The Get Up Kids Remain On The Top Of Their Game Over 25 Years Later


There are some bands that you could see a million times and still want more from. The Get Up Kids is one of those bands for me. I think I could honestly watch The Get Up Kids every night of my life and not get bored with it so, of course, I just had to go catch them at The Turf Club on Sunday night.

Local favorite Bugsy got the night started off right in a way that only Bugsy can. I had the honor of catching this young band just a couple of months ago at The Fine Line and the blew me away so I was more than excited to see them listed on the line-up for Sunday night’s show. Much like that fateful night at The Fine Line a few months ago, I found myself absolutely captivated by this band but especially the singer. I can not stress enough how talented she is. From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs, her voice is constantly smooth, and constantly calming while having an undeniable sense of fire and passion behind it. Although there were times throughout the night where the guitar work seemed to overpower her voice (that could have been just due to where I was standing), I found myself still hearing her voice just based on her performance. Bugsy’s set was super short but they were still able to fit in one of their signature bug facts for the modest yet attentive audience. Did you know some bees make honey out of the blood of their victims? Although I wouldn’t classify Bugsy as a metal band, that bug fact is super metal. Keep your eyes on this band. They keep getting added to some stellar line-ups and there’s good reason for that.
Up next was Pilot To Gunner. This band is not a new band. They have been killing it since 1998 yet Sunday night was my first time catching this band in concert somehow. Their sound jumps from a classic indie-rock vibe with 90’s alt-rock tendencies to a powerful show of post-punk revival. Regardless of the track, they were performing or what style it was, this band had no shortage of power and it led to a perfect set that, like Bugsy’s, had me completely captivated throughout. Unfortunately, it felt way too short and I didn’t quite catch how long it was exactly but their leave from the stage seemed unexpected and sudden from the crowd. I highly doubt there would have been any complaints if the band had kept playing but that apparently just was not in the cards for the quickly growing crowd on Sunday night. No need to fear- the band mentioned something about a new album coming soon and I can only hope that that means I’ll have another chance to catch them live sooner rather than later.
Much like nearly every other band, it has been over two years since I have been able to catch The Get Up Kids live and that’s just too dang long. Last night was a highly anticipated evening for not just me, but everyone that made the trek out on Sunday. The Get Up Kids are a staple in the Midwest emo scene. Formed in 1995 in Kansas City, this band is the influence of many of the bands that are still hitting stages today. From vocalist Matt Pryor’s distinct vocals to their all-too-real lyrics that felt so relatable as an angsty teenage growing up in the heartland- The Get Up Kids is a band that, if you grew up with them, mean everything to you and for good reason. Wholesome, honest, and just downright amazing, as mentioned previously, I will never not go see this band so it was such a treat to see them in the quaint setting of The Turf Club in Saint Paul.
Although I didn’t hear all of the songs that I wanted to hear, their near twenty-five song set-list truly spanned their entire catalog. With six full-length albums out, there was no way everyone in the audience was going to hear every song that they wanted to but the band did a great job of picking and choosing hit songs mixed with B-sides mixed with energetic anthems and slower love songs. The range that this band has when it comes to their songwriting was put in the spotlight on Sunday night in the best way possible and it was clear that I wasn’t the only one that noticed that. Beyond their perfectly curated setlist was their on-point banter. This is something that The Get Up Kids have always nailed. They are funny guys and that comes through during their shows. About half way through their set, there was a slight break and the band started just playing random recognizable tracks to help kill the dead air. “We’re Guitar Center, the band!” joked Matt Pryor. Okay, maybe you had to be there but this little joke had the entire audience rolling in laughter.
I’ll be honest, I was expecting a sold-out crowd for the show. I mean, it’s The Get Up Kids– they are everything to me and so many people. Sadly, the crowd was far from sold out but you only noticed that if you were looking around and made it a point to notice the empty back half of the venue. If you were up near the stage (as nearly everyone was), it felt like a sold-out show just due to the amount of passion that not only radiated off of the stage but also that floated from the audience to the stage. 
I left the show on Sunday feeling energized and ready to take on the week but also left with that familiar feeling of wanting more, oh so much more, from this amazing band. I’m already counting down the days until I can see The Get Up Kids in concert again.