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Pretty Girls Make Graves

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Beth and I had a great time last night. We went to the Pretty Girls Make Graves show at the Bluebird. It was an all ages show, so we both felt really old, but other than that it was a night of smoking, PBR, and punk rock.

Opening bands were S Process, who were great, and who I’d see again, and Cobra High, who were positively heinous. Beth would rather gouge out an eye than hear them again, and I have to agree. Just noise, and the lead singer’s yelping was awful.

Then PGMG came up, and they rocked really hard. They did a good mix of new and old stuff, probably about fifty-fifty, which is a ratio I agree with. I’d always rather hear the stuff I know and can sing along to, but I understand that bands tour to sell new records. I’ll be buying the new one after what I heard.

Highlights for me were More Sweet Soul, Speakers Push the Air, and some new song that had a big drum and bass break in the middle. Good thing, since the lead guitarist broke a string or something and used the time to go borrow the other guy’s guitar. Luckily, that dude was playing keyboards at the time.

It’s weird when you first see a band and you had a preconceived notion about them. I always assumed that PGMG was a trio, and was at least half women. When they came out, I saw they had five members, and two were women. Then the second guitarist took off his hoodie and was clearly male. All the members had great energy the whole night, but they were more emo than the punk I expected. The lead singer would pantomime things, like patting her chest when she was singing about her heart beating, something you’re not likely to see at a straight-edge show. At one point I’m sure she pointed at me… but the song called for pointing then, and I was the tall guy right in the middle of the balcony, so she was probably just pointing into the ether. Sigh.

The closed with an encore of two songs, and beforehand the bassist asked a question that I’ve never heard at a concert before: “Should we play old stuff, or new stuff?” The crowd voted resoundingly for old, then he asked, “Or just covers?” I voted for covers; one of the best shows I ever saw was Trans Am when they closed with a Led Zep cover with some guy wearing a bathrobe singing the Robert Plant part.

Alas, they played old stuff, but they finished with If You Hate Your Friends, You’re Not Alone, which is probably my favorite PGMG song. What a great show.

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