I had to strain to hear Matt Pryor's vocals over the crowd's singing. The noise level of the 18 and over bunch didn't surprise me- After all, it was apparent that these kids were die hards and that The Get Up Kids' music orchestrated a large portion of their youth, not just a sliver of one summer as it had mine. What did surprise me was that I got beer spilled on me twice, witnessed two girls fighting and got accosted by a couple of very drunk gentlemen during separate points in the set. This confluence of events prompted me to scamper downstairs before the encore. The band did, however, play quite the Cure cover and reportedly had put their own twist on a Hold Steady song the night before. I, for one, was just happy they played "Overdue".