It's rare for bands to ever get back together and make new music and go back on tour. Many bands decide to go on hiatus and ultimately break up and call it a day. That's what Face to Face was facing back in 2003 when they decided they were going to call it a career. Since "The Only Goodbye Tour" of 2004, the band has not performed on a regular basis since then--a span of 6 years. During that time span though, rumors circulated that a reunion was not too far off, but each time that it appeared that the band would get together again soon, it would never come to fruition. Lead singer Trever Keith would do local acoustic shows, sometimes with bassist Scott Shiflett. There would be reunion shows, here and there, but never a full reunion.
Nevertheless, optimism among fans would shine bright with each rumor of possible reunion and it finally became a reality when it was announced that Face to Face would be touring the entire leg of the 2010 Warped Tour. This was followed with the release of a new album in 2011, Laugh Now, Laugh Later along with a spring/summer tour with support from The Darlings and Strung Out. The band had officially gotten together; thousands of punk fans were pleased.
It is with this backdrop, that Pathological Hate, embarked on a journey to Milwaukee, WI to catch a show that was 6 years in the making.
May 6, 2011: THE EAGLES BALLROOM, MILWAUKEE, WI--
We were excited to see this band--unfortunately we had to drive to Milwaukee. It's only a two hour drive, but getting to this city is anything but bearable. However, once the drive is over and you're in the venue. The Eagles' Ballroom is a HUGE place. They have multiple floors with the higher level playing dance music (that floor is called THE RAVE), and the 1st floor usually hosting live music. There's a bar that's adjacent to the main stage that plays live music as well--so there's something for everyone at this place. Basically, on some nights, the only form of entertainment in Milwaukee.
We were certainly ready for a show that's been anticipated for six years. The crowd and energy from Face to Face really left an impression on us. The mosh pits didn't feel quite the same as the ones that we were used to in Chicago. The differences between the Milwaukee and Chicago crowds at these shows are subtle, but tangible. They're a bit--ummmm, lame? It is our opinion that Wisconsinites are dorky and strange to begin with and those are the people on the surface. So imagine how much weirder the local underground scene is. Plus there's certain unwritten rules that should be followed in the mosh pit that these people have no clue about. If it happens once, it's an isolated incident, but if it happens multiple times, then it becomes a pattern. Trever Keith, when he first came on stage, noted that there was "a small, but crazy crowd here in Milwaukee!" Yes, "crazy" sums it up pretty well.
Regardless, it was great to experience a great night of punk rock. Up and coming band, The Darlings were very impressive and were able to perform a cover of the Misfits' song, "Astro Zombies" with guest vocals, Jason Cruz from Strung Out. Speaking of Strung Out, they performed right after and after years of not following this band, we became fans. Their fusion of melodic punk rock and heavy metal precision is just infectious. And listening to punk rock, 1990s staples "Firecracker" and "Matchbook" live was a treat in itself.
- Walk the Walk
Not only are these few, select songs Face to Face essentials, but these songs are essential, punk rock in the 1990s and have withstood the test of time. It's just perfectly idoneous to Southern California: the perfect sunny days, spending time at the beach, driving your car on the freeways, spending an afternoon skating--yes these are all cliches, but these are the connotations that these songs bring up. It's just a good, fairly universal feeling of nostalgia.
The real treat of the night came when Trever Keith admitted to the audience that breaking up was the biggest mistake that they have ever done and that part of the reason of coming back was to perform these "fun" songs again.
To close the concert out, "It's not Over" was played on the encore set. Leaving the concert we felt this air of optimism as we walked out of the concert venue. Maybe it was the cool, but pleasant spring breeze that was prevalent in Milwaukee that night--as if the band brought some of that good California weather with them. But finally seeing Face to Face live for the first time, after that notion seemed to be all but an impossibility of a dream, sparked much hope that the band will continue creating more music and touring together as a band for many years to come.
To check out the rest of our music page and read about previous shows we've attended, click here.
Check out another punk rock band from the 1990s, 88 Fingers Louie.
For everything Bad Religion, click here.