Something was off as I exited the sparsely populated Get Up Kids show at the Knitting Factory on Feb. 3. While the throat tingle was familiar--from screaming every word to songs like "Red Letter Day," "Action and Action" and "Close to Home"--something else had changed since the last time I saw the emo pioneers more than a decade ago: I wasn't drenched in sweat.
Glancing around at the equally dry, mid-to-late 20-something crowd, I realized our mosh pit days are long gone. Where a Get Up Kids show in the early 2000s ended with bruised toes, matted hair and a warm glow of exhausted elation, this time it wrapped up with polite conversation and cold beers.
Though both the audience and the band had grown up since TGUK's Something to Write Home About heyday, the show still totally rocked.
The set was sprinkled with songs from the band's new synth-heavy fifth album, There Are Rules--and lead singer Matthew Pryor's self-deprecating stage banter--but the crowd was far more animated when they played tracks from their earlier albums. To my surprise, the band played a number of classics--like "Shorty" and "Stay Gold, Ponyboy"--off their more punk-influenced first release, Four Minute Mile. Though Pryor's nasally vocals were more subdued than they were 15 years ago, he never phoned it in, cocking his head back to belt out lines like, "I've made up my mind / to lie would be to compromise" from "Coming Clean."
The band wrapped up their set with the hazy "Walking on a Wire," off their alt-country-influenced third album On a Wire, and then returned for an encore that included fan favorites "Ten Minutes" and "Holiday."
Though I wasn't drenched in sweat this time around, the elation lingered as I turned to say goodnight, not goodbye.