I keeps it real; I ain’t cool: the last time I saw The Get Up Kids was a little over five years ago on my 16th birthday with Thrice and Dashboard Confessional (go ahead, yuk it up, I do). But there’s something special about being smashed into a crowd with your fists up at 16, yelling every word to every song by an extremely emotional and vulnerable band that unfortunately helped spawn an entire world of awful “emo” mall culture (it’s ok, it’s not really their fault and they apologized for it).
No matter how shitty that mall-metal world may be, The Get Up Kids play with integrity, honesty, and fun, and if you can get over yourself, you too will remember how much you loved Something To Write Home About. Reuniting seems to be a popular theme with great emo bands these days (see: Sunny Day Real Estate), and seeing a powerful yet unpretentious band like TGUP can take you back to the good old days when girl/guy problems meant getting turned down on a movie date (where you’d only be missing making out with someone anyways) instead of something real like a divorce (where not making out with someone is hopefully the last of your problems).
It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the release of the classic STWHA, but regardless, not only do the tunes hold up beautifully today, but the band can still rock with youthful punk zeal while belting their raw, unadulterated thoughts on life and love. Reaching far into their catalogue, from STWHA to Four Minute Mile, TGUK tore up the Roseland Theater with choice cuts like “Action and Action”, “Red Letter Day”, and “Beer for Breakfast”. The set was low on the slow stuff and high on energy, but mushy gushy fan favorites “Valentine” and “I’ll Catch You” were definite highlights. Most of all, nothing can beat a packed house throwing pretense and caution to the wind, screaming every line with hands up, stupidly excited to see a childhood favorite reunite and rock. During the encore, the band thanked the crowd “for still giving a shit.” Don’t worry, TGUK, of course we still care, even after the spawns of Hot Topic arrived. We should be the ones thanking you for still giving a shit.