Wednesday, 16 December 2009

683 BOWLING FOR SOUP, AMERICAN HI-FI, MC Lars, Cardiff University, Friday 21 October 2005

The gig pace continues, and after one of my most horrible days at work ever, leading to my being sent home to cool off, I really needed the healing power of rock'n'roll, so I thanked the Lord for the Hi-Fi, added to this bill after we'd gotten tix! Took 2 hours to get to Cardiff, though, thanks to rain, Friday night traffic and half-term holidaymakers. Found the venue easily enough, but finding our way in was another matter, through this rabbit warren!

Eventually we got in and hooked up with the Big Man, preferring the bar and good company to the horrible carcrash that was "punk rock rapper" MC Lars. We then took a wander into the main hall, and, noticing old Boston buddy, The Hi-Fi's Jamie Arentzen, hooking up onstage, we dived down the front. Good thing too, as seconds later the rest of the Hi-Fi joined him onstage, immediately breaking into a powerful version of "The Art Of Losing". By then we were down the front - unfortunately behind some obvious first time gig-goers, who insisted on elbowing and kicking us throughout the set - and as normal, we were spotted and greeted by Jamie during the first number, and by Stacy at the end!

American Hi-Fi were just what I needed - raw, visceral powerpop rock'n'roll played hard and heavy, and Rachel and I moshed like crazy, blowing away the cares of the day. A whole shedload of oldies were augmented with the more strident and rocking moments from new, mellower and poppier CD "Hearts On Parade", although "Another Perfect Day" and the brilliantly sing-along "Flavor Of The Weak" won the day for me. However, their entire set recalled their brilliant 2001 Reading Festival set - equally thrilling and timely!

After that, I'm afraid The Soup stood no chance really. In fact we missed half their set (and the chance to watch them from backstage, which the Big Man took) as we chose to chat and catch up with the Hi-Fi boys. Some brilliant moments here also - "introducing" myself to Stacy as he'd apparently drawn a blank on me when Rich had mentioned my name at the Bristol gig one week earlier; and Jamie commenting on my and Rachel's recent wedding by saying, "yeah, I remember when you used to come and stay at my place, and you were all like, "this is my friend"!". No fooling Mr. Arentzen! We also had a long chat with Drew, and introduced ourselves to new sticksman Jason Sutter, an old friend of Phil Hurley's who claimed to be the Gigolo Aunts' first ever drummer!

We did eventually watch some of Bowling For Soup's set, which featured the usual fun antics, banter, upbeat punky pop and good harmonies, and went down an absolute storm with this young crowd, but for us the rock behemoth that is American Hi-Fi won the night tonight! Bade our farewells and hit the road after BFS' set finished, enduring an appalling storm on the way home. But it was well worth it thanks to American Hi-Fi!

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