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"I'd give them a B if I had to grade them," Suptic decides. "The best one I saw was the very first night, when they had some 8-year-old kid playing guitar. There were some pretty bad ones too. But it's something they'll never forget the rest of their lives. They'll probably be in bands forever and piss off their parents because they got to experience this."
Far from being pissed off, the Get Up Kids' parents all showed up to express their support. "My mom never usually comes out to shows because she doesn't want to be in a smoky bar, so this was a cool thing," Suptic says. In a typically vulnerable down-to-earth display, the Kids continually offered shout-outs to their parents from the stage, as well as making a plug for indie record store Recycled Sounds. Not to be outdone, Armstrong also dedicated a song to the Kids' parents: "Blood, Sex and Booze." "Your boys have been bad," he explained.
The Get Up Kids have a few weeks to rest before heading back out on the road in support of another alt-rock supergroup, Weezer. For that tour, which stops at Memorial Hall on Monday, March 12, the Kids have access to a full-size bus -- a welcome change from their van, especially given a shake-up the band experienced on the morning of the Green Day show. "We were crossing the Iowa/Missouri border, and it was snowing really bad," Suptic recalls. "We hit an ice patch and did a 180 on the highway. Our trailer smashed out a window, and we ran off the road. It was pretty exciting, but nobody was hurt. In five years of touring it was our first big accident and, hopefully, our last. I think everybody's sick of the van now."
Actually, the band members, who have written ten new tunes, weren't planning to do much traveling this winter. Pryor had been playing solo shows in the area and preparing for a brief string of gigs with his side project, New Amsterdams, while the band was, as Suptic says, "in full songwriting mode." Still, this was Green Day and Weezer. "We didn't want to turn those tours down," he explains. "But our goal is still to record this summer."
As excited as he was to be playing with Green Day, Suptic had his doubts about how the Get Up Kids would be received. "We were honestly expecting people to throw beer bottles at us and chant 'Green Day' the whole time we played," he reveals. The group was haplessly heckled by an athletic-looking bunch sporting Korn and Limp Bizkit T-shirts who implored the somewhat shaggy Kids to "get a haircut."
Suptic also endured a single fan's silent harassment. "He flipped me off the whole time, and I thought it was a kid I'd gone to high school with, so I was like, 'Shit, what did I do to him?'" he says. "But if getting flipped off was the worst we got, then I guess it was a pretty good tour for us."