Headed up for the Flesh Temple, Mob Mentality, Give, Stick Together, Rival Mob gig at Asbury Lanes last Friday in beautiful Asbury Park, NJ. Arrived early to be informed that the Rival Mob hadn't left Boston until 5 so things would be getting started later than expected. Headed out for a bit, only to realize that we missed Flesh Temple. I really would have liked to catch their set, but nothing you can do about shitty timing.
Mob Mentality was on next. I had listened to the demo and dug what they were doing, but I wasn't too impressed with their set. I dug the early 80's vibe mixed with slower breakdown parts that they were trying to pull off, but it was kind of sloppy and other than the frontman who was going off, the band lacked energy. All the elements were there, it just seemed off in terms of a cohesiveness that will probably come from playing more. The crowd seemed to share my sentiments, and just kind of stood there. I think under the right circumstances they could destroy, just not tonight. Hopefully, they'll be on a future bill and I will get a chance to see them again.
Stick Together played next and played a good, shorter set. The crowd responded early, going off for the the breakdowns and sing-alongs and the band had energy to spare. Hoodrack's comments were the usual stream-of-consciousness randomess that was pure stage-banter- gold (straight edge hockey mask gangs?). They only did one cover (SSD's Glue) which was kind of a bummer, especially after I read that they did a side by side cover the next night. From the bands they choose to cover, from the sound and style of artwork, Stick Together doesn't pull any punches when it comes to their influences. They say and play the way they want to and with a consistently good live performance, it's working. No "The Real You", which I was hoping for, but did get to hear "For Myself", which was a plus. Such a tight set that I hope they had back to New Jersey soon.
I had seen Give once before and liked a couple songs, but nothing really stuck with me. I had made up mind before there set to be open minded. I don't think it would have mattered, because the band blew me away. The band put out such a good set from start to finish, with energy to spare. It's clear they're going for different: flowers, more melody almost rock vibe and I have heard the whole Revolution Summer thing thrown around a bunch of times when people talk about them. You can definitely hear elements of Rites or Embrace, but I think at the same time, they've created a really unique sound and I was really into what they were doing: songs off the album and 7 inches. I'm really psyched to see them again and hope to see those Painkiller and Youngblood seven inches soon.
Finally, The Rival Mob took the stage as a four piece and I was surprised at the lack of the fifth member did not affect their sound, which is pretty much a testament to what a juggernaut this band is. At this point, you know what you're getting with a RM set as far as quotables and setlist. This one was slightly different, being that it lacked a cover, but despite the late arrival and getting thrown on stage, the Rival Mob managed to turn out a good set. Despite all the craziness of actually getting to the stage, the fact that the band was able to turn out a good show is pretty awesome. I felt the end of the set kind of fizzled out, with no mention of a last song and Brendan requesting to go bowling, but that was a minor complaint. If shows like this happened in Asbury Park more often, I'd imagine I'd find myself taking that drive up the Parkway a lot more often.