Backyard Tire Fire: Lucas School House, St. Louis, MO 9/20/08

The more I think about, the more I really like loud rock concerts.  You know, the kind that, if you don’t wear earplugs, you’ll hear an unusual soundtrack in your ears for days, even weeks.  I once made the mistake of not protecting my ears at a Bottle Rockets show at a small, packed venue, and it wasn’t pretty—every time I turned on a TV, I would hear a high pitch squeal for a while.  Annoying, but I gotta admit–it still is one of the best shows I have ever seen.   So, yeah, I still am up for a good rock show.
And a Backyard Tire Fire show is just that – rocking, loud, and fun.  They’re currently on tour supporting their newest album, The Places We Lived, and the new tunes couldn’t hold up any better in a live setting.  Led by lead vocalist Ed Anderson, the band clapped in unison during the middle of “Welcome to The Factory,” signaling the beginning of a night filled with electric guitars and tight musicianship.  The rawness and energy that followed on “Everybody’s Down,” “Time With You,” and “One Wrong Turn” showed that the band from Bloomington, Illinois already knows these new tunes well, and is ready to let them fly.
Thankfully though, not lost in any of the feedback and thunder were the catchy melodies that are also found on The Places We Lived.  The title track led Anderson to keyboards, where BTF fans were given one of the highlights of the evening – a song that takes a minute to pick up, but once it does, has your feet tapping along and wanting you to stay and listen all night long. 
This sort of magic was again found in gems like “Shoulda Shut It,” “Rainy Day Don’t Go Away,” and “Legal Crime,” which was dedicated to the fraudulent suits of the music business.

The surprise of the night came in a well-received cover of Dire Staits’ “So Far Away,” which got some people dancing and singing along to the mid-tempo tune from the 80s.  But it was one of the only earplug-free moments of the evening, as BTF continued their rocking ways well into the night, delivering a great set of rock ‘n roll in the heart of the Midwest

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