Burning Airlines, Dismemberment Plan
Bluebird Theater; Denver, Colorado
Monday, May 17, 1999

The audience at this show was surprisingly thin, but it was the first Monday after the colleges let our so the youth population had begun to thin out for the summer. Also, Burning Airlines' debut album had only just been released, so they were basical ly drawing on the "ex-Jawbox" tag alone. To be honest, I've forgotten already who opened this show, though I think it was Acrobat Down... The Dismemberment Plan was up next and stole the show immediately. They were working with the element of surprise i n their favor, as opposed to Burning Airlines who I was already quite familiar with. The singer had everything that makes for a good frontman - he had so much charm and charisma, and really knew how to work the stage and throw life into the songs. I rem ember that, music-wise, Shudder to Think kept running through my head... I was never too impressed by Jawbox's live show and I basically knew what I was getting with Burning Airlines. Bill Barbot is lifeless onstage, roaming back and forth between his am p and his mic. It's actually rather funny how unanimated he is. The drummer is a big guy, looks like a Harley guy, and just thuds away at the drums, looking like it's a lot of fun. So, it was left up to J. Robbins, who is the center of attention anyway . But he has got a guitar to play and words to sing, so it was only during intros and instrumental breaks when he could jump about and lunge around. So, not the most exciting band to watch but their material came across well and they secured my interest for a while to come.

- Andrew Bottomley




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