When Austin, TX four piece …and you will know us by the trail of dead released their third album (and first for major label Interscope) Source Tags & Codes in 2002, the band was tipped to be the next big thing. The band played 12 years and two weeks ago at Lee’s Palace riding a huge wave of hope.
Fast forward to last night and the boys, albeit a different incarnation, returned to celebrate the album’s 12th birthday at Lee’s.
Maybe it was the spotty output post Source Tags & Codes that took the wind out of their sails, but it was sad to see such a ferocious live act playing the same venue all these years later and only managing to fill about two thirds of the room. Shocking in that Source Tags is such a killer album and should have been huge!
Only Conrad Keely and Jason Reece remain from the original lineup, but it didn’t stop them from attempting the same furious hunger that fuelled their early shows.
Opening with “It Was There That I Saw You”, the band proceeded to tear through Source Tags & Codes in order and in its entirety. The audience was particularly flaccid from the get go, although the band did its best to attack each song with healthy gusto.
A Trail of Dead show doesn’t generally go down as “tight” and last night’s gig was no exception. Part of the thrill of seeing the band is the threat that at any point things could go off the rails.
In drummer and occasional singer/guitarist Jason Reece, they have the instigator for such derailment. His first appearance at the front was the blistering “Homage”, which upped the intensity on stage and with the audience.
Reece himself has morphed into a massive beefcake, almost threatening to turn green and cause his clothes to tear. The tree trunk-like arms battered his drum kit or his guitar like it was the last day to do so. He would also eventually raise the party factor by bringing his guitar into the audience for a song… encouraging dancing.
Following Source Tags’ airing, the guys tore through a healthy selection of other songs, most notably “Mistakes & Regrets”, “Richter Scale Madness” and an epic “A Perfect Teenhood” all off their first two albums.
There was no destroying of the stage set up, something that was common 12 years ago. Obviously the boys have grown up a bit, but not enough that they can’t throw down a 90 minute face peeling set of blistering rock.