~Lowdown by Dave
Pilfers show at Wetlands Preserve - 9.25.99
We arrived tardy but luckily they had reserved us a parking spot right in front of the Wetlands (,=--). Although the show had started, there was a long line of fans trying to get in and watching different interviews. I thought it was very cool that another almost identical show was being offered the next day (for only $5) with Step Lively as a special guest.
Inside, the Wetlands has a very nice atmosphere. Upstairs there is a large bar area and very personal stage next to it. Downstairs there are bathrooms, a hallway with cool blacklights, couches and a bar. The venue has an environmental protection theme going and it gives its profits to environmental organizations. After looking around, I realized that the second band, Weston, had begun to play. The first band, Catch 22, had just finished but I had seen them before and wasn't a big fan of their crowded stage antics. Weston was a rather generic rock band and it was obvious that the crowd hadn't come to see them. They did have a pirate in their band though, who performed antics such as stroking his microphone and lifting his shirt to play with the fat on his stomach. I guess this could be construed as funny.
Now the real fun began. The mosh pit for Edna's Goldfish was rougher than Rammstein (minus the giant German man throwing people left and right). Brian Diaz has an incredible voice and the songs are catchy. They played songs off their newly released album "The Elements of Transition" as well their old album, but the one that still sticks in my head is their ode to AOL cleverly entitled 'Instant Message.' The set closed with 'Veronica Saywer' and the crowd was sad to see them go.
The Pilfers headlined and as soon as they hit the stage you could sense a presence that set them apart from the other bands. The lead vocalist, Coolie Ranx, lives up to his name but Vinny Nobile impressed me with his ability to jump around with his trombone and not injure the other members of the band. I used to play trombone and it really pissed me off. This was apparent from the numerous dents all over the bell from each time I threw it on the ground in anger at my Fascist bandleader. The set opened with the first song off their new album, 'Agua.' Pure energy surged through the air rejuvenating the waning crowd. The band has an eclectic sound that they are able to pull off quite well. At one moment the song will have a soothing ska/raggae feel to it and then 'Bam!' it knocks you on your ass with a hardcore outburst. One of my favorite songs was 'Climbing' which appears on both the new Pilfers' album entitled "Chawalaleng" and also their old self titled album. Near the end of a long performance, which the Pilfers had been videotaping for their home viewing pleasure, they played the crowd favorite 'Generation.' It was obvious that the band would have been ready to go for another hour had not the Wetlands staff reminded them it was time to leave.. This irritated me greatly because one employee trying to sweep up kept hitting me with his stupid broom and telling me to move. Finally I did move, but only because of a deep hunger for Chinese food. We were all sad to leave though, the entire show being quite enjoyable. If you have the chance, go see the Pilfers.
Sick and Tired @ The Wetlands
~Reported by the flu-ridden Professor Kat
Pilfers, Edna's Goldfish, and Step Lively at the Wetlands - 9.26.99
I cannot believe I actually had the audacity to go to The Wetlands for the second Pilfers show with a stuffy nose, pounding head, wheezing cough, and a chills plus fever, but anything for a great show, right? So, my boyfriend (who shall remain anonymous for the sake of sanity) and I headed downtown after a rough night of Chinese food, sex, and sleep. We got there a couple of hours before the show began since he was in one of the bands performing that afternoon. Neat, huh? While we waited around for the rest of the band to show up, I made myself cozy indoors on one of those incredibly hard wooden benches and got acquainted with some Hellenistic philosophers...Fuck CC!!!
A long time later, the boys showed up and set up their shit. I, of course, with no one to talk to, began wandering around the venue with the movement of a seaslug. I must admit, the Wetlands does have an interesting atmosphere. The bar is huge and roomy, the downstairs is just sultry enough to start a hot and heavy make-out session, and the stage is large enough for a band to move around, but small enough to create an intimate setting between audience and artist. After taking it all in, I ventured back upstairs (I was a walking disaster with the flu and all), and Step Lively was beginning to play.
I had seen Step Lively perform a plethora of times, but this afternoon was definitely their best performance in my humble opinion. Mark, the lead singer, was on, and there was no showing of physical strain as was what happened at Superfest. He also stuttered less than usual when plugging their new full-length release, "The Trigger Effect." I was very proud of him. The band's energy was mesmerizing, as the crowd got really pumped up right from the get-go. This was one of the first times I had ever seen the first opening band able to pull this off. Nice job guys! The horn section was blasting away, and the addition of Gary the temporary sax player was a pleasant surprise. All in all, a wonderful set and I can't wait to see them at CBGB's on October 17th. Go out and get "Trigger Effect." I happened to pick one up that afternoon and I haven't been able to stop listening to it.
On the other hand, Edna's Goldfish was a mild disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I love them. It's just that I had seen them the day before and I truly thought they sounded so much better then. I am assuming that the smaller crowd added a damper on things. And plus, I found my nose running constantly during their set, so I kept on running downstairs to the bathroom to grab toilet paper. Ugh!
After a brief nap, anonymous boyfriend and I went back up to watch the Pilfers. Let me tell you, I adore Coolie. He is just...cool. His voice is fuckin' hot. I found the songs off their new album more hardcore for a reggae-esque ska band though. I mean, when you see a bunch of teenagers head-banging, what are you supposed to think? The kids were really digging "Generation" as was I, and "Choose Life." Damn, I love the Pilfers. And "What's New (Here We Go Again)" was a welcome change from the head-banging, ass-kicking antics of the start of the set. God bless. I also found it so cute that members of Step Lively and Edna's Goldfish stood adoringly at the Pilfers' bass player, Anna, through most of the set. Crushing, I think so. :) Basically, the Pilfers were drop-dead amazing and high energy all the way. I even managed to forget I was dying from the flu.
All in all, the show completely rocked and I had a blast. The crowds were more manageable this time (compared to the day before), and the setting more intimate. Dave and Sarah didn't go to the show with me this time around, so I started feeling a bit lonely and wandering about aimlessly outside after the show. My anonymous bf was busy packing up the van, and groupie girls were flirting with the other members of the band, so I felt a little left out. (sniff sniff) But after some begging, pleading, and general brattiness, we left the Wetlands one more time to get Chinese food. So, I will conclude with, "Try to catch a Pilfers show at least once in your life." Oh yeah, and one more thing, "It's all about Chinese food."