Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz started Epitaph Records in the '80s primarily as an outlet for his band's records, but soon expanded its scope to include other punk and hardcore bands like L7, The Offspring, and NOFX. Surprisingly, the label's never mounted a company package tour until now. In the true spirit of "give the punks value for their money," they've kept the price for this all-ages show down to $12 and will hand out goodie bags filled with buttons, stickers, and an Epitaph Tour CD sampler. Unfortunately, Scatter the Ashes, the most progressive and interesting recent Epitaph signing, is not scheduled for this leg of the tour. But on the plus side, you're still getting The Matches, a hook-cognizant punk foursome remarkable for its studied opposing looks, from a mascara-and-Mohawked lead singer to a blond, fro'd lead guitarist, to a nerdy, spectacled drummer. Also mining pop-punk territory is Motion City Soundtrack, which comes off like a successful merger between Weezer and its Rentals offshoot, meaning mucho tough Moog sounds. Taking themselves way too seriously are the wimp and whine merchants of Matchbook Romance, giving emo an even duller name, and From First to Last, whose lead singer (judging by the "Ride the Wings of Pestilence" video) unloads the most when-I-think-about-me-I-touch-myself moves since Billy Squier's career-destroying "Rock Me Tonight" video.
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