THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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2008 - Concert Dates

The Presidents Of The United States Of America (PUSA):

Lineup: Chris Ballew (Vocals, Basitar), Andrew McKeag (Guitbass, Vocals) and Jason Finn (Drums, Vocals)

The Presidents of the USA releases their fifth album These Are The Good Times People (Fugitive Recordings) on March 11, 2008. TATGTP is their first album with the new member Andrew McKeag (Guitbass & Vocals), who joined the band back in 2004.

Their hit song "Lump" was released on the video game Rock Band 2 on October, 2008. November 4, three other songs (Ladybug, Feather Pluck'n, and Dune Buggy) were released as downloadable content.

The Presidents played their new Blitz theme song called "This Is A Blitz" for the first time in late 2008.





2008-01-25 Redmond, WA

Setlist

2008-01-26 Seattle, WA

Setlist

Same as Amazon.com party?
2008-01-26 Amazon.com Holiday Party, EMP, Seattle, WA

Peaches (YouTube) / Mixed Up SOB (YouTube clip) / Video Killed The Radio Star

Partial setlist taken from Youtube



Review:

"
The Presidents of the United States of America played a short concert for the party, with frontman Chris Ballew unsuccessfully attempting to coerce Amazon president Jeff Bezos into crowd-surfing. The band began ending their set with a pretty good rendition of “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Though, Ballew’s clever improvisations took a turn for the worse when he brought up iTunes (a direct competitor to AmazonMP3.com). Oops. " - Beth
2008-02-01 Old Vic, Santa Rosa, CA

Setlist


2008-02-28 Fairbanks, Anchorage, AK

Poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - 08

Setlist

2008-02-29 Blue Loon, Fairbanks, AK

Boll Weevil / Kitty / Mixed Up SOB / Volcano / Warhead (Youtube Clip) / Dune Buggy /French Girl / Back Porch / Kick Out The Jams / Shreds Of Boa / Poor Turtle / Love Everybody / Truckstop Butterfly / Body / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Mach 5 / Lump / Video Killed The Radio Star / We'Re Not Gonna Make It / Tiki God / Some Postman / Peaches (Youtube)

Bath Of Fire (YouTube) was also played as request. (If someone knows the correct spot on setlist, let me know)

with Dystypia
2008-03-01 Marlintini's Lounge, Juneau, AK

Poster - 2008 Tour / show - Presidents Of the USA / PUSA

Setlist

with The Bastards
2008-03-10 Queen Anne, Easy Street Records, 10pm - In Store Performance, Seattle, WA

These Are The Good Times People record release party!

Setlist

Photos

Info:

Our new album “These Are The Good Times People,” will be in stores and online March 11th. We’re celebrating with a free all ages in-store performance at Seattle’s Easy Street Records on Queen Anne at 10:00 pm PST on March 10! You’ll be able to get the album early, get it signed and meet the band.
2008-03-11 Music Millennium, 7pm - In Store Performance, Portland, OR
Setlist

2008-03-13 101.5 FM, 101x In Studio (SXSW),  Austin, TX

"Interview" / Ladybug / "Interview" / Mixed Up SOB /

The Presidents of the United States of America stop by to chat with Toby Ryan about SXSW, These Are the Good Times People record and the trials of life on the road. They Also perform an acoustic versions of "Mixed Up SOB" and "Ladybug" from their latest album.

Chris plays an electric basitar and Andrew plays an acoustic guitbass.

2008-03-13 South by Southwest (SXSW), The Cedar Door, Austin, TX

Truckstop Butterfly / Lump / Lady Bug / Video Killed The Radio Star

Incomplete setlist taken from youtube.

with The Parlor Mob, Bo Bice, Army Of Freshmen, Ludo, Iglu & Hartly, Wheatus



Press:

The morning started off early with a visit to The Presidents of the United States' hotel suite (sounds scandalous, doesn't it?). At 10AM (which is ass-crack early for SXSW standards), drummer Jason Finn had already gone for a run and was doing some calisthenics when I arrived at the hotel. You all probably remember Jason as the hefty drummer of the group--he's not so hefty anymore. I was also joined by the rookie of PUSA, guitbass player Andrew McKeag (who replaced founding member Dave Dederer). Frontman Chris Ballew was out doing another batch of press interviews somewhere else. The Presidents seemed jolly as always, maybe because they had a BBQ pig-out session the night before. I found out that the Presidents don't resent their 90's hits "Lump" and "Peaches," and mentioned that a performance could quickly turn into a riot if they didn't include the above mentioned songs on their set-list. On the way out, Finn spotted a Pittsburgh Steelers logo on my back-pack and mentioned how he and Terry Bradshaw shared a spirited conversation during a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (Steelers reference #1). The Presidents of the United States of America Play tonight at Cedar Door, 11:40PM. - The Independent Ear
2008-03-14 McMenamin's Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR

08 - Tour - Poster - PUSA / Presidents of USA with Pleaseeasaur and U.S.E

Setlist

with Pleaseeasaur and U.S.E (United States of Electonica).
2008-03-15 The Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA

08 - Tour Poster - presidents of the usa / Pusa - Show

08 - Tour ticket - Presidents of the USA / PUSA

Love Everybody / Kitty / Boll Weevil / Truckstop Butterfly / Flame Is Love / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Mach 5 / Peaches / Dune Buggy / Sharpen Up Those Fans* / Lump* (video) / Flame Is Love* / Deleter* / Kick Out the Jams / Video Killed the Radio Star / We Are Not Going to Make It

 * with Love Lights horn section.

Setlist is incomplete and in wrong order.

with Pleaseesaur, U.S.E (United State of Electronica), Ludo



Review:

Review #1

Review #2
2008-03-17 The Boardwalk, Orangevale, California, CA

Kitty / Peaches / Lump / Video Killed The Radio Star

Incomplete setlist

with Ludo and Pleaseeasaur
2008-03-18  The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA

Setlist

with Ludo and Pleaseeasaur



Review

Photos #1
2008-03-19 House Of Blues, Anaheim, CA

Setlist

with Pleaseeasaur and Ludo
2008-03-20 The District at Tempe Marketplace, Tempe, Arizona

Setlist

with Austin Gibbs & The States



Review:

The District at Tempe Marketplace was packed for Third Thursday, as thousands had shown up due to the free admission. Nothing could contain my excitement for the Presidents of the United States of America and I wasn’t the only one who felt this way as it seemed like the bodies in he crowd were attracted on a sub-atomic level.

The heat rose by nine degrees as I stepped further in the crowd, turning my overshirt into an oven. Whilst sipping at my Cola, the ambient chatter stopped. Tim Virgin from The Edge 103.9, the station that set this whole shindig up, walked up to the front to advertise the next Third Thursday event. After his spiel, but before the words his lips let loose, I knew that the Presidents of the United States of America were coming up next.

A hundred cheers erupted. Screaming like a schoolgirl, I forced myself through the crowd. “Just a bit closer.” I promised. PUSA let loose with a storm. As I felt the bass pounding through my pant legs, I finally experienced music Nirvana. They blasted forth with “Kitty”, a hard rock tune full of angst and kittens. I loved every second of it, after this is a band I’ve loved since my childhood. In ‘95 or ‘96 I remember them kicking down ninja’s to their “Peaches” music video. The place surrounding me erupted in a cachophony of lyrics as the fans joined in for a sing-a-long.

Between songs Chris Ballew, the lead singer, joked about moving to Arizona to escape Daylight Savings Time. “You’re free from the mans control over time” he bellowed, to a thousand cheers and a few nervous chuckles. Before I knew what had happened the last song was playing, “We’re not going to make it”, they wailed. The irony didn’t end there, they finished the song with an additional verse from the intro to the “Mary Tyler Moore Show”, “We’re gonna make it after all”. The band thanked us, the station thanked us, and we all headed home wishing that those two hours had approached a black hole’s event horizon and existed infinitely.

by Matt LaFever, FromTheCrowd.com Contributor
2008-03-21 Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

Poster - The Presidents Of The USA / PUSA at Roxy, Los Angeles, CA 2008-03-31 with Ludo and Pleaseesaur

Setlist

with Pleaseesaur, and Ludo


Review:

(MSO) Seattle trio The Presidents Of The United States Of America--currently on a sold-out U.S. headlining tour--were joined by Wayne Kramer of the MC5 onstage at the Roxy in Los Angeles this past Friday night (3/21) for a blistering performance of the MC5's "Kick Out The Jams." Later that evening, the band welcomed Weird Al Yankovic (with whom they recently teamed to shoot the video for their new single "Mixed Up S.O.B") to the stage for a hilarious rendition of Boston's classic "More Than A Feeling"

"News of the Weird: When I was a kid, my best friend and I regularly made something we called witches brew, which involved throwing a bunch of liquid and condiments into the kitchen sink and then stirring it around like it was a bubbling cauldron. Friday's show at the Roxy kind of reminds me of witches brew -- either this will be genius unhinged or it'll smell like vinegar and everyone will want to get out: Wayne Kramer will sit in with the Presidents of the United States to perform "Kick Out the Jams." Well, OK! But then it gets even stranger. "Weird Al" Yankovic will perform too. Turns out the spoof maestro met PUSA back when Al satirized their hit song "Lump." He also directed their video for "Mixed Up SOB." Here's hoping that PUSA, Kramer and Al collaborate on a version of "Fat," just because they can."

-- Margaret Wappler
2008-03-22 Belly Up, San Diego, CA

Setlist

with Ludo, Pleaseeasaur and MaxMister Pyles
2008-03-24 Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Some Postman / Volcano / Truckstop Butterfly / Zero Friction / Deleter / Dune Buggy / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Lump / Flame Is Love / Back Porch / Ladybug / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Video Killed the Radio Star / Bug City / We're Not Gonna Make It

with Ludo

Audience Tape
2008-03-25 9:30 Club, Washington, DC

Setlist

with Ludo, Joe Jack Talcum


Review:

The Presidents of the USA, Back With 'Good Times' at 9:30

Chris Ballew looks good for a dude who's 37,000 years old. Or maybe the lead singer of the Presidents of the United States of America was just joking about his age at the 9:30 club Tuesday during "Back Porch," a tune about an elderly man enjoying the simple pleasures of life that also had Ballew rifling about the wobbly shack he built on top of the Washington Monument.
The little story-within-a-song was a charming highlight of a show that was remarkably feel-good yet felt sugar-free. Focus on the Presidents' sound, a bounce-inducing brew of pop-punk and rock built with the band's self-created "basitar" and "guitbass," and you might not notice that the trio (including replacement guitbassist Andrew McKeag) is partial to singing about bugs and kitties and fruit. But where's the fun in that?
The performance may have been heavy on humor, whether in Ballew's cheery banter or deadpan lyrics from mid-'90s megahits such as "Peaches" and "Lump." But the instantly catchy new material that the group introduced from its just-released album, "These Are the Good Times People," suggested they won't end up as VH1 nostalgia fodder.
Alongside all the quirk, too, are more earnest messages about love, happiness and making the most of your limited time on this Earth, even if you're a little boll weevil. When the Presidents ended their set with a paraphrased snippet of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" theme "We're going to make it after all!" it was impossible not to smile.
- Tricia Olsaewski

2008-03-26 Radio104.5, Philadelphia, PA

Mixed UP S.O.B / Rot In The Sun / Lump

Chris Ballew and Andrew McKEag from The Presidents of the USA played an acoustic set at Radio104.5 for a small studio audience.

See vídeos & pictures

2008-03-26  Trocadero Theatre, Philadelphia, PA

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot in The Sun / Some Postman / Volcano / Death Star / French Girl / Zero Friction / Ladybug / Dune Buggy / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Lump / Flame Is Love / Back Porch / Deleter / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Video Killed The Radio Star / Boll Weevil / Candy / We're Not Gonna Make It

with Ludo

Audience Tape
2008-03-27 Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA

Tiki God / Kitty - Superstitious / Rot In The Sun / Some Postman / Volcano / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Zero Friction / Ladybug / Dune Buggy / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Lump / Flame Is Love / Back Porch / Deleter / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Video Killed The Radio Star / Boll Weevil / Munky River / Bug City / We Are Not Going To Make It - Ace Of Spades

with Joe Jack Talcum, and Ludo

Audience Tape



Review:

On Thursday night, concert goers both young and old journeyed to the Paradise on Comm Ave for a small taste of a much simpler time: The mid-90’s. The President’s of the United States of America packed the small, sold-out venue, and banged out their hits, both old and new, further convincing all of us that they’ve still got it. And they aren’t planning on stopping anytime soon, as suggested by their new hit album, These Are the Good Times, People.

The first opening act, Ludo, performed a cover of Faith No More’s “Epic,” and it was as if it were being sung by one of the members of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” trying to act like a rock star. It was well put together, entertaining, and energetic, but I would be quite content if I never saw them perform again (they were just a little bit too full of themselves, and far too happy a group to cover Faith No More).

Next up was Joe Jack Talcum, from the Dead Milkmen. A few small subsets of the rambunctious crowd were really into his set, and I can see why. He sang a bunch of old songs from his former, satirical, early 80’s punk band and a few newer ones as well, all on acoustic guitar, complete with harmonica. He was like a punk-ass Bob Dylan (and I mean that in the best way possible), singing anthems about how life is shit, as well as love songs to alcohol. He even drank a can of PBR handed to him by a member of the crowd.

And then it was time for the Presidents to kick out the jams.

A quick update on the Presidents’ stage equipment: Chris Ballew got himself a new tube amplifier, and it’s large, lovely, and smells like a dream. Dave Dederer wasn’t present, replaced by guitarist Andrew McKeag. I assume he’s spending time with his family, perhaps trying out his new Big Bertha driver. Jason Finn has gotten himself a new cymbal supplier (they’re pretty great; they’re Sabian). Kidding aside, it appears as if Jason Finn has dropped a few pounds since the band’s earlier years, and it looks like he’s doing great these days. All the band members do, in fact, and it’s really refreshing to see that not all guys in bands end up on shows like ‘Rock of Love 8’ (though I AM looking forward to that sordid season . . .).

The Presidents put on an amazing show. It was just what you’d expect: Good clean fun (I mean, who’s NOT going to have a good time dancing to funny songs about tiki gods, kitties, frogs, and dune buggies?). Their years of touring have molded them into a band with a very polished sense of showmanship, yet they don’t seem to be jaded, a fate which befalls so many bands after they’ve been together a decade or so (their habit of taking breaks here and there does wonders for the health of the band, it seems). They’re seasoned professionals, which helped give the night an interesting feel: It was a show with enough energy to fill a stadium, yet confined to the intimacy of a small club. Chris Ballew really loves what he’s doing, and you can tell. His sunny demeanor reminds me of Ted Leo, and I feel the two have similar souls. They’re both a bit older than your average punk band member on the road these days, which is fine, and they’re still in the game simply because they love the music, which is great.

There was a good age mix at the show. Groups of friends around 30 who were into the band back in the day, new young listeners, and even older people. It’s always nice to see middle aged people coming out to rock shows, though it’s definitely a trip to see a soccer mom wearing a Presidents of the USA t-shirt.

I was so young when I was into the Presidents that certain memories of them are burned into my brain in the same way as those cheesy songs about multiplication tables (“it doesn’t matter what you do, if you wanna rock and roll, you’ve gotta multiply two . . . .”). A few random memories for you: The Presidents playing on Nickelodeon when they played at the Big Help benefit concert. I remember a documentary clip of Chris Ballew playing drums with his son. The brief clip of him in the “Video Killed the Radio Star” video holding up the “I quit” sign. Something about a giraffe . . . .

Their show is oddly similar to those entertainers your school and parents used to make you sit through when you were kids, only for adults. While Chris is singing, he frequently uses hand gestures, the same way one would when trying to engage third graders, and the crowd loves it. He touches the little kid in all of us (not like that). The whole crowd was engaged. People shed their too-cool-for-school Boston demeanor and started waving their hands in the air and singing along.

Their set list was monstrous, hit after jumpy hit. Songs from the new album (which is great, highly recommended), and those old favorites from the first couple albums that everyone’s had stuck in their head for the past 10+ years. And then, of course, their world-wide hits, “Lump” and “Peaches,” which they are somehow still able to have fun playing after so many years.

Chris Ballew used to live in Boston. He called it his “Hometown #2” and mentioned how he wrote a few of the songs on the new album back in his younger days living in Somerville, such as “Flame is Love” and their new single, “Mixed Up S.O.B.” This is the last show on the US leg of their tour promoting their new album, These are the Good Times, People. On April 10th, they’ll recommence in Europe, but promise to return soon, and I hope they do. It’s great to have the Presidents of the United States of America back in the world.
2008-04-10 Effenaar, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Some Postman / Volcano / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Zero Friction / Ladybug / Dune Buggy / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Lump / Flame Is Love / Back Porch / Deleter / Mixed Up SOB / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Video Killed The Radio Star / Boll Weevil / Death Star / We're Not Gonna Make It

with Kid Carpet
2008-04-11 De Oosterpoort, Groningen, Netherlands

Death Star (YouTube) / Deleter (YouTube)

See the show review for more detailed setlist

with Kid Carpet



Review:

In the mid 90’s, the uber-catchy Peaches of The Presidents of the United States of America is impossible to get out of your head. It’s a big hit in the Netherlands, and the band play the countries largest festival Pinkpop in 1996. The self-titled album – full of songs about bugs and food - sells very well and most of my friends have it. After the second album, PUSA kinda disappeared from the main view and the band has even been on a hiatus for a few years. But they’re back and have just released a brand new studio album: These Are the Good Times People, promising to party with us like it’s 1996.

To promote the album, PUSA play in three Dutch cities, one of them happens to be my hometown. The venue is full after the second support act finishes their set. The three gentlemen that make up PUSA bounce out onto the stage, while the crowd cheers loudly. After an enthusiastic ‘We are The Presidents of the United States of America and we are here to ROK you!’, they open the set with Tiki God. The crowd is immediately challenged to do a ‘nananana’-contest with the band, which we of course enter with pleasure. When they start playing Kitty, the opening song of their first album, the place goes insane. The band and the audience are meowing loudly and the ‘f**k you kitty, you’re gonna spend the night… OUTSIDE!’ halfway through the song is almost deafening.

Like me, most people are there because they like the first album. Classics like Dune Buggy, Old Man On The Back Porch and Boll Weevil trigger a much bigger response than Some Postmen and Zero Friction. Frontman Chris Bellew is terribly funny and the stories he tells about the songs has a lot of people grinning. He strums his two-string guitar like no-one else and cheers everyone up with his happy appearance.

The setlist mostly consists of songs from the first and last albums, occasionally interchanged with the better ones of the other albums. The funky Deleter, from These Are The Good Times People, shows a different side to the band. A band that has definitely grown the past years. Of course they can’t do a show without playing Peaches. Though the crowd loves it, the band seems tired to be playing it again and make sure it’s over with quickly. Second biggest hit Lump is much more convincing. After an hour of playing as many songs as possible, PUSA leave the stage. The crowd roars, cheers, claps and stomp their feet to bring the band back. They return to play three more songs, making us even happier.

Verdict: We’ve definitely rocked tonight, thank f**k for PUSA.
2008-04-12 Tivoli, Utrecht, Netherlands

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Some Postman / Ladybug / Volcano / Zero Friction / Flame Is Love / Dune Buggy / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Lump / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Back Porch / Deleter / Mach 5 / Mixed Up S.O.B / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Toob Amplifier / Video Killed The Radio Star / Boll Weevil / Candy / We're Not Gonna Make It

with Electric Eel Shock, Kid Carpet
2008-04-14 Botanique, Brussels, Belgium

2008 - PUSA Poster - These Are The Good Times People Tour - Europe

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Some Postman / Boll Weevil / Ladybug / Zero Friction / Flame Is Love / Dune Buggy / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Lump / French Girl / Back Porch / Deleter / Mach 5 / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Ca Plane Pour Moi / Video Killed The Radio Star / Lunatic To Love / Candy / We're Not Going To Make It

with Electric Eel Shock, Kid Carpet

Audience Tape
2008-04-15 Astoria, London, UK

08 - Tour Ticket - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA

Bug City (bit of Kansas City by The Beatles) / Kitty - Superstition - Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Some Postman / Boll Weevil / Ladybug / Zero Friction / Flame Is Love / Dune buggy / Mixed up SOB / Back Porch / Lump / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Lunatic To Love / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Video Killed The Radiostar / Deleter / Candy / We’re Not Going To Make It

 with Kid Carpet
2008-04-16 Concorde 2, Brighton, UK

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Some Postman / Boll Weevil / Ladybug / Zero Friction / Flame Is Love / Dune Buggy / Mixed Up SOB / Back Porch / Lump / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Lunatic To Love / Deleter / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Video Killed The Radiostar / Candy / We’re Not Going To Make It - Ace Of Spades

Read news about the show from The Argus

Starts 7.30pm, SOLD OUT.

with Electric Eel Shock, Kid Carpet and Loz Mendozas.
2008-04-18 O2 Academy Bristol, Bristol, UK

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Some Postman / Boll Weevil / Ladybug / Zero Friction / Dune Buggy / Flame Is Love / Mixed Up SOB / Lump / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Candy / Deleter / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams - Ace Of Spades / Cover of a Bucky song(?) / Video Killed The Radio Star / Froggy / We’re Not Going To Make It


With Kid Carpet and Electric Eel Shock

2008-04-19 Carling Academy, Birmingham, UK

08 - Tour Ticket - Presidents OF the USA / PUSA

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Some Postman / Boll Weevil / Ladybug / Zero Friction / Dune Buggy / Flame Is Love / Mixed Up SOB / Back Porch / Lump / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Lunatic To Love / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Video Killed The Radiostar / Candy / We’re Not Going To Make It

view photos 

with Kid Carpet, Electric Eel Shock
2008-04-20 Manchester Academy 2, Manchester, UK

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Some Postman / Boll Weevil / Ladybug / Love Everybody / Flame Is Love / Dune Buggy / Mixed Up SOB / Back Porch / Lump / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Lunatic To Love / Poor Turtle / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Killed the Radio Star / Stranger / We're Not Gonna Make it

with Kid Carpet, Electric Eel Shock



Review:

"Finally, after plenty of fun already we are spoilt yet again by the Presidents Of The USA; the original pranksters of punk. Some bands have the odd song with no meaning but PUSA take it one step further, and have maybe one song that has a serious note to it (I don't know it, but they must have?! The name is not even meant to be political).


Bugs, cats, peaches, friction, it's all covered by the Seattle trio. Whereas Seattle's "big four" Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden were all amazing but a bit gloomy (to say the least), PUSA's funny lyrics coupled with heavily catchy melodies lightened the mood. Many did not take them seriously, and other thought they made a mockery of music at the time, but they were an original band and a breath of fresh air with their brand of funky alternative rock.

The basitar and guitbass are back (guitars with either two (bass) or three (guitar) heavy gauge strings, tuned lower) to give that Presidents sound. Original guitarist Dave Dederer has not toured with the band for years due to spending time with his family, so Andrew McKeag (ex Shuggie, The Black Panties) has replaced him (though nobody will say if it's permanent). It must take a talented guitarist to pick up a drop-tuned three stringed guitar! While many of us are waiting to be reminded of the hits 'Lump' and 'Peaches', other newbies appear like 'Ladybug' (about his girlfriend who is selling merchandise) from brand new album 'These Are the Good Times People' and 'Zero Friction' from 'Love Everybody'. There's plenty from the first self-titled album to keep people happy, like 'Dune Buggy', 'Kitty', 'Boll Weevil' and 'Back Porch', and their cover of The Buggles' 'Video Killed the Radio Star'. These are the songs that the Presidents will go down in history for, as the newer songs still have their trademark sound but are not as catchy and crazy as the first batch.

There's a bit of monkeying about onstage, as singer Chris Ballew swings his mic behind his head and sings upside-down into it, and guitbassist (?!) Andrew McKeag looks like a windswept model standing next to a huge fan. Just what you need to wind you down before work on Monday, three great unassuming music acts with excellent comedy thrown in to boot. " - Danielle Millea


Photos:


egigs.co.uk
2008-04-22 Carling Academy, Newcastle, UK

Setlist

with Electric Eel Shock, Kid Carpet
2008-04-23 Carling Academy, Glasgow, UK

2008 - Tour Poster - Presidents Of THe USA / PUSA with with Electric Eel Shock, Kid Carpet

Setlist

with Electric Eel Shock, Kid Carpet
2008-04-25Spring & Airbrake, Belfast, Ireland


Love Everybody / Some Postman / Froggie / Superstitious - Kitty / Boll Weevil / Lump / Ladybug / Truckstop Butterfly / Mixed Up S.O.B / Video Killed the Radio Star / Kick Out the Jams / Naked and Famous

Setlist is incomplete & in wrong playing order. Taken from reviews & youtube videos.

with Electric Eel Shock, Kid Carpet



Review:


Well, it was never going to be a dull evening with a line-up like that, was it? First to the stage was the one and only Kid Carpet. Sounding something like an anarchic hardcore dance Mike Skinner, he employs samples ranging from Van Halen to what we can only assume was Elmo, and plays on Fisher Price instruments and the Casio my brother got for Christmas in 1989. If you're thinking that sounds a little on the dodgy side,we wouldn't blame you. Yet somehow he makes it work. A hyperactive, creative and insane little ball of energy, you will either love him or hate him, but I defy you to be bored.

Main support act Electric Eel Shock really should have had their own headline slot, but packing yet another bonkers, hilarious, kinetic frenzy into the evening worked pretty well. The tiny Japanese rockers had the crowd eating unashamedly out of the palm of their hands from the get-go and neither the band nor the audience seemed prepared to let each other go by the end.

As always, the Presidents didn't disappoint. If only the actual Presidents of America were anywhere near this reliably awesome, we'd all be a lot better off. It's hard to think of a band that could possibly be more fun than PUSA. Tunes ridiculously catchy, absurd and silly, it's almost a contest between these guys and the crowd to see who's having more fun. Completely on form as always, their goofy punk rock pop songs blistered out one after another, each more satisfying than the last. While pretty much any song from their debut album is going to get the biggest response, there's little between those classics of yore and more recent favourites "Love Everybody", "Mixed Up S.O.B.", "Some Postman" and "Ladybug" in either quality or crowd reaction.

The nice thing about seeing the Presidents live is that while their thing is harebrained, goofy songs, they seem to take a pretty considered and appreciative approach to their shows. They're always pitch perfect, always on fire, always giving 110% to create one of the best party atmospheres you could ask for from a gig (which tonight extended to giving the audience swigs from a bottle of whiskey whilst they fixed an amp. That's some good hostin'). In a nutshell - if you haven't seen the band before, sort it out.

Orla Graham
2008-04-26 Tripod, Dublin, Ireland

Setlist

with Electric Eel Shock and Kid Carpet
2008-05-05 The Rave Eagles Club, Millwaukee, WI

Deleter (YouTube) / Ghosts Are Everywhere (YouTube)/ Kick Out The Jams (YouTube)

Partial setlist from YouTube

with Black And White Years


Photos:

Photos #1


Review:

"I know that most of my friends think that my taste in music peaked somewhere around 1995. I'm cool with that. And that's why I crossed off a big concert from my list of "bands to see" tonight, as the Presidents of the United States of America rocked The Rave with 70 minutes of high-energy, super fun rock and roll.

Never mind that their biggest hits, "Lump" and "Peaches," came off their debut album, released when I would've been too young to legally drink at this all-ages show.

For a band that, despite periodic breakups, has maintained a tight and unique sound since its post-grunge Seattle heyday, the Presidents put on a solid show that mixed old and new -- to an appreciative, if not sold-out crowd.

Lead singer and bassist Chris Ballew talked a little but played basically nonstop. It was a short show, but considering each and every one of the songs rocked really hard, it felt longer.

The group mixed songs from its new album, "These Are The Good Times People" and the eponymous first album. Unfortunately, the Presidents ignored the 2000 disc, "Freaked Out and Small."

Still, they hit the crowd favorites with clarity, especially considering the Rave's acoustics, which can make shows sound like they are being played under water. From "Kitty" to "Ladybug" to "Dune Buggy," the band sounded crisp and genuinely happy to be there -- three guys you'd genuinely like to hang out with. Just like the crowd, they bounced up and down, striking their unique harmonies and chord shifts that have become their staple sounds.

They wrapped up with "We're Not Gonna Make It," which set the crowd into hysterics. For the encore, they played their ever-so-tight remake of "Video Killed the Radio Star" and "Kick Out the Jams."

Two bands opened for the Presidents; most notably the Austin-based The Black and White Years. They didn't do much for me, as they sounded to me like a poor-man's version of The Killers. And to me, The Killers sound like a poor-man's version of a bunch of '80s bands mashed together. I was amused, however, that the guitar and bass player both sported totally unironic mustaches. But I digress ...

If the Presidents are now an oldies act, then all rock fans should go back a decade and hit the bargain bin.

This group sounds as relevant as it did 13 years ago, and I'm glad I finally had the chance to see them in Milwaukee." -Andy Tarnoff


2008-05-06Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN
Tiki God / LIP / Flame Is Love / Lady Bug / Lump / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Peaches

Incomplete setlist + wrong order

with Black And White Years


Press:

"Let nostalgia take it's course in May when The President's of the United States of America take the stage at the Fine Line Tuesday, May 6th. I am sure that Fine Line tickets for this show will still be available up until show time, as the interest for the band has goen down a bit since their mega hits "Lump" and "Peaches" hit the airwaves in '95. If I heard "Peaches" on the radio today, I would not doubt sing along, not missing a word.

Regardless, The Presidents of the United States of America are not just on a reunion tour, but are touring in support of their new album, Pure Frosting." - Fine Line Music Blog

Review:

photos & review

2008-05-07 Liberty Hall, Lawrence, KS

2008 - Tour poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA

2008 - Tour poster / setlist - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot in the Sun / Some Postman / Boll Weevil / Lady Bug / Bug City / Going to Kansas City (short diddy) / Flame is Love / Dune Buggy / Mixed up SOB / Back Porch /Lump / More Bad Times / Lunatic to Love / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick out the Jams / Video Killed the Radio Star / Volcano / Candy / We're Not Gonna Make It

with Black And White Years
2008-05-09 The Abbey Pub, Chicago, IL
PUSA - Ticket - Tour - the abbey pub, chicago 2008

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot in the Sun / Some Postman is Grooving / Boll Weevil / Ladybug / Love Everybody / Flame is Love / Dune Buggy / Mixed Up SOB / Back Porch (YouTube) / Lump / More Bad Times / Lunatic to Love / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams (YouTube) / Video Killed the Radio Star / Volcano (YouTube) / Candy / We're Not Going to Make it

Audience Tape
2008-05-10 Bank Of America Pavilion - WFMX Radio, Boston, MA

Tour poster - 2008 - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA with Death Cab For Cutie, Bob Mould, Amanda Palmer, The Dresden Dolls

Setlist

view photos

with Death Cab For Cutie, Bob Mould, Amanda Palmer, The Dresden Dolls
2008-05-11 Magic Stick, Detroit, MI

2008 - Poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - Tour - Magic Stick, Detroit, MI 08

Dune Buggy / Back Porch (youtube) / Love Everybody (youtube) / Boll Weevil (youtube) / Ladybug (youtube) / Lunatic To Love (youtube) / Dune Buggy / Mach 5

Incomplete setlist taken from youtube.
2008-05-16 Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte, NC

Setlist

Photos

2008-05-17 Nashville Riverfront Park, Nashville, TN

Setlist


2008-05-18 The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC

Setlist


2008-05-21 The Music Farm, Charleston, SC

Peaches (youtube)

Incomplete setlist

with Ludo
2008-05-22 Sundown In The City, Market Square Knoxville, TN

Highway Forever / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Volcano / Boll Weevil / Ladybug / Love Everybody / Flame Is Love / Dune Buggy / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Back Porch / Lump / More Bad Times / Tiki God / Deleter / Mach 5 / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Video Killed The Radio Star / Shreds Of Boa / We Are Not Going To Make It

Audience Tape
2008-05-23 The Loft, Atlanta, GA

Setlist


2008-05-25 Sasquatch!, The Gorge, WA

2008 - Tour Poster - PUSA / Presidents with with The Cure, Death Cab for Cutie, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Tegan and Sara, Cold War Kids

Highway Forever / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Highway Forever / Some Postman / Kitty / Lump / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Peaches

Setlist is incomplete and in a wrong order. Setlist details taken from various Sasquatch videos.

with The Cure, Death Cab for Cutie, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Tegan and Sara, Cold War Kids

Photos:

Photos #1
Photos #2
Photos #3


Other:

Sasquatch interview (youtube)
2008-05-29 La Trabendo , Paris, France

We Are Not Gonna Make It / Volcano / Kitty / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Munky River / Peaches / Ladybug / Bug City / Boll Weevil / Flame Is Love / Lump / Shreds of Boa / Rot In The Sun / Dune Buggy / Deleter / Back Porch / Mach 5 / Video Killed The Radio Star / Ca Plane Pour Moi / French Girl / Kick Out The Jams

with Kid Carpet

Audience Tape
2008-05-30 Gaswerk, Winterthur, Switzerland

Setlist

with Kid Carpet

Photos
2008-05-31 Spazio 211, Turin, Italy

Setlist

 with Kid Carpet
2008-06-03 Kulturfabrik, Krefeld, Germany

We're Not Gonna Make It / Mixed Up SOB / Kitty / Tiki God / Boll Weevil / Ladybug / Love Everybody / Peaches / Flame Is Love / Volcano / Rot In The Sun / Dune Buggy / Lump / Video Killed The Radio Star / Warhead / Back Porch / Mach 5 / Highway Forever / Naked & Famous / T-Butt(?)/ Kick Out The Jams

with Kid Carpet
2008-06-05 Logo, Hamburg, Germany

Setlist

with Kid Carpet
2008-06-06 Skive Beach Party, Rock Stage, Skive, Denmark

2008 - Tour - Poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - Skive Festival

Kick out the Jams / Kitty / Rot in the Sun / Volcano / Ladybug / Highway Forever / Lump / Flame is Love / Back Porch / Love Everybody / Dune Buggy / Mixed Up SOB / Tiki God / Video Killed the Radio Star / Mach 5 / Peaches / We Are Not Going To Make It

Watch clips fromyoutube

2008-06-07 Kato, Berlin, Germany

2008-06-07 pusa kato

Tiki God / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Munky River / Volcano / Ladybug / Boll Weevil / Flame Is Love / Peaches / Love Everybody / Poor Turtle / Dune Buggy / Mixed Up SOB / Back Porch / Lump / Video Killed The Radio Star / Mach 5 / Kick Out The Jams / Bug City / Deleter / We're Not Gonna Make It

with Electric Eel Shock, and Kid Carpet
2008-06-13 Pet Aid 2008, McMenamins Historic Edgefield Manor, Troubdale, OR

Setlist

with Spoon, and Nada Surf



McMenamins Edgefield revs up on Friday with the annual Pet Aid concert benefitting DoveLewis and the Oregon Humane Society. The concert features Spoon, The Presidents of the United States of America and Nada Surf.
2008-06-19 Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV

2008 - Tour Poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - Las Vegas  2008 - Tour ticket - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA

Setlist


2008-06-20 Gothic Theatre, Denver, CO

Setlist

with Teamawesome!
2008-06-21 Belly Up, Aspen, CO

2008 Tour Poster - Presidents Of The USA - Concert

Setlist


2008-06-26 House Of Blues, Dallas, Texas

Setlist


2008-06-28 Napavine Amphitheater, Napavine, WA

Setlist


2008-07-10 Rockefeller, Oslo Norway

Setlist


2008-07-11 Skral Festival, Grimstad, Norway

2008 Tour Poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - Festival

Setlist


2008-07-12 Kartfestivale, Telemark, Norway

Setlist

Watch the show on Youtube (Audience video)
2008-07-25 Fuji Rock, Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa-machi, Niigata, Japan

Lump / Peaches

Incomplete setlist. Info taken from this youtube video

"The Presidents return to Japan for the first time in a long time. And we're doing in grand style - on the mainstage of the Fuji Rock festival."
2008-07-26 Suikerrock, Tienen, Belgium

2008 Tour Poster - Presidents Of The USa / PUSA with with Freaky Age, Arid, Shameboy, The Scrabs, The Sisters Of Mercy

Setlist

with Freaky Age, Arid, Shameboy, The Scrabs, The Sisters Of Mercy
2008-07-27 Zwarte Cross Festival, Lichtenvoorde, Netherlands

Setlist

Saxon, Uriah Heep, The Presidents Of The USA, Obituary, Exodus, Napalm Death, Belphegor, Epica & many more
2008-08-07 Windows 7 Ship Party, Redmond, WA

Back Porch (video) / Video Killed The Radio Star (video)

Microsoft Windows 7 ship party

Incomplete setlist
2008-08-14 Sziget Festival, Budapest, Hungary

Kitty / Rot in the Sun / Back Porch / Ladybug / Dune Buggy / Love Everybody / Lump / Mixed Up S.O.B / Video Killed the Radio Star / Peaches / Kick Out the Jams / We're Not Gonna Make it


2008-08-15 Lowlands Festival, Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

Love Everybody / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Munky River / Volcano / Ladybug / Dune Buggy / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Back Porch / Lump

Pro-shot Video
2008-08-16 Dithmarscher Rock Festival, Marne, Germany

2008 - Tour Poster - Presidents OF The USA / PUSA / POTUSA

2008 rock festival pusa / Presidents of the usa, Germany show

Love Everybody / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Boll Weevil / Monkey River / Volcano / Ladybug / Dune Buggy / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Back Porch / Lump / Flame Is Love / Tiki God / Mixed Up SOB / Mach 5 / Video Killed The Radio Star / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Highway Forever / Deleter / We're Not Gonna Make It

2008-08-18 Brescia Radio Ondo d'urto Festival, Brescia, Italy

2008 Tour - Setlist / Poster - The Presidents Of The USA / PUSA setlist from the Italian show

Setlist


2008-08-29 Piere's Fort Wayne, Indiana, IN

 

2008 - Tour Poster / Setlist -Presidents Of USA / PUSA with Modern Day Gentlemen, Definitely Gary

Setlist submitted by Kevin

with Modern Day Gentlemen, Definitely Gary



Notes:

Andrew McKeag joined the stage with Definitely Gary, and played You Am I's song Cathy's Clown.
2008-08-31 moe.down, Snow Ridge Ski Resort, Turin, New York

2008 - moe.down festival - presidents of the usa - poster

PUSA moe.down Poster 2008

Love Everybody / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Volcano / Ladybug / Boll Weevil / Deleter / Highway Forever / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Back Porch / Lump / Shreds Of Boa / Flame Is Love / Dune Buggy / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Munky River / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Video Killed The Radio Star / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams

Audience Tape
2008-09-13 EndFest '08 Unplugged, EMP Sky Church, Seattle, WA

2008 - Acoustic / unplugged show at The End - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA (poster) 2008 Tour- The Presidents Of USA / PUSA at the End (Poster) with Everlast, Airborne toxic event

Mixed Up SOB (YouTube) / Some Postman (YouTube)

Setlist

Acoustic show

with Everlast, The Ting Ting's, The Airborne Toxic Event
2008-09-27 Big Spring Park, The Big Spring Jam, Huntsville, AL

Setlist

With with Cowboy Troy, Gretchen Wilson, T-pain, Hightide Blues, Tantric, Sister Hazel, .38 Special, and Blake Shelton
2008-10-08 Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre, Austin, Texas

Setlist

with Black And White Years



Review:


Presidents mix fan favorites with new tracks at live show

Lara Haase - Daily Texan Staff

When the Presidents of The United States of America took the stage at Stubb’s on Wednesday night, they made it clear that they were going to enjoy themselves and make sure everyone else had fun, too. The crowd was the perfect size — not a sold-out and jam-packed one but big enough to sing back to front man and self-proclaimed “basitarist” Chris Ballew and still have enough space not to be crushed up against a questionable stranger.

Ballew pumped up his audience every way he could, although many devotees in the crowd needed little encouragement. He pulled all the classic stage moves: He jumped up and down with the crowd, got them to clap their hands and — of course — did synchronous, swinging arm strokes with “guitbassist” Andrew McKeag. He made sure the masses got their chance to shine and repeatedly had them sing choruses to songs, which was easy even for those who didn’t know the song before, due to the band’s catchy (and often ironic and humorous) lyrics that quickly stick.

The band promoted their new album, These are the Good Times People, by playing different songs from it, making sure to mix in old favorites, including “Kitty” and “Lump.” A good while into the set, Ballew began to tell a story about a time he and the band were staying just outside of Austin. He described a 40-foot baby that came knocking on the door (sound effects provided by drummer Jason Finn) and how the baby pulled a tiny guitar from what Ballew called his “crap saddle,” or diaper. He and the baby (now played by McKeag) then proceeded to have a face-off, which turned into a rendition of “Dueling Banjos.” The band then played straight into their version of “Video Killed the Radio Star,” and then rounded out with their hit “Peaches,” during which Ballew got the entire crowd to wave their hands as if to a classic ballad. After concluding the song in an abrupt finish, the band simply jammed out for a good five minutes, teasing the crowd with false endings throughout.

The Presidents’ stage presence was an immense one that left everyone walking away with a great experience — even the not-so-die-hard Presidents fans.

Review #2 + photos
2008-10-10 House Of Blues, Dallas, Texas

Setlist

with Black And White Years
2008-10-11 Scout Bar, San Antonio, Texas

2008 Tour Poster -Presidents Of The USA / PUSA Scout Bar, San Antonio, Texas

Dune Buggy / Kitty / Video Killed The Radio Star / Peaches

Incomplete setlist. Only confirmed songs listed.

with Fatback Circus





Photos by Jacob
2008-10-12 House Of Blues, Houston, Texas

Setlist


2008-10-15 Microsoft's "In The Know" Rock The Vote event, NYC

Kitty (youtube)

Incomplete setlist

pusa - rock band 2 lump - microsoft's Rock The Vote event

Presidents also played Lump on Rock Band 2 (see pic).
2008-10-23 The Belly Up, Tavern, San Diego, California
2008 Tour Poster / setlist - President Of USA / PUSA at the Belly Up, San Diego


2008-10-24 Troubador, Los Angeles, California

Setlist

with The Blakes and New Maximumdonkey
2008-11-06 House Of Blues, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Lunatic To Love / Kitty / Volcano / Ladybug / Dune Buggy / Highway Forever / Lump / Flame Is Love / Tiki God / Shreds of Boa / Back Porch (w/ Dueling Banjos) / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Munky River / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Video Killed the Radio Star / Kick Out The Jams / Naked and Famous / Ghosts Are Everywhere / We're Not Gonna Make It

with Jeffrey Lewis Band
2008-11-07 Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Love Everybody / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Volcano / Ladybug / Boll Weevil / Shreds of Boa / Lump (w/ countr intro) / Flame Is Love / Stranger / Tiki God / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Back Porch (w/ Dueling Banjos) / Sharpen Up Those Fangs / Video Killed The Radio Star / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Dune Buggy / Mach 5 / We're Not Gonna Make It

with Jeffrey Lewis Band
2008-11-08 Jannus Landing, Saint Petersburg, Florida

Love Everybody / Kitty / Rot In The Sun / Volcano / Ladybug / Boll Weevil / Shreds of Boa / Lump (w/ countr intro) / Flame Is Love / Mobile Home / Dune Buggy / Tiki God / "Song" and "Song 2" (both improv. during sound check) / Mixed Up S.O.B. / Back Porch (w/ Dueling Banjos) / Ghosts Are Everywhere / Video Killed the Radio Star / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams / Stranger / Mach 5 / We're Not Gonna Make It

with Jeffrey Lewis Band
2008-12-04 KIRO's Holiday Magic (97.3 FM), Seattle, WA

Lump (watch)

KIRO FM's Foster Child Holiday Magic radiothon

PUSA acoustic (Chris Ballew & Andrew McKeag)
2008-12-19 McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, Portland, Oregon, OR

2010 - Poster - PUSA / Presidents Of The USA - McMenamin's Crystal Ballroom , Portland, Oregon

Setlist

with The Mint Chicks
2008-12-22 KJR-AM Radio (950), Seattle, WA

"Interview" / Rot In The Sun / "Interview" / Oh Christmas Tree

Acoustic radio performance, and the show was also webcasted.This Is A Blitz was premiered on this show.

2008-12-22 Funky Monkey Studios, Seattle, WA

Rot In The Sun - Lump (YouTube) / O Christmas Tree (YouTube)

Acoustic radio performance.
2008-12-23 KUOW 94.9 FM, Seattle, WA

Feather Pluckn / Snowy Snow / Rot In The Sun / O Christmas Tree

Acoustic radio show
2008-12-31 The New Year's Eve Extravaganza, Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA

2008 - Poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - The New Year's Eve Extravaganza

Free Falling (acoustic) / Bath Of Fire (acoustic) / Born To Be Wild / Video Killed The Radio Star

The New Year's Eve Extravaganza

with Monotonix, The Saturday Knights, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground and Vince Mira and the Roy Kay Trio


Press:

The Paramount Theatre is rockin' New Year's Eve central

Jim Bates / The Seattle Times

Presidents of the USA
8 p.m., Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; $50

To professional partyers everywhere, New Year's Eve is known as "Amateur Night."

If you were unaware of this fact, you are the overzealous rookie that the veteran fete-phile scorns. You are the shiny-shirted/miniskirted reveler who drinks too much too soon, is obnoxious to the extreme (a little obnoxiousness is jovial; gratuitous cackling, "woo-hoo"ing, and high-fiving is idiocy), and is resplendent in his/her rented limo in which he/she ends up passing out at 10 'til midnight.

This is America, and you have the right to your sloppy fun. But why not clean up your debauchery this New Year's? Sashay into 2009 like Seattle's more seasoned celebrants — with a well-played night of sin and a shame-free hangover the next day.

Shame is, of course, a relative thing.

"It's gonna be Seattle's first all-nude New Year's show," says Jason Finn, drummer for pop-rockers the Presidents of the United States of America, who headline the Paramount's massive New Year's Eve bash. "Everybody who comes to the show is gonna be donating all their clothes to various organizations and we're gonna collect them all at the door and it's gonna be an entire evening of nudity.

"OK, that's not true at all," Finn admits, "but it's fair to say this is gonna be one of the bigger New Year's parties, rock style, that have happened in town."

Supporting the Presidents, Israeli pyromaniacs/garage rock trio Monotonix will take the, er, floor, unloading one of their notoriously raucous sets and a fair amount of shrapnel directly upon the surrounding crowd.

"I hear [the last time they were in Seattle] they set a bunch of crap on fire and the drummer sat on his kick drum and had the crowd carry him around on it," Finn says. "I don't know these guys, but they sound like lunatics so I'm into it."

Hometown heroes the Saturday Knights and tin pan indie ensemble Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground also perform, as do Johnny Cash-alike Vince Mira and the Roy Kay Trio, the People's Republic of Comedy (in a "comedy club" in the lobby), and DJ Cherry Canoe. The Paramount's main floor seating will be removed and bars will be added there and in the lobby, rendering them 21-plus; the balcony will be all-ages.

Finn refuses to elaborate on the Presidents' stage production other than it will involve "the usual showbizzy stuff — your laser shows, your water slides." Also: a countdown.

"Unlike every other New Years' show I've ever played, where that afternoon you're running to Fred Meyer to get an $11 clock to put on stage, apparently we are actually thinking of this ahead of time."


Review:

It's official: 2009 will be good year.

By Travis Hay - Special to the Post-Intelligencer

How can it not be after the way 2008 ended and the current year began at the ParamounTheatre?

In case you missed it, this year was rung in with style at the Paramount by five bands and a crew of stand-up comedians at The New Years Eve Extravaganza. The bill featured some of the finest Seattle has to offer including Vince Mira and the Roy Kay Trio, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, The Saturday Knights and headliners The Presidents of the United States of America. Monotonix, an explosive Israeli band that almost defies description, was also part of the lineup. But we'll get to tm later.

For most of the evening the Paramount was fairly empty. This was likely due to a combination of factors such as the $50 ticket price and last year's wealth of New Year's Eve entertainment options. No more than a few hundred people were sitting in the upper level and there was plenty of room on the main floor, making it easy to navigate the venue. However, while it was nice to have the breathing room it was a little disappointing the place wasn't packed because the night provided one of the most eclectic and entertaining shows of the year.

Vince Mira and The Roy Kay Trio kicked things off with some old-fashioned country. Mira, who is renowned for his Johnny Cash doppelganger vocals sang a set containing a few originals, some Cash covers and one Hank Williams song. It was fun to watch the expressions of disbelief on the faces of those in the crowd who had never seen or heard Mira before. Some people looked as if they thought the ghost of Johnny Cash was haunting the Paramount.

The 12-member Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground followed and took up most of the stage by cramming multiple instruments everywhere. The band plays the type of pop music that is so gorgeous and easy to listen to it makes you think all is right in the world while swaying and dancing along to the group's soundtrack of whimsical melodies and baroque sounds.

Simply put, Kay Kay and his band of merry musicians are doing something no other band is doing at the moment and that something has plenty of potential. Since it is a new year and there are limitless musical possibilities why shouldn't Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground hit it big? After all, if Fleet Foxes can bring back bearded folk rock then Kay Kay should be able to usher in the resurgence of beautiful baroque pop.

The Saturday Knights, a.k.a. Seattle's ultimate party band, notched up the intensity and fun levels of the evening with 30 minutes of deliriously enjoyable party rap. Tilson, one half of TSK's dual-pronged attack of frat-rapping frontmen, ran, danced and leapt all over the stage. His counterpart Barfly, the other MC in the group, played straight man by limiting his expressions but was still effective in encouraging the fun. It was impossible not to sing and bounce along to "Mutt," "Dog Park," "45," "Private School Girl" and everything else the band performed. The group's charisma was palpable and its enthusiasm contagious.

This brings us to Monotonix, a band that no words can do justice. You see, you don't simply watch a Monotonix performance; you smell it in the form of guitarist Yonatan Gat's musky scent passing through you in the crowd, you taste it in the form of singer Ami Shalev's sweat dripping down from above and into your mouth, and you feel it in the form of drummer Haggai Fershtman's bass drum being passed through the crowd. All of that is just what happened to me within the first five minutes of Monotonix's set.

The band set up its instruments on the main floor and from there it became what felt like one big wild, debaucherous piece of controlled chaos. Shalev paraded through the crowd and the band played its instruments all over the Paramount. Everywhere the group went the crowd followed and lugged drums, chords and even carried band members with them. It was like the band was leading an interactive game of rock 'n' roll follow the leader. The set was dangerous, spontaneous and musically combustible-- all the things rock music should be. Monotonix is living proof rock 'n' roll is a contact sport.

When the Presidents took the stage their simple and endearing songs about frogs, ladybugs, kitties and other creatures kept up the momentous wave of fun created by the bands before.
The band was wearing top hats and tuxedos with tails and played a 90-minute set filled with mostly a combination of songs from its latest record "These Are The Good Times People" and its eponymous debut album. The mixture of old and new worked very well since

the two compliment each other nicely.
When the countdown to 2009 did approach, nothing special happened to commemorate the moment. No big surprises were had. No special cover song was performed. No wild jokes were made and no outrageous resolutions were declared. Instead, after the toasts in the bar and the hugging, kissing and high fives in the crowd, the Presidents played a five-song acoustic set.

The Presidents chose "Love Everybody" to begin 2009, a song with the perfect message and vibe to start the year during that specific moment in time when the Paramount felt like the epicenter of the city.


MISSING!

If you have any missing gig details, dates, setlists, posters, photos, reviews, corrections...

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