A few months ago, I bought a ticket to a band I adored all through high school, The Get Up Kids. In the last 8-9 years, I haven’t so much as looked at one of their albums or listened to any of their music. As soon as I purchased the ticket, I had every intention of pulling out my old library of tunes, but never got around to it.

     Fast forward and I am reminded that I’m heading to their show TONIGHT. It was too late to start up their music and reminisce to the familiar sound of Matthew Pryor’s voice. Damn. On my way to the venue, I wondered if I would remember any of their songs. Would it all be lost to my crap memory? Had my mental hard drive been overwritten with new music, experiences and ‘wisdom?’

      I actually attended the show on my own. None of my friends seemed interested in seeing a 90s emo band belt it out on a Monday night. Fair enough, they haven’t been particularly relevant in years (sorry, guys!) All in all, the decision to go solo ended up reaping the best reward.


      Through the venue’s front door and I could already hear the band ramping up. I grabbed a Red Stripe and high-tailed it into the crowd. It was an anniversary tour so all the singles were being played. I was, truly, over the moon. I had a moment of sadness, thinking, ‘I wish so-and-so was here to share this with me!’ But then I had an epiphany. I’m surrounded by strangers, all close to my age. Definitely no one younger. In between songs I could hear groups of people talking:

“I remember making out with my first girlfriend to this song!”
“Oh man, my dad used to FLIP when I would blast this one!”
“I totally forgot about this song!”

      It became evident that we were all reliving our own teenage experiences together. A thick wave of nostalgia hitting us over and over with every song. As we sang along to the songs we thought were long forgotten, suddenly I felt transported back to a time when I wrote bad poetry, wore an obscene amount of black eyeliner and felt like no one could understand my angst. In fact, it seemed everyone’s own coming-of-age memories were flooding back faster than they could catch them.

      The encore played and the last “thank you, goodnight” was said. We poured out of the building into the rainy week night. Back to work, to university, to our adult lives. Everyone’s dorky smile said the same thing:

      It was nice to be young again, if only for a couple hours.

Set list:
1. Holiday
2. I’m a Loner, Dottie, a Rebel
3. Stay Gold, Ponyboy
4. Lowercase West Thomas
5. Mass Pike
6. Woodson
7. Overdue
8. Action & Action
9. No Love
10. Off the Wagon
11. Valentine
12. Coming Clean
13. Shorty
14. Campfire Kansas
15. Red Letter Day
16. Don’t Hate Me
17. Walking on a Wire
18. Close to Me (The Cure cover)
19. Beer for Breakfast (The Replacements cover)
20. I’ll Catch You
21. Ten Minutes

Sleep with my memories, pictures, apologies.

~The Get Up Kids


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