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West Coast 2003

start: Thursday, March 6, 2003

end: Tuesday, March 25, 2003

We headed out to the west coast, hooked up with THIS IS MY FIST and had a great tour.

See a map of this tour.


#1 – Thursday, March 6, 2003 — The Caravan, San Jose, CA
#2 – Friday, March 7, 2003 — 924 Gilman, Berkeley, CA
#3 – Saturday, March 8, 2003 — The Shop, Sonoma, CA
#4 – Sunday, March 9, 2003 — Capitol Garage, Sacramento, CA
#5 – Monday, March 10, 2003 — The Riff-Raff, Chico, CA
#6 – Tuesday, March 11, 2003 — Dave's house, Portland, OR
#7 – Wednesday, March 12, 2003 — 2nd Ave. Pizza, Seattle, WA
#8 – Thursday, March 13, 2003 — Evo's Java Joint, Ashland, OR
#9 – Saturday, March 15, 2003 — Kimo's, San Francisco, CA
#10 – Sunday, March 16, 2003 — Chloe's House, San Francisco, CA


San Jose, CA — The Caravan

Thursday, Mar 6, 2003

show # 1

venue: The Caravan
San Jose, CA

age: 21+

part of tour: West Coast 2003

review: Our first show of the tour was at a small bar, no stage or anything, just an area on the floor. The first band were our pals THIS IS MY FIST (who set up this entire tour), a punk rock trio, with energetic songs that are tuneful & catchy, but definitely not pop-punk. Hints of Ambition Mission, too (guitar player Annie's old band). We played next (you already know what we sound like). The headliners were WHISKEY SUNDAY, a melodic punk'n'roll outfit with gritty vocals, comparisons to Social Distortion could be made. A good show, & a suprising number of people packed into the club. Big thanks to Rob of Whiskey Sunday for setting us up.

Berkeley, CA — 924 Gilman

Friday, Mar 7, 2003

show # 2


venue: 924 Gilman
Berkeley, CA

time: 8:00 pm
age: all-ages

part of tour: West Coast 2003

review: This was an excellent and well-attended gig at the DIY punk mecca of the west coast. THIS IS MY FIST opened the show & went over really well, a lot of kids in the audience even knew their songs & were singing along. We played next, & I think people dug us. (I'm always so surprised when that happens!) Next was THE PATTERN (Oakland CA) who are a sorta White Stripes/Strokes-y band that exuded the stink of "we wanna make it". At the beginning of their set, they announced that "it's great to be here with you tonight, and to play with...uh...these other bands." TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS were excellent, their music is super-energetic and combines often-political lyrics and all sorts of influences (punk, pop, ska, new wave, etc.) and the song structures are sophisticated but catchy. I was pretty blown away by one song where Ted's almost rapping, & the chorus has a million tambourines & maracas going off. The dude is manic. The only thing that sorta lost me, was that they played for like nine thousand years (OK, it was an hour and a half). After about the first 45 minutes, it all started to sound like "Rrrrrrrrrrrr..." Anyway this was my first visit to Gilman & I have to say I was impressed by how much those folks have their shit together. I guess this place has been going long enough that they must be doing something right.

Sonoma, CA — The Shop

Saturday, Mar 8, 2003

show # 3

with: TRONN (Modesto CA), THIS IS MY FIST

venue: The Shop
Sonoma, CA

age: all-ages

part of tour: West Coast 2003

review: The first two shows worked out so well that there had to be a poopy show to balance it out, and this was it. What a dud. The Shop is a club (self-described as a drug & alcohol free "teen hangout") set up in a small warehouse-like building, it's got a stage & is spray-paintly decorated. Parents set it up and kids run it. It's well-intentioned, & it all sounds great, which is maybe the reason why kids don't show up. Kids can feel safe at home, they like to go to shows for that unknown element that can't be bottled. So anyway, there were six bands (three too many for a show like this). The first band (I don't know their name) & the second band (DRAW BLANK) played straight-ahead 25th generation new skool hardcore. Next was TRONN (Modesto CA), which combined new skool hardcore with a capella screaming. Band #4 (I didn't get their name either) was more of a rock band, I think. We were band #5, and we played about 6 songs and got off the stage, then THIS IS MY FIST did the same. By that time there were only about 3 kids there (the other bands were long gone). There was a nice mom & dad there who bought a CD though. Oh yeah I forgot to mention, we had to sign a contract saying we would stay sober and not get violent.

Sacramento, CA — Capitol Garage

Sunday, Mar 9, 2003

show # 4


venue: Capitol Garage
Sacramento, CA

age: all-ages

part of tour: West Coast 2003

review: This show was at a coffee house in Sacramento that has shows frequently. (We found out later that this joint is owned by Kevin Seconds). The atmosphere was a little poopy that night, with not too many people there. We went first, and after a false start to "Easy Target", played pretty good. THIS IS MY FIST was next, they rocked despite some string breakage. The next band was called THE NAKED ROBBERS (Sacramento CA), they gave the impression of a college bar rock band & had songs that fit many different genres, but didn't seem to exude any unique personality of their own. CHARMLESS (Berkeley CA) was next, starting off with a rocking, Supersuckers-like tune and then getting a bit more melodic from there. They're definitely indie rather than punk, & it was well-executed, with a big full sound and a singer who belts it out. The headliner was EVEN IN BLACKOUTS (Chicago IL) an "acoustic punk rock" band featuring John Jughead (ex-Screeching Weasel). The singer is a woman with a very clean, wholesome voice, and they do Screeching Weasel covers. Imagine the words "we don't give a shit about tomorrow" (from the song "Hey Suburbia") being very clearly and purely enunciated, without any snot. It was like Screeching Weasel Bible camp or something. This band scared us all.

Chico, CA — The Riff-Raff

Monday, Mar 10, 2003

show # 5


venue: The Riff-Raff
Chico, CA

age: 21+

part of tour: West Coast 2003

description: Chico is the #2 rated party school in America, did you know? This was one of those bars that has a jukebox with a bunch of Fat Records, NOFX type stuff in it. We showed up early to the show & had to bum around for a while. The bar also has a pizza place next door and they gave us some pretty good free 'za. Finally the show started. THIS IS MY FIST played first, and we were next. Douglas gave a little spiel about music and DIY, and although you might think it would be out of place in a bar-type show, he got a bunch of applause for it. Our shit went over rather well, and we got some really nice comments from people. The next band was called (TX). They were sorta everything we're not -- a very commercial & accessible sound a la New Found Glory & their pop-punk kin. Their onstage jumps were very well synchronized too. Basically, the anti-Rotor! The headliners were the LONELY KINGS (Newbury Park, CA) a rock'n'roll band with hardcore, emo & metal influences. It was a good show, especially for a Monday night. People had been trickling into the club all night, and by the middle of the NAUGHTY LITTLE MONKEYS set, the place was packed. Jake (our bass player, not the LONELY KINGS frontman) was saying how it was interesting how all the bands represented various scenes & cross-purposes: NAUGHTY LITTLE MONKEYS, who we'll probably be seeing on MTV-2 one of these days; the LONELY KINGS, who have roots in underground music but have "made it" far enough to tour Europe with the MISFITS; and ROTOR & FIST, who'll stay down in the basement. Oh yeah, one more thing -- during the LONELY KINGS set, thing went a little out of control and our Jake got dry-humped by transvestites.

Portland, OR — Dave's house

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2003

show # 6


venue: Dave's house
Portland, OR

age: all-ages

part of tour: West Coast 2003

review: Believe it or not, this was the only basement show of the tour, and it was a good one. We showed up and there were a bunch of kids there, and actually there were some folks that we know from Chicago, namely Bob from Infant Island (where Fourth Rotor played our first show ever!) and Ben (Tim La Mantra's brother). The first band was SPRING BREAK, a punk/hardcore 3-piece, featuring Morgan who's also in SHARP KNIFE with FIST drummer Will. Next up was THIS IS MY FIST, then us. I think we played all our songs that nite (all twelve or thirteen of them, ha ha). Next was one of the weirdest musical acts I've ever seen, a guy and a girl calling themselves TEEN WOLF. They had weird bizarre musical instruments attached to chairs and they wore masks. They actually wore the masks during the entire evening, not just when they were playing. They had a song called "Teenage Mustache". Oh yeah, did I mention they were also from Chicago? The last band was CHASED AND SMASHED, a great old-style rockin' punk band, think UK SUBS and STIFF LITTLE FINGERS. The singer presented us with such conundrums as "Do you want to hear a song about setting buildings on fire, or about buildings being set on fire?" Also, they have lyric sheets for all their songs that are in the form of comic strips. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

Seattle, WA — 2nd Ave. Pizza

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2003

show # 7


venue: 2nd Ave. Pizza
2015 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA

age: all-ages

part of tour: West Coast 2003

Ashland, OR — Evo's Java Joint

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003

show # 8


venue: Evo's Java Joint
Ashland, OR

age: all-ages

part of tour: West Coast 2003

review: Rain, rain and more rain. We finally got to the place and it was a little coffee house. The show was set up by this great girl named Kimbo, who greeted us with the words "Rock'n'roll!" and then she made me this awesome burrito! Despite the venue having been changed at the last minute (it was originally supposed to be at Musichead in Medford), there were about twenty kids there, and it seemed like most of them were wearing bandanas on their heads. I'm not kidding, we have a photo where like every single kid has a bandana on. Anyway, there were just 2 bands (us and FIST), but this was one of the most fun shows ever just because of how stoked the audience was to have us there. In between every song, there would be whooping and cheering and yelling, it was awesome. After the show we all drove to Kimbo's house in Phoenix OR (the next town over),it was a very authentic punk house & she made us more food. Rock'n'roll!!!

San Francisco, CA — Kimo's

Saturday, Mar 15, 2003

show # 9


venue: Kimo's
San Francisco, CA

age: 21+

part of tour: West Coast 2003

review: Well, we drove back to Oakland and had a day off on Friday, which we spent attending an anti-war protest. Saturday's show was at Kimo's which is a medium-sized second floor bar. This was the only show of the tour that THIS IS MY FIST didn't play with us, due to drummer Will's other band SHARP KNIFE having a show at the same time. Annie & Todd of FIST came with us however & we had a really superior pre-show pizza a few doors down from Kimo's. It was one of those really late bar-type shows of course. The first band was THE LATRELLS, which was a completely different kind of band than we've ever played with before, combining classic rock, funk, rap & other influences. A dude even got up and played the sax with them for a song or two. We played next (if I remember rightly). People dug us, it was good. Next was WHISKEY SUNDAY, followed by MD 20/20. The bass player/singer seemed to be a madman, and gave a big monologue about the Ides of March at the beginning of their set. You would think by the name that they might be an old-skool drunk rock band, but their songs actually veered from JESUS LIZARD-y nonlinear stuff, to straight-up rock, & back. They were loud as fuck, too. Anyway, we all got home pretty late.

San Francisco, CA — Chloe's House

Sunday, Mar 16, 2003

show # 10


venue: Chloe's House
San Francisco, CA

age: all-ages

part of tour: West Coast 2003

review: This show was held at Chloe's garage which is in a really nice area of San Francisco. The garage was really long and narrow & the bands set up all the way at the end of the tunnel. There were a bunch of kids there, & when the bands played, the garage door was closed like we were sealing ourselves into the fallout shelter or something. Anyway, we played first, followed by FIST (they decided to end every song by saying "Yowza!"), then there was a solo acoustic girl named Hope playing guitar. The last band was THE INSURGENT who played an interesting mixture of melodic hardcore with quirky, "off" parts. We were supposed to play the next night in Reno NV with THE INSURGENT again, but weren't able to, due to Wyoming snow disaster we decided to take the southern route home instead. Big thanks goes out to Chloe for setting up the show, & also to Spencer of THE SHIVERING/STOCKHOLM SYNDROME, thanks for liking us enough to show up at all our Bay Area shows!



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