Who's the Better Rock Band: Fucked Up or "The Rolling Stones"?

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My shoes (last year's Cons) before Fucked Up; after below.
There was a lot I wanted to see (and did see) yesterday, but there were only two sets I was wholly determined to see: Canadian hardcore juggernaut Fucked Up and Seattle's own "The Rolling Stones." Both were playing indoors: Fucked Up at Neumos, the Rolling Stones in the Cha Cha Lounge, and securing a good spot meant posting up early for each. Which also meant only catching a couple typically rich-sounding songs from Thee Satisfaction on the day of their officially announcing their deal with Sub Pop (despite Matson having leaked the news months ago). But whatever else I missed was totally worth it.

Fucked Up opened with "Queen of Hearts," the rousing boy/girl sing-along anthem of their outstanding new album David Comes to Life, and the pit went instantly into a frenzy. I haven't moshed that hard in years. Dude who crowd-surfed like 12 times in a row: It stops being cool after you do, like, two, tops. Just entry-level pit etiquette, really. Twice I found myself square underneath Damian Abraham's considerable frame, in that weird frozen moment of "Am I gonna lift him up here to crowd-surf or just let him crush me? Is this how it all ends?" There was much crowd-surfing, from the band and otherwise. The bassist made a go of it with her bass in tow, and I'm pretty sure one of the guitarists did at one point as well. It's worth pointing out that there are three guitarists in Fucked Up these days, and that their synchronized assault really does give their songs a tremendous wail. I can't recall how the rest of the set played out, but I know they did a lot of songs off David, I remember a lot of two finger-points, a lot of Abraham miking us up as we shouted along in the pit, a lot of that awesome, sweaty, bruising camaraderie in there.

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My shoes after Fucked Up.

Then there were Seattle's own "The Rolling Stones."* What can you say about them that hasn't already been said? They're an all-star Seattle punk-rock super-group that does righteously faithful renditions of peak-era Stones songs. They absolutely kill. I realized yesterday what makes cover bands like this, or perhaps like Seattle's Tom Petty tribute American Girl, feel so good: That they're composed of young urbanites with "real" bands to their credit, as opposed to sad old dudes from Nowhere, North Dakota or whatever, takes all the cringey pathos out of watching a covers band. No one thinks this is their ticket to rock and roll stardom; no one thinks they're gonna do this for a living; it's just a bunch of good friends and talented musicians having a blast, and inviting the crowd along for the ride. They said last night that this was their last-ever show. I sincerely hope not.

So who was better: Fucked Up or "The Rolling Stones"? I don't know, it's like stage-diving apples and sailor-hatted oranges. I can't decide.

*Later last night, drummer Tyler Swan remarked, visibly annoyed: "I don't know where the fucking quotation marks came from. We never did that."

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