We are fans of both these artists so when we found out they were playing a gig at an intimate venue in our hometown we couldn’t resist going along.
The Railway, Ipswich – 6th October 2013
MC Lars is a pioneering Nerdcore artist as well as cartoonist extraordinnaire and all-round general amazing guy. His set didn’t disappoint except in one way. We wish it was longer. The first time we saw MC Lars was last time we saw Wheatus back in 2006, and we had no idea who this Lars character was, or even what he was about. Having been wowed by him last time, and subsequently checked out some of his material we discovered that we rather liked him, and it made seeing him this time all the more enjoyable. As discussed, his set was far too short, for half an hour flies by when you’re having fun and seeing one of your favourite artists live, and unfortunately (for us) it was completely devoid of tracks from ‘This Gigantic Robot Kills’, our favourite Lars album. Nonetheless, ‘Signing Emo’ and ‘Download This Song’ were extremely enjoyable, as always. Lars’ freestyle section, where the audience hold up random objects they have on them, was extremely impressive, with Lars not missing a single beat as he referenced the girl at the front’s patent leather top among an array of different objects, each time making a perfect rhyme to the audience’s obvious delight.
It was also Lars’ birthday that night, and after the show we met him and, as well as getting our picture taken with him, and talking a load of absolute rubbish at him, bought a vinyl from him. Lars is such a nice guy that he chucked in his ‘Edgar Allan Poe’ EP for free too.
The problem with Whatus is that they are known for that one hit, and people go to see Wheatus for said song. That’s understandable, but it is a shame given Wheatus’ request policy (where they hand over control of about 80% of the set to audience requests) that the audience only know tracks from the first album. Throw in some continual shouted demands for ‘Punk Ass Bitch’ (even after Brendan explained why Wheatus can’t and don’t want to play it) and it was a little frustrating for us to essentially experience a playback of the first album. Actually, that’s a little unfair, as Brendan did take control a couple of times, and they played 2 new songs in addition to ‘BMX Bandits’ and ‘Lemonade’. Nonetheless, we would have loved to see ‘Song That I Wrote When You Dissed Me’, ‘In The Melody’, ‘Desperate Songs’ and ‘Something Good’ live, as well as a host of slower/longer songs (which we understand the casual gig-goer has no interest in hearing). So, having got our little moan at the request policy out of the way (unless you’re at the front or very loud, you won’t get heard), what did we think of the show?
Wheatus really are extremely competent live. They pull everything off to expertise. ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ was the obvious highlight, but we found it equally amusing and upsetting that the second most popular song of the night was a cover of Greenday’s classic ‘Basket Case’. We feel the cover of One Direction was also unnecessary, although an understandable and sensible commercial decision. (The 1D boys covered ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ and thus opened up the song to a new generation and Brendan is too savvy not to capatalise on this). So overall, they were amazing, we just would have liked a more varied set rather than almost exclusively hits from the first album. But they came and they delivered what the audience wanted, and who are we to argue at that?