Concert Review: The Get Up Kids at State Theatre, St. Petersburg (with pics)

Opening with “Tithe” from their newest LP, There Are Rules, Get Up Kids came out roaring, the guitars crunchy, the vocals loud -- actually pretty much everything was just loud. “That’s cool, punk rock, alright,” I thought until I realized this was all I was getting; uninspired, deadpanned dudes seemingly going through the motions. If you’re gonna be loud and abrasive, the physical energy has to match and it just wasn’t there.


They went on to hit their stride and surely take many of us back in the sonic time machine with memorable, older tracks like “Action & Action,” “Red Letter Day,” and “I’m a Loner Dottie, A Rebel,” which were well-executed, but otherwise not very exciting. More than once, the musicians made remarks about the crowd’s un-liveliness, which couldn't be too fun for them or us.

Overall, the new Get Up Kids are still a band worth seeing. Their songs stand the test of time and they sound just as vibrant and emotional as they did years ago. A full-blown reunion tour in support of a new recording is always a risky endeavor, especially with such a signature sound so tightly tied to their name. They took the risk for one reason or another, and while it may not be the fairytale comeback we were hoping for, it’s still respectable. Here’s to more liveliness, guys. Age is just a number, not a state of mind.

More photos by Mike

What do you get when a recently re-united, mid-1990’s emo band plays State Theatre with an album's worth of new tracks? [All photos by Mike Wilson.]

Ehh, not much. And that hurts to say, especially in regard to one of the first indie bands I avidly listened to. It wasn’t completely unexpected. Any group kicking around for more than 25 years is almost bound to degrade a bit through sheer repetition; tour, tour, record, tour, tour, record ... you get it. This, exacerbated by an indie label-backed existence, surely making road life a little less comfortable than their major label counterparts, makes you understand how a band like the Get Up Kids can get a little worn over the years.

That’s not to say their Friday night show in St. Pete was bad by any means, it just wasn’t as joyous or captivating as I’d expected a re-united, subjectively legendary band would be. You’re back! Smile! No? Ok...

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