Q and Not U
October 26, 2004 - Neumos - Seattle, WA
review by Brian Connolly
There is a certain aspect of going to a concert that is unspoken but understood: you're not going to see the album played live by actual people, rather you are going to see a live interpretation of what you heard on the album.  Sadly, far too many bands fall into the trap of playing studio tracks on stage and leave you saying to yourself "I just heard this on my stereo."

Q and Not U cleverly circumvent that blunder by giving the people what they want: jam oriented post-punk.  Riding the no-wave sound of Dischord Record's current lineup, Q+ -U is all about jamming through their set without stopping.  There is literally no point in the show where the music stops.  Even between songs, one of the three members will continue to jam on his respective instrument and seque quite nicely into the next song.  The band works well enough together that while one tunes his instrument, the other two will continue to play the current song and if you weren't looking, you'd have no idea it had happened.

Following their labelmate openers, El Guapo, Q+ -U took the stage of Neumos to a swell of eager teenagers (of the three Q+ -U shows I have attended, all of them have been all ages, which is cool of the band in its own right) and went straight into jam.  After the show I gandered at the setlist and it actually said "Jam" as the first song.  Lead singer Christopher Richards had some writing on his face that appeared to say "Soft on Terror."  Last time I saw them play he just came on stage and drew two lines down his face so it's good to see his motor and grammatical skills have improved.

The set consisted mostly of songs from their new LP
Power.  Weaving through renditions of "Wonderful People" and "X-Polynation," the band slipped in other tunes from their first and second releases No Kill No Beep Beep and Different Damage respectively.  I could have done without some of the slower jams (such as "L.A.X.") but it's nice to see that they're able to flex a few different musical muscles.

The most interesting part of the show was the last song they played where they transitioned into what appeared to be their own version of "Born in the USA" (well, maybe just the chorus) and slid down to the floor of the venue, walking through the crowd asking "Were you?" and the person would say (or sing) "Born in the USA."

I, for one, took my chance to sing and loudly proclaimed that I was, in fact, born in the USA.


Setlist:

Jam
Book of Flags
Wonderful People
Air Conditions
Recreation Myth
L.A.X.
Wet Work
End the Washington Monument (Blinks) Goodnight
7 Daughters
X-Polynation
Soft Pyramids
ANIZ (new?)
PRAY (new?)
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