This reunion involved more than just five guys in a band. It also included fans and a 10-year-old scene that has been dormant for a while.
Three years may not seem like a long time, unless you've been missing something. And Sunday night's Get Up Kids show at RecordBar proved that you can't long for something until it's been long gone.
Three years and four months after their sold-out farewell show before a crowd of nearly 2,000 at the Uptown Theater, the Kids played to a house full of friends, family and fans -- nearly 300 of them. Some arrived at the venue at noon Sunday to pickup a number that guaranteed their admittance for a $15 fee. After an opening set by local singer/songwriter/musician Chris Tolle that started relatively on time (8:30 p.m.), the headliners took the stage. Before the show, lead singer Matt Pryor said the band had only practiced about "four and a half times" in the week before the show -- an event that made some waves in blogs and Web sites all over the world, including a site in Germany. But relearning the old material, he said, was like remembering how to ride a bike.
If there were wobbly moments or flat tires, not too many people noticed or cared. The Kids celebrated the 10-year-anniversary of their most successful record, "Something to Write Home About," by playing the album from start to finish. By the middle of "Holiday," the first track, the mob in front of the stage looked like the student section at Allen Fieldhouse. The mood in the club pretty much stayed that way all night.
Lives have changed a lot since the Kids called it quits. Pryor is now a father of three; guitarist Jim Suptic is a dad, too. Bassist Rob Pope joined the band Spoon. Keyboardist James Dewees joined the band My Chemical Romance and retired his band Reggie and the Full Effect; and drummer Ryan Pope now plays for the local band the Roman Numerals.
According to one of the Kids, accounting rekindled things: A meeting about finances brought everyone together again, and they all realized "maybe we don't hate each other like we thought we did." Wheels turned, gears engaged and a show was planned. You could say the performance was business-as-usual: Two hours of high-energy pop/punk with a few respites thrown in. They kept the chit-chat to a minimum, although Pryor did pause to give his wife a warm thank-you. Later, Dewees declared one conversation "stupid" and led the band immediately into another song.
Fans who missed this one will have plenty of opportunities to catch another one. A substantial tour is in the works for 2009. It will include stops locally and in other continents and will accommodate whatever might happen with other bands and responsibilities.
Business and money may be at the root of this reunion, but Sunday's event proved a basic economic rule: Before commerce, there must be demand. Or: You can't sell something that customers aren't longing for.
Setlist: Holiday; Action & Action; Valentine; Red Letter Day; Out of Reach; Ten Minutes; The Company Dime; My Apology; I'm a Loner Dottie, a Rebel ...; Long Goodnight; Close to Home; I'll Catch You. Encore: Campfire Kansas; The One You Want; No Love, Mass Pike, Walking on a Wire.