GBA, Totally Rejected Show Review@ Meherry Hall, Greencastle, Indiana (February 27th, 2004)

GBA, Totally Rejected @ Meherry Hall, Greencastle, Indiana (February 27th)

The weekend of the 27th and 28th was one in which music reigned, and my free time was sucked up by a number of bands from the Greencastle area. Even before the first show, on Friday (which I held at an old chapel at DePauw), I had wasted so much time throwing up flyers and shamelessly promoting for it. However, every hour that led up to that first show on Friday saw me getting more and more exciting, even though an individual from one of the bands (Unstable) had told me the Thursday before the show that their band would only be able to do one track, as their guitarist was at an away basketball game. Getting to the venue at about 4:30, I started getting windows open, as it was an oven in the hall, as well as setting up lights and such. The first band of the night, GBA, started getting their stuff in the mall at about 5:20, and I ran off to get some quick dinner.

People kept setting up, and the second band, Totally Rejected, got to the venue soon after. After all the equipment was lugged up the two stories of stairs, GBA started an impromptu practice and Aaron from Totally Rejected disappeared off to the skate park to get in some quick tricks before Totally Rejected was to take the stage for practice. For some reason, everyone started getting a little testy when the time for Totally Rejected’s practice was drawing near and Aaron hadn’t gotten back yet, but the time for practice came and went and people started entering the hall. GBA took the stage, but really didn’t get to playing much due to the fact that a ton of people were milling outside the hall, talking to their buddies and other fun things, like smearing liquid cheddar cheese on the water fountain and knocking all the magazines off of the free table.

After shouting out to the crowd a few times, enough in the way of people came back to the hall that GBA started, but we had already ran into a major problem: even after finding the master light control, we could not get the large electric candelabra to turn off or even dim in the slightest. We had to end up having JJ, the lead singer for Totally Rejected, mount a stand lifted up by about 4 people and lift eirself up into the balcony, where ey unlocked the previously-locked door from the inside. We were able with the light to either turn everything but the candelabra off or have everything turned off, but up in the balcony we were able to find a small spotlight and shine it down on the band while the lights were off. With that minor problem fixed, we were able to continue the rest of the show without any major issues.

GBA was able to continue their set, after that minor fix in the lights, and the band itself was a much more cohesive beast than they were on my radio show. Starting out with their “biggest” hit, as it were, in “Another Clone”, GBA moved onto “Waking the Dead”. While these tracks were carbon-copies from the previous times that I had seen the band, their new tracks are really where they stood out. GBA, to use non-specific terms, is a band that really defies genre, in that they can move effortlessly from punk to mope-rock to even having the hint of 80s heavy metal. For example, in a song that is slightly derivative of Ride The Lightning-era Metallica, “Thanaphobia”, Justin half-talks, half-speaks the lyrics in such a way that really heightens the mood of the song. Another new original, “The Torturer”, has both Justin and Jon adding a harmony to the track in an screamo-ish way, and the band really has a knack for timing, in lyrics and musical content.

As has been mentioned, Unstable was not able to play anything in the way of song due to the magical disappearance of one of the individuals of the band, and some continued doubt whether or not the drummer for the band actually knew one of the originals. However, craziness started to grip the hall as more and more individuals filed in, probably reaching a little over 100 people at the peak. The major issue of the night was continually having to watch the stairwell, as individuals could freely go on the balcony, which is off limits due to a lack in support. I would run up every few minutes just to see if anyone had snuck up while I was watching the band, and during one of my trips upstairs, I had the distinct displeasure to go and smell something burning. Not knowing what it was, I just assumed that the light had gotten too hot and started smoking, but after figuring out it wasn’t that, eventually narrowed the smell down as emanating from the microwave. Now, I had no clue that there was even a microwave in East College, but someone had grabbed one of the free CDs and decided to throw it into the microwave, fusing it into the glass rotating plate and throwing black goo everywhere in the microwave. Thus, throughout the rest of the show, as well as three hours afterwards, I would be cleaning out the remnants of the CD and hoping that no one else pulled some prank.

Still shaken up, I went back downstairs to go and watch Totally Rejected. Having a great deal of the same members as The Hybrid (Marc, JJ, and Aaron), only adding a drummer in Travis Collins, one would assume that the band would play the same covers in the same exact style as the previous bands. Well, the style was pretty much the same as the first band, but all but two of the tracks (Knowledge, Hey Suburbia) were originals. “Greencastle High” , their first track, smacks of “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers by way of the Ramones, still is catchy of hell. Some of the other tracks meshed into the mess that was the PA, but “Accuse My Parents” is another track that has roots in the teenage angst so common in the suburban towns and little neighborhoods of America.

Moving onto “You’re So Punk”, a track by yours truly, JJ had a big of a hang up with the lyrics due to the infrequent practices that the band has, but Totally Rejected really gets back into the saddle with their two final tracks, the aforementioned cover of “Hey Suburbia” and their ultimate track “Bro Hymn”, which has everyone brought up on stage to contribute to the very Misfits-like vocal ornamentation. Overall, the band was slightly more gritty than in their previous incarnation, but I really attribute that more to a lack of practice, the lesser PA system, and a higher amount of originals than any shift in the general sound of the act. Overall, the show was fun, with only a few terrible moments, such as those mentioned, as well as the aborted stage-diving attempt by an individual, which ended up with eir landing on eir’s neck/head, and a few other people falling on eir. Very lucky there, as ey only ended up with a really mild concussion. The review is not as detailed as some of the other ones on the site, but my attention was divided pretty equally among the bands and the shitheads that, at the time, made me babysit anyone who wasn’t was in the hall.

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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