facetoface.jpg
Dave Lake
Face to Face, Strung Out, Blitzkid, the Darlings

Showbox at the Market

Friday, June 17

Don't call it a comeback. OK, fine, call

"/>

Face to Face Brings '90s Punk Nostalgia to the Showbox at the Market

facetoface.jpg
Dave Lake
Face to Face, Strung Out, Blitzkid, the Darlings

Showbox at the Market

Friday, June 17

Don't call it a comeback. OK, fine, call it one. After all, it has been nine years since Face to Face last released a record, 2002's How to Ruin Everything, which found the band veering slightly off course from the pop-punk sound they helped define in the '90s. But with last month's release of Laugh Now, Laugh Later and their subsequent North American tour, which stopped at the http://www.seattleweekly.com/locations/showbox-at-the-market-171027/ on Friday night, the California quartet has officially returned to form.

"It's been way too long since we've been here," singer/guitarist Trevor Keith told the audience after his band's first batch of songs. "We're going to do mostly old shit tonight, because I can see there's a lot of old people out there." And by old, Keith was talking about the mostly-in-their-30s crowd, who were eager to hear a greatest-hits set, which the Warped Tour vets delivered.

After two months on the road, Face to Face were in synch Friday night, their dual-guitar attack firing on all cylinders, pounding through their double-time sing-alongs with gusto. Guitarist Chad Yaro, who quit the band in 2001, is back, and the band has always been more powerful as a four-piece than as a trio, which is how they began their career. Also back is bassist Scott Shifflet, who Keith called "the best bass player in punk rock"--and he might not be wrong. Shifflet did a bass solo near the end of their set, something you don't often see at a rock show, let alone a punk-rock show. "Let's not get all Stanley Clarke on these guys," Keith said, dropping yet another thing you don't often get at a punk gig: a reference to Stanley Clarke.

The band sped through 20 or so songs in about 70 minutes, concentrating heavily on material from their first three releases, including touchstones like "Disconnected," "It's Not Over," and "Ordinary" from their 1996 self-titled third album. The band also played a handful of tracks from their current release, with songs like "Bombs Away" and "It's Not All About You" fitting in nicely between older material, even if they didn't get the pit going quite as hard as the older stuff did. And the band concluded their set with a version of the Descendents' classic "Bikeage," which had showgoers singing along and which sent crowd-surfers sailing over the barricade at the front of the stage.

Strung Out, one of the genre's most technically proficient bands, played in the support slot, tearing through an energetic set of souped-up, hyper-speed metallic punk songs, and the crowd seemed to know their material as well as the headliner's. Their set came complete with shredding guitar solos and even an homage to Pantera, something most punk bands couldn't get away with, but which totally works in a Strung Out set.

Though both Face to Face and Strung Out were supporting new albums, both leaned heavily on older material, providing the crowd with what they seemed to want: A nostalgic blast from their past, while being eased ever-so-slowly into the future.

The scene: Mostly dudes, with lots of baseball caps and T-shirts.

Viral-video reference: "It's Friday," Trevor Keith announced, "Just like that Rebecca Black song, which we're going to play right now!" Thankfully, they didn't.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 
comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow