Last Night: Finch at Culture Room

finch.jpg
Finch

Finch

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale

Better Than: having the biggest kid in the club stage dive into your face.

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They say all good things must come to an end. Well, that may be so, but perhaps good things can start up again, too. Take, for example, progressive rock act Finch, a band that after much success dismantled about two years ago, only to start up again this year. It was a welcomed reunion for diehard fans, and tonight’s jam-packed crowd was evidence of that delight.

Colorado quartet Tickle Me Pink got the crowd prepped with their rousing alt-rock and enthusiastic performance. Singer/bassist Sean Kennedy announced that the band has had a good year, but that their bassist passed away the very day their album dropped (July 1, 2008). Other than that sad news, the group delivered an energizing, sweaty mosh pit-inspiring show. Tonight marked the drummer’s 21st birthday, and we all looked on as he took a shot of whisky to commemorate the occasion.

However, nothing could have prepared anyone for mayhem brought by Scary Kids Scaring Kids. It was almost as if a third of the audience had come just to see this Arizona hardcore unit. Delivering songs that could be the cookie-cutter sound for any Warped Tour album of the past three years, Scary Kids Scaring Kids had the demeanor of ’80s glam rockers pretending to be scenesters. The topless keyboardist competed with the lead singer for attention. It was pretty nauseating after awhile. Jumping around the stage, pounding his bare chest like a gorilla, the keyboard player seemed to be doing his best to get some female action. Instead, he would have to settle for the 18-year-old looking dude who latched onto his back during one of the songs and wouldn’t’ let go until it ended. Funny how the security guys didn’t even bother to pry off the overly eager fan. Maybe they figured he deserved it. I did.

After a noticeable handful of fans dipped out of the venue, it was finally time for headliner Finch. Those fans that remained were clearly dedicated. Opening the show with “Insomniatic Meat,” from their 2005 album Say Hello To Sunshine, Finch jump-started a perpetual mosh-pit for the evening. Guitarist Randy Strohmeyer plunged into the eager crowd from the get-go. To much of the audience’s satisfaction, the majority of the songs played tonight were from the band’s first album, 2002’s What It Is To Burn. During the atmospheric bridge of “Stay With Me” the merch dudes came onstage for a rap-off. The scene stayed amped and rowdy throughout the night. Finch delivered favorites, including “Letters to You,” “What It Is To Burn,” “Three Simple Words” and “Postscript.” Although the band just released a four-song EP, they only performed two selections from that effort--“Daylight” and “From Hell.” An encore of “Perfection Through Silence” and an extended version of “Untitled” closed the evening, and fans seemed pretty sweaty and satisfied by the end.

Aside from their uniquely emotive musical force, one of the best things about Finch is that unlike some of bands in their genre, they definitely seem way more devoted to their music than to fashion or egos. This was particularly clear considering the act that preceded them. The crowd also actually reflected a more music-involved mentality because fans were more mature than the average emo/hardcore scene. This show was good in terms of audience, but it was the best as far as band reunions go.

Critic’s Notebook

Personal Bias: What It Is To Burn was stuck in my car’s CD player for much of 2003.

Random Detail: Finch started as a Deftones tribute band.

By the Way: It is rumored that the band will release a full-length album later this year.

-- Monica Cady


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