Wednesday, September 26, featuring
Zero Zero, Selby Tigers, Strike
Anywhere, Mike Park, Matt Skiba,
Thrice and Hot Water Music
The groups on the Plea for Peace/Take Action tour aren't just concerned with making people dance to forget their sorrows. A joint effort between Asian Man Records, which organized the previous Plea for Peace tour, and Sub City, a label that donates a portion of each album's proceeds to a charity of the artists' choice, this event focuses attention on youth-crisis issues. Balancing inspirational speeches with performances, Plea for Peace was one of the few concerts last year with an emotional impact that transcended music, and this year's bill promises more of the same. But just because this night's about more than merely the songs doesn't mean the songs aren't good. Zero Zero's Ari Katz and Miss TK trade vocals over a dense tapestry of synthesized sounds, hosting an art-punk dance party that brings to mind similar shindigs thrown by Le Tigre and The Faint. Selby Tigers also favors interwoven male/female vocals, but this Minnesota-based quartet prefers choppy riffs to electronic blips. Strike Anywhere combines hard-nosed rabble-rousing (song titles include "Riot of Words" and "Laughter in a Police State") with an inventive take on the melodic hardcore formula. Mike Park (pictured), Asian Man head honcho, is one of the few modern artists who continues to address racism on record, even as so many lyrical idealists have changed their focus under the erroneous assumption that the problem really isn't that bad anymore. ("Japanese Exchange Student" documents his response to a fan letter making that claim.) Also performing solo is Matt Skiba, who has made several trips to the area this year with his group Alkaline Trio. Thrice's harmonious hardcore and Hot Water Music's unusually muscular emo round out a satisfyingly diverse lineup that's playing under a most appropriate banner.