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Concert Review: The Prids, Call In Call Out (December 13, 2003, Lincoln, NE)

I hadn’t planned on seeing a show tonight. In fact, I was reading a collection of essays on Calvinism when my friend Clint called, telling me that The Prids and Call In Call Out would be playing at Knickerbocker’s. I was hesitant to go at first; I wasn’t sure if I wanted to venture out into the cold weather to spend a couple hours in a smoke-filled club, but in the end, I figured it’d probably be better than moping around the apartment all by my lonesome.

And I’m actually glad I went. I’d been wanting to see Call In Call Out again (I saw them at the Tie These Hands/Mr. 1986 release show) and I managed to catch the last 2/3 of their set. Overall, they remind me quite a bit of mewithoutYou, from the impassioned vocals to the sense that, at any minute, they’re songs could fly apart at the seams. In other words, loud and sloppy and quite exciting.

Clint described The Prids using terms like “The Cure,” “Joy Division,” and “New Order,” which did quite a bit in selling me on the show. Before heading out, I did some research and saw that they often get mentioned in the same breath with The Faint — both bands were/are from Nebraska, both bands do the gloomy, ’80s post-punk thing, both bands have stage shows with strobes and smoke machines, etc. But I don’t really think the comparison, as obvious as it might be to make, holds that much water.

Superficially, the bands are similar. But The Prids are much more of a rock band — none of their songs have the same dance appeal that The Faint’s music has. The Prids are obviously influenced by New Order, but not the poppy “Bizarre Love Triange” New Order… more like a New Order still trying to get up from under the cloud of Joy Division and Ian Curtis’ suicide. Unfortunately, the band didn’t seem to have too much focus — partially because, being from Lincoln, all of their friends showed up and much of the show was spent chatting with buddies… which is as it should be. But even so, the band seemed to falter at a few points.

I really loved their sound — I’ve found that early ’80s new wave/post-punk and shoegazer are about the only two genres that a band can shamelessly appropriate and reference, and get away with it… at least in my book — but it could’ve been a better, more solid show. I picked up one of their CDs and am looking forward to checking it out, just to see how they sound in the studio.

And oh yes, I did take pictures. If they turned out, I’ll be adding them to the site this weekend (hopefully).

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