The Get-Up Kids

When emo-stalwarts The Get Up Kids decided to formally call it quits this past year, it didn't come as much of a surprise. The Kansas-based boys had been on a roller-coaster ride the past few years, one that saw them soar to impressive heights of popularity, only to fade into near-obscurity a few years later. Hailed as the "next big thing" when 1999's "Something To Write Home About" record was released, the band toured the globe relentlessly, and along with their contemporaries Jimmy Eat World and Saves the Day, helped define the emo/pop sound that now floods the airwaves. Not content to keep mining the same keyboard-driven pop that made "Something To Write Home About" such a success, the band switched gears completely for 2002's much-maligned "On A Wire". The mostly acoustic record showcased a more somber sound, and many long-term fans were put off by the alt-country direction the band seemed to be heading towards. While 2004's "Guilt Show" was more of a return to form, by the time the record was released it was too late for the band to regain their lost momentum. In the few years The Get Up Kids had been on the down-low, the style of melodic and personal emo/pop/hardcore that they had helped perfect had risen to the top of the charts, with bands like Taking Back Sunday and Thursday selling more records in one year than The Get Up Kids had sold in the space of their entire career. This frustration, combined with the band member's increasingly busy side projects (vocalist Matt Pryor fronts The New Amsterdams, while keyboardist James Dewees puts in time with both Reggie and The Full Effect and New Found Glory) hinted that time was running out for the band.
All of which brings us to this live album, recorded this past January at the band's "Ten Year Anniversary Party" in Lawrence, Kansas. As with most live discs, this one is basically for the fans. The band blow through 18 tracks covering each of their releases in an earnest, yet somewhat sloppy fashion, with enough musical twists and (presumably) drunken between-song banter to make up for the fact that there will be no more Get Up Kids shows in the future (at least until the inevitable reunion tour).

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