Clubhouse Music Venue
Thursday, February 24
Last night's show by Glassjaw was eight years in the making. The band -- best known for their post-hardcore classic, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence and Vincent Gallo acting tough in the "Cosmopolitan Bloodloss" video -- has been on a long, rough road since their last headlining show in Phoenix.
That show was at The Nile in 2002 (a venue that has closed and re-opened in that time) with Poison the Well. Glassjaw went on hiatus in 2004 citing internal conflicts and vocalist Daryl Palumbo's struggles with Crohn's disease. In the meantime, Palumbo recorded a couple albums with the electronic/power-pop side project Head Automatica.
After getting back together, Glassjaw played some shows here and there, but didn't stray too far from their hometown on Long Island. In late 2010, Glassjaw announced a new album and a winter U.S. tour. Our Color Green was released on New Year's Day and The Coloring Book is currently available as a free tour-only EP.
It didn't take free swag to convince fans to come to this sold out concert. For every Glassjaw vet reminiscing about old shows, there was a young fan trying to get as close to the stage as possible to see them for the first time.
Both groups were rewarded by getting to hear nearly half of Worship and Tribute (even if they skipped "Cosmopolitan Bloodloss" and "Radio Cambodia") and "Siberian Kiss."
Yes, you read that correctly, they only played one song from their seminal debut album. The sped up and more aggressive versions of "Tip Your Bartender" and "Mu Empire" sounded muffled compared to the originals. In spite of that, fans threw tattooed arms in the air, crowd surfed, and outsang Palumbo during their favorite choruses.
Those who knew the words to the two-month old Our Color Green EP sang along while others politely nodded to the beat.
The audience near the stage was energetic until the encore, chanting "one more song" a few times, and then gave up. About a minute later, Palumbo announced that they were going to play "some new stuff." The "some" here is misleading, they just played the entire Coloring Book EP from beginning to end. The audience thinned out a little during this 30-minute encore, but most stuck around in hopes of hearing one more old song.
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Were they worth the wait? For the sake of being able to see them for the first time, yes, but as far as the setlist was concerned, not so much. It would be another story if more than two of the original members played last night, or if they released a third full-length album sometime in the past nine years. The anticipation didn't pay off after waiting all this time just to hear both of their latest EPs live. Maybe next year they can plan a tour in honor of the ten-year anniversary of Worship and Tribute so fans can hear more old songs.
1. You Think You're (John Fucking Lennon)
2. Tip Your Bartender
3. Mu Empire
5. Ape Dos Mil
6. The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports
7. Pink Roses
8. Jesus Glue
9. Natural Born Farmer
10. All Good Junkies Go To Heaven
11. El Mark
13. Siberian Kiss
14. Black Nurse
16. Vanilla Poltergeist Snake
17. Miracle in Inches
18. Stations of the New Cross
19. Daytona White
Last Night: Glassjaw at Clubhouse Music Venue.
Personal Bias: I've wanted to see Glassjaw live since I first heard Worship and Tribute back in my high school days.
The Crowd: Let's just say there were plenty of jokes about spin kicks, plugs, and camo shorts going around.
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Overheard in the Crowd: "I wanna be an ass and request Head Automatica songs."
"Beating Hearts Babyyyyyy."
"We should yell 'Popaganda' and see if they get pissed off."
Random Notebook Dump: I'm glad I kept my distance after seeing plenty of crowd surfing mishaps.