with Grade, Ensign, and The Movielife
The Sapphire Supper Club, Orlando, FL • May 30, 2001
A diverse set of bands and some great rock and roll definitely makes for a memorable night out on the town. Diversity within an often narrow and closed-minded scene seemed to be the keyword for this lineup of music, which ranged from hardcore to punk to ska-influenced indie rock.
Since I wasn’t familiar with the first band, The Movielife, I fully expected a hardcore act. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by a somewhat harder than pop punk, yet not quite hardcore, band. I’d describe The Movielife as similar to Saves The Day, except without the whiny, high-pitched singer. They exuded lots of energy, which managed to keep everyone’s attention, but not quite enough to inspire the kids to move around. I really enjoyed their set and felt disappointed after the short time they played. I have a feeling that we’ll be hearing more from this New York band in the near future.
After appeasing the punk kids, the hardcore kids got their fix with Ensign. All the pent-up aggression in the room manifested itself in the form of kicking, punching, pushing, and general chaos. I must admit, I had trouble concentrating on the band, because I was trying very, very hard to leave Sapphire with all my bones intact. What I heard sounded pretty tight, though: straightforward, aggressive hardcore music with very few emo interludes. I liked the messages behind the music. One song that sticks out in my head is about the singer pulling away from his parents and following his own heart, and not what they set out for him. He also commented on the diversity of bands at the show and urged kids to try out different sounds and not limit their minds to a particular genre. I felt like giving him a hug when he said that; I couldn’t agree more
Now for The Impossibles. Hell yeah! “(Never) Say Goodbye” off of Return kicked off an amazing set. I mean seriously amazing. I’m getting giddy trying to write a review of it. I believe an Ink 19 review referred to The Impossibles as “the Weezer of ska,” and the analogy becomes quite clear when watching them perform. The Impossibles hold many Weezer-esque traits, like hard rock mixed in with a light, emo feel at times and catchy melodies and harmonies. Some falsetto vocals are even thrown into the mix. What I love most about The Impossibles is their ability to keep a lighthearted feel to their music, but still rock hard and not lose respectability as musicians.
The Impossibles played a lot of new material. “Connecticut” followed right on the heels of the first song, with an insanely catchy chorus about subjects and predicates. I believe they played seven songs off of Return. A highlight of the evening was definitely “Hey, You Kids!” Everyone seemed to respond happily to the lyrics about turning off the radio and standing side by side. Yeah, I’m definitely all about preaching the unity. They also played two songs of their new EP, 4_song_brick_bomb. The new ones, “Disintegration (Is the Best Album Ever)” and “Oxygen” sound similar to tracks on Return. I get the feeling that they want to move away from the ska beats that influenced their previous works, and the songs off the new EP are deep and emotional.
Although everyone enjoyed the new material, the kids clamored for old stuff. “Ska!!!,” a guy next to me kept yelling. The Impossibles delivered, with crazy upbeat ska guitar alternated with straight-up punk choruses. I spotted many happy faces. During the performance, strobe lights on stage randomly flashed directly into the crowd. I’m not sure what effect they were going for, but it was pretty rad.
Finally, Grade took the stage. They were tough and hardcore. That’s about it, because I had to leave very shortly into their set.
I vote for more varied lineups at shows. The variety allowed the listener to really enjoy each band for their unique musical ideas and not compare them to some standard of what “hardcore” should be, or what “punk” should be. Yeah. The Impossibles. Hell yeah.