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Fucked Up At Webster Hall, Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Damian Abraham, aka Pink Eye, is a beautiful thing. A large man with a big beer belly and the soul of an overjoyed child, he leads Fucked Up from the inside out. A god created frontman, and one of the best in the business, he was on the floor with the fans before the opening strains of "The Other Shoe" were over and the vocals begun and didn't get back on stage till five songs into the set. Which might have pissed off the guys in the back but made for great theater of the real and one of the most effective rock presentations. It is like he is the anti- Van Morrison, who would play a set with his back to the audience. The extroverted, friendly Damian loved us so much he wanted to be with us, to share the experience with us.

I have never seen anything like it.

Talk about breaking the star/fan barrier: Damian immersed himself into the thick of the crowd, with a long lead on the mic he waded right into the maelstrom, hugging people, handing the mic to fans, high fiving, moshing, body surfing. And the fans eat him up, they adored him and I don't blame them, The love for this guy just poured thru and in a sense it doesn't REALLY matter how good or bad the music was because the community between a top postcore band and the people there was a sharing experience.

But the set  was pretty good.

Fucked Up followed Wavves on Saturday and they were much better but they suffered from a similar problem: a lack of modulation in their music. Unlike their recorded work, Fucked Up ended up sounding like one long, loud roar. I like loud roars and for about 45 minutes I liked it fine, but the last 15 minutes were a bore.

The six piece band on stage maintain an enormously high level of competence and Damian is a whirlygig of motion and emotion, telling a funny story about when he worked for Canada's "Much Music TV" smelling the crotch of Justin Bieber's pants the kid had forgotten. "It smelled of Syphilis" he adds conspiratorial.

Everything you wanted to hear was here but while the Chemistry Of the Common Man songs sounded somewhat like the album, the David Comes Alive didn't. the songs got lost in the head first thrust of the sound. The problem with David Comes Alive is it sounds like the Who circa Quadrophenia without the genius. "Remember My Name" is so much like the Who it is actually strange. But not on stage. On stage it sounds exactly like everything else. And, much like the way Nathan likes to start on a song solo, the songs all seem to start with Zucker playing the same three chords. It's like they're clearing their voices before the song sets.

Still, after listening to David Comes Alive quite a bit the last couple of days, I tend to think I underestimated it and if the band on stage lost all the musical nuance of the album, they made up for it to some degree in pure, unadulterated aggression.

And even if they hadn't… Damian would've pulled them through. Whether discussing potty training his song or shirt off in the middle of the floor screaming in tune, or telling his fans not to worry about whether they are good looking or not, or slapping hands and thanking us, he is a great lead singer with a real good band. Grade: B+

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