Sunday, April 6, 2003

Bogart's invaded by emo brigade

Marriage proposal highlights package of intense bands

By Chris Varias
The Cincinnati Enquirer

"Young emo lady?"

"Yes, young emo gent?"

"Will you marry me?"

That exchange, or something like it, has become a facet of the four-band kiddie-punk packages dropping into Bogart's over the past year. "The Question" has come to be as ubiquitous at these shows as cheesy punked-up covers of '80s pop tunes and weary parents waiting at the back bar to take their children home.

On Thursday, the four-way package consisted of From Autumn to Ashes, Recover, Somehow Hollow and Taking Back Sunday. The line-up was one of various styles and varying quality, with the two best and most distinct bands - Taking Back Sunday and From Autumn to Ashes - at the top of the bill.

Punk-metal hybrid

From Autumn to Ashes, a five-piece group glammed up in black dress shirts and pants, screamed over a stuttering, grinding, punk-metal hybrid. The sound was a distinct change from Somehow Hollow and Recover's rather rudimentary approach to punk and metal.

Taking Back Sunday headlined, and their hour-long set showed them to be a band that embodied all things emo without coming off as a tired rehash of its predecessors.

The Long Island group chugged along on the strength of all the usual emo staples: the churning crescendo of Ed Reyes' and John Nolan's twin-guitar attack; the whine caught in Adam Lazzara's voice as he shout-sang; and the lyrical themes of love, of girls and of getting it wrong, as detailed in songs like "Great Romances of the 20th Century," "Cute Without the 'E'," and "You're So Last Summer."

Popping the question

The three songs were among the near-capacity crowd's favorite. Those and most of the rest came from their debut of last year, Tell All Your Friends. A couple of unreleased songs were nearly as good.

Taking Back Sunday held the crowd's attention with a block of slow songs midway through the set. The crowd was there to mosh, and they did so during the revved-up beginning and end portions. But the quiet, stoic gazing during slow songs was just as intense.

During that middle period, a guy from the crowd came to the stage with the band's permission. He proceeded to invite his lady friend to the stage, and on bended knee he asked to marry her. Yes, she cried. And with that, another successful emo night at Bogart's was in the books.


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