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Review: The Get Up Kids at Lincoln Hall

By Soyoung Kwak in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 13, 2011 7:00PM

Photo of The Get Up Kids at Lincoln Hall by Soyoung Kwak

The Get Up Kids are kind of a big deal. Any mention of their name stirs up fond memories of the music industry's past for sure, when "indie music" was still a legitimate genre of music. Plus, we aren't afraid to admit that we still own a worn copy of Something to Write Home About and play it on repeat, tearing up when we hear Matt Pryor's boyish voice sing about fleeting love. Although TGUK went through some rough times and broke up after their farewell tour in 2005, they recently reunited and released their fifth full-length album, There Are Rules, in late January. Last night, The Get Up Kids made a statement appearance to a sold out crowd at Lincoln Hall in support of their new album, and it was a relief to see that TGUK still had some of the indie magic it possessed a long time ago.

Having spent a good chunk of our youth listening to and relating to what TGUK had to say about everything from relationships to self-discovery in the early Four Minute Mile (1997) and Something to Write Home About (1999), there was a definite air of nostalgia that laced our experience at Lincoln Hall. The last time we saw the band was in 2005, when the band's attention was mostly focused on giving the best show they could because it would be their last as a band forever for a long time. That same energy within the band that stirred the crowd in 2005 was certainly present on stage last night, and it felt good to see that the band was able to still put on a lively show. Although TGUK was able to seamlessly switch back and forth to and from new songs and old songs, it was pretty clear that the crowd responded to new and old songs differently. The intro to "I'm a Loner Dottie, a Rebel..." off Something to Write Home About instantly threw the audience in a frenzy and everyone screamed along to every line in that song. We were also somewhat surprised to hear "Don't Hate Me" and "Mass Pike" during the 90-minute set. It wasn't that TGUK's new songs failed to catch the crowd's attention (there were plenty of people nodding their heads and jamming out to quirky synth riffs and fast pop beats showcased in some of their new songs) - it just seemed that the audience wanted more of the emotion and youthfulness that defined TGUK's sound around a decade ago.

Of course, it would be unnatural if TGUK's sound hadn't changed at all in the past decade. Aside from simply growing up and writing songs about different life experiences as they happen, the band broke it off with their longtime label, Vagrant Records, and decided to start new and release music through their own label, Quality Hill. Perhaps all that we can do is appreciate the sweet nostalgic flavor of TGUK's musical past and accept that they have simply moved on, even if we haven't. Although TGUK isn't the same band as it was back in the 1990s, it was pretty clear from last night that the Kids are all right.