Monday, July 1, 2002
On one of the hottest, muggiest nights in recent memory, and in a venue without air conditioning, Epic recording artists The Juliana Theory headlined the Agora along with Piebald and Celebrity. What should have been an awesome bill of hard-driving indie rock bands turned out to be about one thing: the heat. Even more than the fact that I felt out of place as high school began recess and all the kids were pointing to the old guy with the notepad. Yeah, it was brutally hot.
As the immediate support band Piebald rocked the sweaty crowd, I interviewed one of said high school kids, who told me, “the thing about emo shows is that everyone just stands there and watches the band.” I’m like, “dude, it’s 120 degrees in here, I think that has something to do with it.” But I digress.
So Pennsylvania-based The Juliana Theory took the stage, and began with an
instrumental prelude to “If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?” (memo to band: short titles are always advisable). Anyway, lead singer Brett Detar swayed front to back in this song that reminded me of Third Eye Blind. He also got the crowd very involved, holding the mic out to help with the chorus and later rewarding them with sprays of bottled water.
The rest of the band moved around admirably too, considering how hot the stage must have been, during songs like “To the Tune of 5,000 Screaming Children” and “Is Patience Still Waiting?” The crowd went crazy midway through the set when TJT played the punkish “Understand the Dream is Over” and the opening track to their last release, “Into the Dark.”
Now I have to confess. I left when the band had probably another half-hour left in their set. I’ll make no bones about it: I love this band and I’m thrilled that they are releasing their Epic Records debut in a few months. But I think Brett and the boys would have been okay with my early exit. As Detar said himself after a few songs, “This is the hottest show we’ve played in...well, ever.” Can’t wait until you guys make it back here in the fall.