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There's not much that's better in life than going to a show, having relatively low expectations, and having the bands blow you away. It is one of the only times that I like being wrong. On February 15, 2002, The Juliana Theory played a show at the Webster Theatre (yes that is spelled correctly) in Hartford, CT with Vendetta Red and Damone opening (Fearless record's artist Brazil had dropped out of the line up because they couldn't make it to the show). In most of my past experiences at the Webster the shows have almost always been horrible, usually for reasons outside of the bands' control: the biggest problem being the crowd. The majority of audiences at this particular club tend to hover under the legal driving age, as well as be highly inconsiderate of their fellow concert goers. This goes for virtually every show I have seen there, whether it is Goldfinger or Static-X, the crowds tend to care more about beating someone up in the pit than they do the music. So when I showed up to see that the club wasn't utterly packed, and also that most of the crowd appeared to be almost able to vote I was rather pleasantly surprised. But that was only the first of many surprises for me that night.
Arriving just in time to catch the first openers, Damone (formally Noelle) from nearby Waltham, Mass, I was expecting to see the next major label Avril Lavigne try to rock an audience that wasn't interested in them. I was only half-right. After hearing their new RCA release From the Attic my expectations fell somewhere between horrible cross between the aforementioned Canadian youth and Blink-182, but damn was I wrong. Fronted by a cute 17-year-old Noelle, Damone possessed a lot of genuine talent, at least in their live performance. Occasionally bands can fake "talent" when they record, calling it "production," but it turns out that Damone actually has what it takes to be a quality rock band.
Surprises four though one hundred all occurred during The Juliana Theory's set. The last (first) time I saw The Theory live was in 2000, at a little club in New York City that doesn't even exist anymore, where they popped my proverbial emo cherry.
The Juliana Theory took the stage and immediately exploded into their first song, "To the Tune of 5000 Screaming Children," off of their Tooth & Nail Album EMOtion Is Dead. The continued their set by playing, "Emotion is Dead," and "If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?," also off of EMOtion, and the crowd was feeling every second; and the band was just warming up. With the next two tracks ("Repeating, Repeating," and "DTM") the band began one of the hardest things in the music industry; playing your new songs to an audience that most likely hasn't heard you're very recently released album (in this case Love). Fortunately, the crowd was completely into hearing new music, and none of the shows energy was lost to short attention spans for songs you can't sing along to, a true feat if you ask me. The Theory continued on threw their set, mixing up tracks off of Love, EMOtion is Dead, and they even played some crowd favorites off of Understand This is a Dream. They finally finished their set with "Constellation." Their encore jumped from the slow and emotional track "August in Bethany" to "You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight," where each member of the band had a chance to showcase their talent one last time before the band said "Goodnight."