The Reputation et al @ the Courtyard Cafe, Illini Union

August 28, 2006
music illinois

Rachel came down to visit this past weekend and we caught the show at the Courtyard Cafe Saturday night. I was really wanting to catch Elizabeth Elmore again with the rest of her band, The Reputation, and had heard they were to go on third which in theory would be around 10:30. Not wanting to miss them, I figured we should get there by 10 just to be sure, and probably got there a fair bit before that since we caught the tail end of the first act, Judah Johnson. Their stuff was ok, but they were a little heavy on the electronica for my taste, and their stage presence was pretty static (i.e., a whole lot of standing around without much movement since most of them were tied to twiddling electronic dials and such).

They were followed up by The Like Young, which I’d actually heard of before (since they’ve got ties to CU). First time I’ve seen them live though. The band is composed of Joe and Amanda Ziemba, who’ve been playing in bands together since ‘97 and got hitched in ‘02. They’d played in Wolfie, Busytoby, and now The Like Young. I have to say, they put on a pretty good show. Very lively while they’re playing even if their stage banter is a little odd. Although I suppose that’s part of the appeal of indie. Not quite as refined and manufactured as the mainstream. They’ve got a fun sound though. Lots of short, fast-paced stuff. Turns out as I went in search of their website, I ran across an announcement on their website dated yesterday, 8.27.06:

The release of Last Secrets culminated 15 years of songwriting, recording, touring, and releasing records. With our most fulfilling album behind us, Amanda and I are very happy to announce the band’s retirement.

There’s more to their news post. But that’s gets to the heart of the matter. Looks like the upcoming tour will be their last, so I suppose it was fairly fortuitous that we caught their last CU show. Joe briefly reminisced about playing on that very stage back when he was an undergrad on amateur night. Seems like a fitting close to their musical careers. I wish them well in their future endeavors.

And what can I say about The Reputation. Great show. The previous acts were running kinda late (technically, I think the staff were trying to give the Like Young the hook since they’d taken so long to sound check, but they said screw it and played a couple more), so they didn’t go on till 11:15 or so. Setlist from the show:

  1. Pocket
  2. Either Coast
  3. Disco
  4. Let This Rest
  5. She Turned Your Head…
  6. Face It
  7. The Stars of Amateur Hour
  8. The Truth
  9. Some Senseless Day
  10. New Rock
  11. Bottle Rocket Battles
  12. Misery By Design

Great set. Played a few of the new songs they’ve been working on, and a number of my total favorites. Dropped by the merch booth at the end of the show to pick up a T and their self-titled debut CD from Elizabeth. Technically I’d already bought both albums long ago as mp3s from emusic, but I like the band and want to support them so I like to buy stuff from them directly when I catch them live. From what I understand, they get the largest cut of anything they sell directly (as opposed to through a record store, amazon, etc). Really hope I get the chance to catch them again in the future.

The night wrapped up with The M’s. Since the Rep spoke highly of them and made sure to keep their set as tight as possible to make sure they didn’t cut into The M’s set any more than necessary, I figured we’d stick around and check them out as well. Pretty good stuff. Might have to go check out their stuff on emusic. I’m having trouble pinning down exactly how to describe them. Very laid back group. Aspects remind me a bit of the Dead or Sgt. Peppers era Beatles. Not sure. Good stuff though. And their drummer was pretty entertaining to watch. Had quite the individual flair. Very quirky group overall. Unfortunately, it turns out they close the Union at 1 and so we were fairly promptly getting the boot after the M’s wrapped up their set. Sorta wished I had a little longer to chat up the Rep, and kicking myself that I didn’t do so before their set (or after during the M’s set I guess). But what can you do. Great night overall.