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This year's Fat Wreck Tour a.k.a. Humanitarian Intervention Tour finally rolled through Houston with a stellar line-up. Combining two of Fat Wreck's own bands, Propagandhi and Avail, with one band from each of their cohorts, J-Church of Honest Don's and Fabulous Disaster of Pink and Black, this year's tour was off the hook.
The first band of the night was Fabulous Disaster. The only true flaw with their set was that it was way too short. They came at you hard and fast with some wonderful poppy punk rock and got everyone into the set, but then just as soon as everyone was totally into it, they were done. This was not their fault, but it just sucked that they didn't get to play longer. I guess we'll just have to catch them on another tour.
Other than the shortness of the set, Fabulous Disaster was rockin'. All of the band, wearing their "Larry" Exxon work shirts, tore through some of the best tracks off the new album. I was disappointed they didn't play some of their older tracks, but when you are pressed for time, you play what you can. I was very impressed with this group live and look forward to seeing them again in the future.
I missed the beginning of J-Church's set because I was interviewing Propagandhi, but I caught everything after the first song. J-Church was great musically, but they lacked a great deal of movement. I, however, being a huge J-Church fan didn't mind this at all. The energy of the songs were there despite them not going all out physically. I really hope they make it back out to Houston soon.
The best set of the night belonged to Avail. Anyone who has ever had the chance to see Avail live knows that they don't take anything off the stage with them, it's all left out there. They tore through all the staples of an Avail set(Tuning, FCA, etc.) and totally blew everything away. Beau Beau was totally insane. He even dove into the crowd with a mic to let everyone sing along. It was awesome. Tim Barry was totally on as well. As always the music provided by Joe Banks, Gwomper, and Ed was rockin'. Everytime I see Avail, Gwomper's bass lines are more sick. It was great to sing along and dance to the Avail set. It was awesome.
The final band of the night was Propagandhi. This was one of the most waited for sets in recent memory for Houstonians. Having last performed at a homeless commune here in early 1996, everyone was totally starved for a Propagandhi live set. I can be pretty sure in saying that no one could have left justly upset. Propagandhi totally rocked. They opened with "Mate Ka Moris Ukun Rasik An" off of their new album. This got everyone into the set. They played most of the new album. My favorite being "Natural Disasters." They also played songs from their older albums such as "Anti-manifesto," "Ska Sucks," and "Refusing To Be A Man." I was impressed by the energy of the Todd, the new bassist. He was awesome. Chris' guitar playing was dead on as well.
Propagandhi was awesome as they didn't just talk their politics, they also did something to spread the word. My favorite thing Propagandhi did was that they brought books on tour with them for people to buy and learn about the world around them. Besides good music, intellegent lyrics, and a fun time, Propagandhi wants to take the time to teach you about new things, even if you don't agree with them. This what a tour is all about. This was a great show with some great bands and great ideas.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.