What’s sadder is when it is a band full of your friends who you have known for a long time.
Akron/Cleveland punk act The Facials recently announced that they are going to throw in the towel. In a proper approach, they are going to play one more show before disbanding.
Note that the band is not breaking up because they hate each other but rather because they are soon to be a bit distant from one another.
I have seen the Facials countless times and have always enjoyed their live shows. From playing the ever elegant Chuck’s Steakhouse in good ol’ Akron, to playing both stages at the Agora in Cleveland, I can honestly say they have played solid sets.
They have shared stages with Rancid, White Wives, Street Dogs, Whole Wheat Bread, Civit, Swingin’ Utters, and even The Menzingers just to name a few.
Hell, I remember the time the band did a NOFX set. That was one hell of a night…
Bummed to see them split, but I understand totally. I know they didn’t want it to end, and I think Chad said it best on his Facebook post about the band coming to an end:
There has never been a show that lacked the energy we aimed to create, so hopefully everyone can make it out one last time to end it right!
I consider myself lucky to have befriended these guys. I was introduced to them back when The Narcoleptics X5 were still playing drunk shows in the early 2000s. I liked their Pennywise approach and tried to hit every show they played. From there, I would see other live shows with them and party until I would fall down a flight of steps.
I remember when we would all hit up the Warped Tour and be the old men heckling all the kids. Good times.
As the years passed, things started slowing down for them with their day gigs taking up their free time and most of the band getting married and whatnot. I really am stoked to hear that they are going to play one last show. This will be the prefect farewell to a bunch of good dudes what have been doing their thing for almost 13 years.
Come see the band play one last hurrah at Now That’s Class on Friday, March 21st with special guests Night Sweats, The Old One-Two, and a couple other acts to be announced.
Friday night the punk rockers took over Rockstar in Cleveland. The small, and I mean small, venue that which lies on top of Peabody’s, hosted an intimate night of punk rock goodness with help from The Swingin’ Utters and The Menzingers as well as a couple of local acts including The Facials. Regardless of size fans of all of the bands filled up the joint and were treated to an evening of fast, fun, and furious music.
Openers SmyD (oh, NOW I get it…) were local and sounded just like Against Me!. It was not a bad thing at all until I noticed that the lead singer had matching…Against Me! tattoos on his shoulder blades. Still not a terrible thing, but enough to cause a momentary distraction to more than one onlooker. Trying ever so hard to ignore the dual permanent tributes myself, I was able to enjoy their set even if there was a little too much talk and not so much rock going on from the lead singer. Still, I would check them out again. I took this opportunity to enjoy a nice tall refreshing PBR with my friends.
The Facials, another local act and good friend to BHP, hit up the stage next minus one. Even though one of the band members could not make it to the show the band played on and did not sound that bad even if the back-up guitarist had three practices to learn all the bass lines. Kudos to the vest wearing bandanna sporting musician for switching up duties. Fans crept around the corner stage throughout the set and enjoyed their performance. I took this opportunity to enjoy another nice cold tall refreshing PBR with my friends. Do you see a trend here? Well that was the extent of it, after all I did have to drive home. I am responsible.
One of my favorite punk rock bands that I discovered this year, The Menzingers, finally were able to play a show for me. After all the was the reason they came to Cleveland, for me (not really). You see, earlier this year the band was supposed to play a show in Covington, KY but one of the band members succumbed to a nasty stomach virus and they had to make the difficult decision of canceling the show. I was highly bummed out that I was unable to see them live but understood. This time though all of the band members were in house at Rockstar and took to the stage for a very high energy and fun set.
Jumping around and having a good ol’ time the band played through a bunch of familiar songs including “I Was Born”, “Rivalries” (one of my faves), and “No We Didn’t” off their latest release Chamberlain Waits. Their live stuff was move enjoyable to me than their studio material. The boys just were so entertaining and the crowd was so into them screaming along to every song. Music, friends, smiles, and singing – this is what a punk rock show is all about.
I was thrilled to finally be up at the front of the stage watching this amazing band do their thing. If that was not good enough, the band chatted with me throughout the night about everything from the Kentucky incident to the local punk house the Soggy Dog. Greg and Tom were cool as hell and I can not wait till I run into them again. I know, I sound like a freaking fanboy right now but in all honesty it is nice to meet a band that is happy to be in their surroundings and has no problem climbing the stripper pole with you. If you have no idea what I am talking about, check out Rockstar next time you are in Cleveland. Just don’t get too rowdy or else a mustache-clad bouncer might yell “settle down” at you and walk away… very effective I might mention.
Aside from that calamity there was in fact another performance by punk rock legends the Swingin’ Utters. Even though I have been a fan of the Utters since I was a kid this was the first time I had ever seen them live and I could not be happier. A little older and a lot wiser, the band took to the stage and put forth a killer set with lead singer Johnny Bonnel looking like he was feeling real good. I say this not just because we were in a bar but also because in the middle of the set he screamed “piss break” and stumbled off the stage into the crowd and made a b-line for the men’s room. It was hilarious.
Breaking into tracks like “Five Lessons”, “Windspitting Punk”, and one of my favorites “The Next In Live” the 20+ year old band sounded much better than I was anticipating. It was amusing to see Spike Slawson up on stage too as I mostly know him for his cover act Me First and the GImme GImmes. I should comment too that he looked like she shed some pounds since the last time I saw him. Sporting thick rimmed glasses and what looked like an army issued jacket Spike looked calm and reserved throughout the set. He was perhaps the only one who maintained composure of some sort as the rest of the band, and the crowd for that matter, jumped and thrashed about while flinging beers and fists in the air. Oh yes, it was a punk rock show for sure.
There was no encore for the night by the Utters. They finished their set and exited the stage to an adoring crowd of longtime hardcore fans. That was about the time I exited the Rockstar to get some air. Looking around everyone had that look of satisfaction on their faces, you know, the one where you just witnessed something really really good. Not sure when the Utters will make a trip back to Cleveland but I did get a kick out of a Tweet one of the band members posted later in the evening:
I don’t really understand why people make fun of Cleveland. I think Cleveland is kinda awesome. Romantic, even.
Cleveland is kinda awesome. Romantic? Perhaps. Being with great friends and some amazing bands however was just perfect and I would not have wanted to spend my Friday night any other way.
This is your chance to see 3 amazing punk rock acts for the low low price of $13.
The Utters just started recording new material after a seven year break and rumor has it will be releasing a new album shortly. This will be my first time seeing these guys live. I swear, every time they have played Cleveland I either forgot or had to work. No way am I missing out on this chance to see them finally.
The Menzingers, one of my top punk acts of 2010, are just full of energy and are looking to have a good time. This will be my first time seeing them live on account of the band canceling their set at the NOFX show I attended earlier this year in Covington, KY. Needless to say I am psyched.
The Facials….suck. Show up late so you do not have to see them. I am kidding. The Facials are like family to me and have been in the Cleveland punk scene for years now. If you have not seen this local act yet do yourself a favor and get there early grab a PBR and enjoy.
I’ve had a few days off now and it all comes to an end in less than 5 hours. I took some time away from work to be with friends as one of us was getting married. I normally do not like weddings as they are very formal and of course I am not a church goer.
I feel like I canceled some plans too in order to attend the wedding. I thought I told Matt that I was going to hook up with him sometime this weekend as he and his friend were going to be in Kent for We The People Fest. I told Matt that my wife and I were possibly going to see Hawthorne Heights and Ben Taylor play at the fest on Friday and also check out the rest of the event but in turn we decided to crash the wedding rehearsal party. Saturday was an all day event for the wedding, and Sunday we were too pooped to go out there and see the final day, plus the Cleveland Browns were playing. (Finally, a win!)
Sorry Matt… I hope it was a good time. I hope you can forgive me and tell me a little about it…if you went.
I am sorry too, Chuck Norris, as I know you were speaking on Sunday. I know you wanted me to be there.
So let me tell you a little about the wedding…
My friends Sam and Ryan decided to tie the knot. Sam is a few years younger than me and I have known him for a while. He grew up in the same city as I did. I met him through friends and thanks to beer and punk rock music we became friends.
Sam met Ryan, they fell in love, and got married. They had a wedding locally and my wife and I were invited along with plenty of friends. The neat thing about the wedding is that it was sort of a punk rock wedding with a lot of guests being in local punk rock acts at one time or currently. Sam wore Chuck Taylors as did the groomsmen and when the happy couple entered the reception hall “Hey Ho Let’s Go” was played.
I sat at a table with my friends who some were also members of The Facials. They are a Cleveland punk rock band that has played tons of shows in Cleveland and Akron as well has opened for Rancid and UK Subs. They are currently working on a new album and I will be sure to share it once it is pressed.
Also as the wedding were friends of mine who were once in the now defunct punk acts such as the Narcoleptics X5, the Beat Kids, and Novallos. Its been a while since some of the bands played local shows. It was awesome to see that even that some of the bands separated that they still remained friends. The groom was actually a member of all three of the bands.
At one time during the day, the former drummer of Novallos, Ryan, was sitting next to me at a bar in between the wedding and reception, and we were talking about how he moved to Colorado and recently moved back. Before long we started talking about music. He asked me if I was at the Warped Tour this summer and when I said I was he asked if I saw a band called 3OH3!. I said hell yes.
I told Ryan that I loved 3OH3! and caught their entire set at the Warped Tour. Knowing that they were from Colorado I already knew what he was going to tell me. He knew them. I was stoked to hear Ryan tell stories about them. He then told me that they would be playing in Cleveland in November and asked me and my wife if we wanted to hang out with them. I thought that was pretty awesome. We shall see what happens.
The band is relatively new but has been making a strong impact on many music lovers. Their mix of emo, punk, and crunk really made me a fan. I reviewed their debut Want and will post it in my archives on here.
If I do happen to kick it with 3OH3! I will be sure to let you all know how it was.