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1996 - Concert Dates

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

Lineup: Chris Ballew (Vocals, Basitar), Dave Dederer (Guitbass, Vocals) and Jason Finn (Drums, Vocals)

1996-01-03 La Luna, Portland, OR


With Chixdiggit

1996-01-05 La Luna, Portland, OR


With Chixdiggit

1996-01-06 MadTV, USA

Public Domain (skit)* / Lump (youtube) / When The Saints Go Marching In

Multiple public domain songs played.

MadTV Air date. Real recording date???

1996-01-06 SUP Hall, Seattle, WA

Poster - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - 96


With Chixdiggit

Soundboard Tape


"The Grammy-nominated Presidents of the United States of America put another notch in their under-stringed guitars with a monumental show at SUP Hall Saturday night. The house was vacuum-packed, the crowd couldn't have been - on the average - a minute over 17, and everyone knew the words to the songs. There were entire verses where singer Chris Ballew simply stood, listened and smiled. It was quite the night, and the last for a while."


Presidents Deserved Better Than This Dated Venue

By Patrick Macdonald - Seattle Times Staff Critic

The Presidents of the United States of America and Chixdiggit Saturday night at the Sailors Union of the Pacific Hall.

The hottest rock band of 1996 played its hometown in a moment of triumph here Saturday night, but the setting was a little weird.

The Presidents of the United States of America, a jokey party band that serves as sort of comic relief to the dark, hard-edged Seattle grunge sound, got a Grammy nomination two days before the show, the latest in a series of unlikely highs it's enjoyed since its debut album was released on Columbia Records five months ago. The LP has sold a million copies and is still in the Top 25, its videos are among the most requested on MTV, the band has appeared on both Letterman and Leno, and starts its first major American tour next month (including a show here in March).

The Saturday gig must've been booked before the band took off, because the Presidents could have played a much larger venue at this point.

The Sailors Union of the Pacific Hall is a squat gray nondescript building on the edge of Belltown, at First Avenue and Wall Street. Its battleship-gray interior has all the ambience of a crumbling school cafeteria, with light sconces on the walls and rows of ventilation ducts on the ceiling. The bare room was packed to capacity, which was probably around 800.

One of the keys to the Presidents' success was evident in the makeup of the crowd. There were lots of kids there of grade- and middle-school age. It's not often you encounter a line of moppets snaking hand-in-hand through a rock-concert crowd, but there were at least two of them at this show. Three boys with painted faces like those of the three band members pictured on the CD sleeve - one's face painted red, one's white and one's blue - spent much of the show dancing on stage. I'd swear they were the kids from "Home Improvement."

The Presidents played all 13 songs from its album, plus a couple of other tunes. All were light-hearted and goofy nonsense songs, without a trace of angst or anger. They were about fruit, insects, toys, birds, personal want ads, cats, basketball and movie stars, among other things. The short, energetic, punchy and fun tunes showed influences from the Kinks, the Beatles, "Schoolhouse Rock," Primus and "Weird Al" Yankovic.

The highlight was "Lump," an irresistibly energetic, bouncy romp about the mystery of love, which posits that it came from a swamp somewhere around here. One of the strangest hits of all time, it has made the Presidents a worldwide phenomenon.

The young, energetic crowd moshed and crowd-surfed like mad during the tune, and also went ape over "Stranger" (named for the free local weekly), singing along to its lyrics drawn from personal want-ads, and "Kitty," meowing along to its chorus. Another highlight was "Peaches," a paean to the canned variety.

Most of the songs come from the fervid brain of lead singer-guitarist Chris Ballew, a tall, buzz-cut blond with a wicked grin and a touch of Jerry Lewis. Dave Dederer looked like Ballew's twin at the other end of the stage, wearing a Sonics basketball jersey (one of the show's tunes was in praise of the hometown team). As Bellew seemed compelled to keep reminding us, Jason Finn was on drums.

The show was opened Chixdiggit, a generic Canadian pop-rock band. It constantly stroked the crowd and made fawning references to the headliners, which only made them the butt of several jokes from the Presidents.

1996-01-07 Modern Rock Live, USA

Video Killed The Radio Star / Lunatic To Love / Mach 5 / Back Porch / Twig / Feel Like Making Love - Peaches

FM Tape

1996-02-07 San Francisco, CA

Presidents of the USA - Tour itinerary book feb 1996

PUSA - Tour itinerary book (photo)


? Tape
1996-02-11 Celebrity Pool Tournament, Temple Billiards, Seattle, WA
Celebrity Pool Tournament - Presidents of the USA PUSA


NO, IT'S NOT THAT KIND OF POOL: The 1st Annual WMIC Celebrity Pool Tournament will be taking place on Sunday night at Temple Billiards located at 126 S. Jackson. The double elimination Vegas-style 8-ball costs $50 per team, or just $10 for general admission. Call 1-800-783-5479 for more information. Oh, I almost forgot the Rock Stars™! Members of Pearl Jam, 7 Year Bitch, The Presidents of the USA, Sweet 75 and Sir Mix-A-Lot are among the famous people already signed up.
1996-02-11 Iowa City, Iowa

Kick Out The Jams / Lunatic To Love / Feather Pluckn / Baby You're A Rich Man / Boll Weevil / Dune Buggy / Bug City / Bath Of Fire / Naked And Famous / Lump / Twig / Back Porch / Man / Kitty / Video Killed The Radio Star / Feel Like Makin Love / Peaches / Jason And The Undetones ( Short Song ) / Carolyns Booty / Tube Amp / Stranger / Mach 5 / We're Not Gonna Make It

Correct date?

Audience Tape
1996-02-14 DNA Lounge, San Francisco, CA

1996-02-14 - DNA Lounge, San Francisco, CA 96

poster from 

Most likely the above poster has wrong venue & location details for the early March shows


with Love Jones
1996-02-15 Emu Ballroom, Eugene, OR



Soxfanpdx: So, back around 1996 I saw you guys play the EMU ballroom at The University of Oregon in Eugene. Great show, but someone knocked my hat off in the mosh pit and it ended up on Ballew's head for the last few songs. Do you know if he still has it? It was white and said "U of O Ducks" on it.

Dave Dederer: I remember that show. I got a sweatshirt from the organizing team that I wore for a long time. Long live Pre!

That show started one of the craziest touring legs we ever morning flew from Eugene to LA but got stuck in SF...barely made it to LA for KLOS radio show at the Troubadour...flew out of LA to do Mount Rushmore show the next day for stuck in Vegas...Sony sent the private jet in the middle of the night (only time THAT ever happened, unfortunately), made to to S. Dakota the next back on the private jet and flew back to SF to play a gig at the Warfield.

info taken from
1996-02-16 Troubadour (KLOS), Los Angeles, CA


1996-02-17 MTV Carved in Rock, Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota

Joker (Steve Miller Band cover) / Kick Out The Jams / Feather Pluckn / Kitty / Dune Buggy / Lump x 2 / Video Killed The Radio Star / Peaches x 2 / Feel Like Making Love

MTV Carved in Rock show original recording date. Aired in February 19th.

Watch the show

"Although the MTV broadcast was very well done, the band actually played some of the singles like Peaches and Lump twice that that MTV definitely had a nice rendition that they could feel content broadcasting on President's Day. The band also played a killer cover of Steve Miller Band's "The Joker" which was not included in the MTV version. Sadly I didn't bring my recorder to the monument that cold February Saturday..." - 9thbeastie

Soundboard Tape & Pro-Shot Video

Available on following bootleg CDs: Awestuck Awesome, Baby Baby Baby,Naked And Famous, Rockin' The Whitehouse
1996-02-18 The Warfield, San Francisco, CA

Poster / Ticket / Pass / Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - 96


Tickets 15$

With Love Jones

1996-02-19 Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota
Air date for the MTV's Carved in Rock show. See February 17th for more details. Broadcasted on President's Day.

1996-02-19 The Edge, San Jose, CA

With Love Jones
1996-02-21 Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, CA

With Love Jones
1996-02-22 American Legion Hall, Los Angeles, CA


With Love Jones
1996-02-23 American Legion Hall, Los Angeles, CA


With Love Jones
1996-02-24 Soma, San Diego, CA


With Love Jones
1996-02-26 Electric Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ

Kick Out The Jams / Lunatic To Love / Boll Weevil / Dune Buggy / Bug City / Stranger / Back Porch / Kitty / Video
Killed The Radio Star / Puffy Little Shoes / Lump / Feather Pluckin / Man / Super Sonics / Billy Madison / Naked And
Famous / Bath Of Fire / Feel Like Making Love / Peaches / Tube Amplifier / Body / Mach 5 / Were Not Gonna Make

With Love Jones

? Tape
1996-02-28 Grammy Awards, Los Angeles, CA


With Love Jones
1996-02-29 Liberty Lunch, Austin, TX

Poster / Ticket - 96 - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA


with Love Jones

1996-03-01 Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX

Kick Out The Jams / Lunatic For Love / Feather Pluckin' / Baby You're A Rich Man / Boll Weevil / Dune Buggy / Bug City

with Love Jones

Incomplete setlist. First 20 minutes was taped.

 This info was posted on March 2, 1996 (DAT-heads digest #645) by the taper:

"Did anybody happen to tape the Presidents show at the Bomb Factory
in Dallas last night? I was taping with my D7, but apparently the mic
must have come loose from the jack or something, because I got about
the first 20 minutes, then nothing :(  " - Dave H

Audience Tape

1996-03-02 Numbers, Houston, TX

Poster - 96 - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA


with Love Jones

1996-03-04 Cain's Ballroom, Tulsa, OK

Poster - Ticket - Cain's Ballroom, tulsa, ok PUSA

Poster - 96 - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA


with Chixdiggit

Photos from Cain's Ballroom:

Photo - Presidens Of The USA / PUSA - 1996
1996-03-05 Liberty Hall, Lawrence, Kansas


with Chixdiggit
1996-03-07 The Blue Note, Columbia, MO


with Chixdiggit
1996-03-08 Mississippi Nights, St. Louis, MO


with Chixdiggit
1996-03-09 Ranch Bowl, Omaha, NE


with Chixdiggit
1996-03-11 The Union, Iowa City, IA


with Chixdiggit
1996-03-12 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN


with Chixdiggit
1996-03-13 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN


with Chixdiggit
1996-03-15 Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO

Poster - Ticket - PUSA / Presidents Of The USA - 96


with Chixdiggit
1996-03-16 Much Music Show, Banff, AL, Canada

Boll Weevil / Feather Pluckin' / Dune Buggy / Back Porch / Naked And Famous / Lump / Stranger / Supersonics / Body / Candy Cigarette / Candy / Peaches / Kitty

"Snow Job" Much Music TV Show

Pro-Shot Video
1996-03-18 Dinwoodie Lounge, Edmonton, AL, Canada


with Chixdiggit
1996-03-19 MacEwan Hall, Calgary, AL, Canada


with Chixdiggit
1996-03-20 The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Poster - 96 - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA with Fastbacks, Chixdiggit  Poster - 96 - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA with Fastbacks, Chixdiggit

Original flyer/poster (silkscreen) is done by the artist Bob Masse. There are some cheap copies circulating.


With the Fastbacks and Chixdiggit

Review and Photos

Another review:

 "All hail Seattle¹s most fab trio since Nirvana! Nearly two months after cancelling because of Chris Ballew's froggy throat, the Presidents take Vancouver by storm. Earlier in the day they played a packed record store and nearly forced a street closure. At the Commodore, they played their entire self-titled debut album, plus covers of Willie Nelson and the Buggles. " - Bob Mackin

1996-03-21 Mercer Arena, Seattle, WA


with the Posies and the Fastbacks


Roll over, Dick Nixon, and tell JFK the news.

The Presidents of the United States of America are winning by a landslide.

The Seattle rock trio's homecoming concert last night at Mercer Arena in front of a capacity crowd was an effervescent celebration of the music and merriment that have made the Presidents one of the country's top-selling groups in the last six months.

Though they love singing ``We Are Not Going to Make It," Chris Ballew, Dave Dederer and Jason Finn indeed have made it with a sound that is fun-filling, yet hard-rocking.

The Grammy-nominated group's debut album, ``The Presidents of the United States of America," released first on Seattle's PopLlama Records and later on Columbia Records, leaped to No. 7 on The Billboard 200 album chart this week - a phenomenal climb for the local group that prides itself on its quirkiness and sense of fun.

The hometown show featured fellow Seattle bands The Fastbacks and The Posies. (Fastbacks guitarist Kurt Bloch later joined the Presidents for a song.)

A singer named Kermit kicked off the concert with a spectacular, glass-shattering rendition of ``The Star-Spangled Banner," bringing a mixed response from the surprised crowd.

Kermit then introduced band members as they bounded onto the stage like sports stars.

The Presidents began with ``Kick Out the Jams" and ``Lunatic of Love," followed by original tunes ``Feather Pluckn" and ``Boll Weevil," the first of several songs personifying insects.

Ballew, who plays a two-stringed bass (or ``basitar"), exhorted the crowd to bounce, bounce, bounce. Soon concertgoers were pogoing up and down.

The group's winter U.S. tour, which precedes a trip to Japan, has helped tighten up an already tight band.

Though the stage was nearly devoid of decoration, the group was a visual delight, and many of the band's antics were enhanced with lighting effects. Ballew's scissors jumps and wild leaps brought guffaws, and Finn's frenzied hair-swinging was always entertaining. Dederer almost played the straight man who was occasionally seized by moments of lunacy.

Chris Ballew led the group in a joyous version of the Beatles' ``Baby, You're a Rich Man." Then came ``Naked and Famous" and the group's biggest hit to date, ``Lump."

``Dune Buggy" featured unusual backdrop lighting effects that resembled dune buggies.

The group celebrated last night's Sonics victory with ``SuperSonikz," the promotional song they recorded for the team based on the tune ``Supermodel." The group closed with ``Mach 5," a new song about toy cars, and ``We Are Not Going to Make It."

Gene Stout

A Gig

"Ohhhh say can you seeeee..." It was clearly the national anthem. "By the dawn's early light..." Had I stepped into the wrong arena? The Seattle Super Sonics were playing the Lakers up the street. "Ladies and Gentlemen will you welcome please... The Presidents of the United States!" Suddenly, it all came back. 10,000 screaming fans were on their feet and cheering. This was NO basketball game.

In this the year 1996, an election year, it seems fitting that the hottest band in the country would be Seattle's, The Presidents of The United States. After 30 weeks in Billboard (as of March 22nd, 1996), the band has climbed steadily to the No. 7 spot and has sold more than two million albums. At last night's sold-out show at Mercer Arena, in the heart of Seattle, The Presidents threw the biggest inauguration party this side of Spokane. Singer Chris Belew welcomed the crowd immediately, "All right Seattle. We got ourselves a rock show here tonight!"

Before the concert began, I managed to make my way backstage and found Kurt Bloch (guitarist/vocalist for The Fastbacks and The Young Fresh Fellows) poured over his guitar. His hands worked slowly over the finish, pulling the old strings from last night's performance out and re-stringing the new (Gibson Brite Wires if you have to know). "This is fun," bemuses Kurt. "We love playing with our friends."

The Presidents haven't played in Seattle in awhile, and since that time they have seen their fame skyrocket worldwide. Last night's show was a homecoming of sorts, not only for the fans, but for the friends of the road-weary Presidents. "It was something like three years ago, " Kurt tells me. "We all used to get together and play cards at someone's house every week." Now the best, and maybe the only way to see the Presidents, is on stage. As they wrap up their U.S. Tour, the band then moves on to Japan. And you remember what happened the last time we sent a U.S. President there, don't you? George Bush threw up on the Premiere! Let's hope the Presidents show a little more self-restraint.

I asked Kurt Bloch, somewhat of a guitar god in Seattle who has paid his dues, what he thought of The President's sudden rise to fame. "I think it's great. They deserve it, as much as anyone. I mean, who would you rather be hearing on the radio? Presidents or Bush?" Obviously, not a Bush fan Bloch defended the President's ground, "You never know what you're gonna get with a President's show. They are unpredictable. They have almost no limitations. Unlike Bush." So does Kurt Bloch like Bush? "I've actually never seen them, but I think of them as a cheap, watered down, third rate Seattle wanna-be band." Uh-huh, I guess we won't see any Bush/Fastbacks double bills in the near future. We talked for awhile longer mostly I just listened to Kurt's recollections of past gigs, including one hilarious story about getting harrassed by The Man in Hoboken, New Jersey. "The Presidents are fun to pay attention to, and listen to what's going on in their music," Kurt tells me. "They give hope to popular music."

The Fastbacks opened the show and got the crowd, who had been sitting on the floor reserving their "space" for an hour, up on their feet and screaming. Kurt Bloch layed into his steady roar of heavy rifts, and drag-you-down-by-the-shirt guitar work. Within five minutes of the beginning of the show, a huge mosh pit had formed in front-center of the stage and threatened to swallow the whole of the crowd with it. "Hey, you all be careful down there," a laughing Kurt warned the slammers. To no avail, of course. The Fastbacks were good, and female vocalist Lulu Gargiulo sounded great. Bloch, who stars in another local band -The Young Fresh Fellows, was truly inspired for the evening and pranced, jumped, and ran around the stage as if he had just had four bowls of Trix and three hours of Mighty Morphins. After four or five songs Kurt asked his good friend, and Presidents drummer Jason Finn, to come out on stage and beat the skins for a while. Which he did, amongst much fanfare. The Fastbacks have a good time on stage, and their local fans have come to appreciate that. They served as the perfect undercard for this event.

The Posies came on next, and even though its been a while since I've seen them (and they have gone through some personnel changes) they still performed with great vigor, and genuinely ate up the stage. Guitarists Jonathan Auer and Kenneth Stringfellow met years ago in Bellingham, Washington and started playing in bands together when Jonathan was still in grammar school! Last night they were brilliant, and served to work the crowd into an even bigger frenzy. The Posies have been on the Seattle scene for a couple of years, saw limited radio air-time in 1994-95, and have stayed on the cusp of the alternative music scene since. They treated their fans to a couple of favorites, including the popular "Dream All Day" and "Flavor of The Month."

During the Posies performance, several people were practically thrown on stage and several flying objects were hurled towards the band, which doesn't exactly please a performer. I was reminded of Ken Stringfellow's article in The Stranger, a local Seattle Arts Weekly:

I play music for a living, and you're interfering with my livelihood as well as the enjoyment of others when you employ shoddy imitation punk-ness at rock shows. I can tell things have changed, because the atmosphere used to be quite different at punk rock shows I attended in the past. The average person newly interested in non-mainstream music is probably supplementing their diet with mainstream examples that are only vaguely similar to real punk bands (I Stone don't Temple have Pilots to name names).

"Ladies and Gentlemen, " rang the announcement through the pitch-black arena. "Will you please rise for the singing of our national anthem." A guy named Kermit was ushered out onto the stage and he proceeded to belt out, voice cracking, our country's dear old alma mater. "...and the home, of the braaaaavvveee!" Play ball. The Presidents of the United States, who are huge Supersonic fans, waited in the wings. "Starting center tonight, will you welcome please...Mr. Jason Finn!" Aaaahhh!! "At guard tonight, Dave Dederer!" More shouts of pain. "...and playing power forward, Mr. Chris Ballew!" With that, the lights go up, the amps turn on and bam! there are the Presidents jumping, kicking, ranting in your face screaming at each other like little kids.

"Hey Dave!"
"What?" Steady backbeat in the background.
"Guess what we're gonna play now?" Boom, boom.
"A song! Go!" Dah, dah, dah, dah.

Its this type of off-the-cuff, slightly humorous, interplay between the band and their audience that has built their careers. Like Kurt Bloch says, "You never know what they're gonna do." You can bet, though, that it will involve a fair amount of slashing and cutting on the stage. Scissor kicks, a frenzy of leaping antics, Belew and Dederer bounce up and down the stage and encourage the fans to follow. They're just finishing up "Lunatic of Love" when someone throws a shoe onstage, whizzing past Belew's ear. "I don't need anymore shoes, thank you," Belew, who plays a two-string "bassitar", screams to the crowd. "Shoes, I have."

The Presidents sent the middle of the show into more familiar territory, covering their popular originals "Feather Pluckn," "Boll Weevil," and "Lump." Belew wanted to know who won the Sonics vs. Lakers grudgematch going on up the street. Later he came back and announced the Sonics had indeed beaten Magic Johnson and the Lakers. "Sweet revenge!" Belew yelled, perhaps still upset over last year's first round loss to the Lakers. If there is one thing the Presidents are serious about (besides their music) its the Seattle Supersonics. Sports afficiando Belew even re-wrote the President's song "Supermodel" to sing the praises of his favorite basketball team. The new tune, "SuperSonikz", has received constant airplay in Seattle, and the band whipped it out last night to an ecstatic crowd.

For many local kids, this was the first time they had seen The Presidents. Local clubs, and politicians, are pretty harsh on the under-21 crowd, and all-ages shows have proven difficult to promote. "This is pretty cool," says Tim Wakeland, fifteen from Everett. "This is my first concert...I can't believe I got to see the Posies too."

Kurt Bloch was able to revile in the spotlight again The Presidents gave the orders, so he came back out and whipped and careened his body all over the stage-occasionally running head first into Belew. Bloch was smiling his sheepish grin the whole time. I thought of his comment to me before the show, "We love to play with our friends."

Rounding out the set, The Presidents covered the Beatle's "Baby, You're A Rich Man." Then "Naked and Famous" and the group's biggest hit, thanks to a bunch of ass-kicking MTV ninjas, "Peaches." Dededer, who looks like he might be the most straight-laced of the trio (I mean, compared to long-haired drummer Finn and bald headed Belew), played like a beatpoet, and at one point grabbed some toilet paper that had been thrown up on stage and wrapped his mic stand in it, a la Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Enlightened spontanaety.

The question on everyone's mind is, "Do these crazy kids have any staying power? Will they still be around in five years?" I have to believe that they will. The Presidents closed their show with "We Are Not Going To Make It," but you just know they are. Growing up in Seattle, Chris and Dave attended junior and senior high school together and have been playing together since 1985. Is there really any question about the bond these guys have formed? Nope, these guys will continue to rock The White House for years to come. Barring any unforseeable impeachment, of course.
1996-03-29 The Studion, Stockholm, Sweden

TV Eye / Kick Out The Jams / Lunatic To Love / Feather Pluck'n / Baby You're A Rich Man / Bug City / Boll Weevil (Inc. Play That Funky Music) / Naked And Famous / Lump / Man / Dune Buggy / Video Killed The Radio Star / Kitty / Back Porch / Twig In The Wind / Feel Like Makin Love / Peaches

"This show aired in April 1996 on Swedish national radio P3 in the program called "P3 Live"."

Soundboard Tape. Released on CD "Funk, Punk and Twang" and "Video Killed The Radio Star"
1996-03-31 Loft, Berlin, Germany

Poster - 96 - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - Promo tour


With Kula Shaker

1996-04-01 Club Logo, Hamburg, Germany

Kick Out The Jams / Lunatic To Love / Feather Pluckn / Boll Weevil / Man / Dune Buggy / Naked And Famous / Lump / Twig / Kitty / Mach 5 / Back Porch

Soundboard Tape, Available on CD "Baby Baby Baby"

1996-04-02 Batschkapp, Frankfurt, Germany


With Kula Shaker
1996-04-03 Transbordeur, Lyon, France


with Kula Shaker
1996-04-04 Theatre Du Moulin, Marseille, France


with Kula Shaker
1996-04-06 La Laitre, Strasbourg, France


1996-04-07 Elysée Montmartre, Paris, France


Kick Out The Jams / Lunatic To Love / Feather Pluckin - Baby You're A French Man / Boll Weevil / Dune Buggy / Naked & Famous / Lump / Twig / Tiki God / Ca Plane Pour Moi / Back Porch / Bug City / Kitty / Video Killed The Radio Star

"This concert was broadcasted in real time by Fun Radio. Due to the direct live, it was not broadcasted in full. The sound is excellent (SB recording), BUT Chris is very hoarse, he looses his voice along the concert. The interview was also broadcasted direct live, 2 hours before the concert. "

with Kula Shaker

Soundboard tape
1996-04-08 Exo 7, Rouen, France


1996-04-09 Voorhuit, Ghent, Belgium


1996-04-10 Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK

Right date?

Audience Tape

1996-04-11 Town and Country Club, Leeds, UK

Kick Out The Jams / Lunatic To Love / Feather Pluckn / Boll Weevil / Dune Buggy / Naked And Famous / Lump / Back Porch / Kitty / Video Killed The Radio Star / Candy / Peaches

Soundboard Tape, Available on CD "Awestuck Awesome" and "Rockin' The Whitehouse"

1996-04-12 TFI Friday (TV Show), ?


TFI Friday (with Skunk Anansie, Manic Street Preachers, Nigel Havers, Jane Horrocks, Wannadies, Robbie Williams). Original recording date???
1996-04-12 Astoria, London, UK

1996 Presidents Astoria Poster



with Kula Shaker
1996-04-13 Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK


with Kula Shaker
1996-04-22 Yokohama, Japan

Bug City (Video) / Japan (Video)

The Presidents of the USA play "Japan" acoustically on Japanese TV show. Chris Ballew says that they've made the song 10minutes earlier.

This date has been taken from the youtube video details. Maybe they've made a small promo tour on Japan on April, 1996?
1996-04-27 Seattle, WA

Toob Amplifier / Dune Buggy x 3

Presidents played few more songs.

Recording date for the Dune Buggy video (also know as video version). Dune Buggy (video version is also available on CD. Check out more details on the Presidents of the USA b-side guide.
1996-05-07 328 Performance Hall, Nashville, TN

PUSA Tour Book - May, 1996 Tour dates

Presidents of the USA - Tour itinerary book (photo)


1996-05-08 Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, AL


1996-05-10 Howlin' Wolf, New Orleans, LA


Audience Tape
1996-05-11 Bayfront Auditorium, Pensacola, FL


with Young Fresh Fellows


"With an aircraft carrier parked outside, the Presidents of the United States of America played a whole lot of music at the Pensacola Bayfront Auditorium, May 11, 1996. In case you don't know, the Presidents are the three-man, five-string band that made it big with "Lump" (now Weird Al's "Gump").

At first, I thought I had made a mistake and entered the theater for the Muppet Show. The average age must have been around thirteen, and I swear there were some eight year olds walking around. Those darn kids! All the old folks (twentysomethings) were hanging around the beer corral, where they quickly ran out of Budweiser. Zima or Bud Lite? Aaaaaaaaa!
We're From Seattle

'cuz there's a million better bands
with a million better songs

PUSA is from Seattle, and I guess they thought it would be cool to give some other Seattle bands a chance. Their two opening acts were both Seattle bands. They both sucked. One had one decent song, "Beer Money," and the rest was pretty sloppy and uninspired.

The audience was cool most of the time, high-energy of course. Lots of body surfing, three or four people at any given time. The temperature was about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and everyone was jumping and slamming and so forth, so everyone was drenched in sweat.

There were a few annoyances: someone threw a bolt at the guitarist, causing him to stop the show and bitch for a minute, and some dudes who looked more appropriate to a Skynyrd concert started moshing with the primary goal of hurting people. An unusual number of people had to be carted out of the place, one woman apparently falling from the balcony, and several others that looked like they were suffering from heat stroke or something.
This is a Song About ...

PUSA's lead singer has a habit of starting off every song by saying, "This is a song about ...". They played their entire current album except for two songs ("Body" and "Candy"), plus a good wallop of new songs and covers.

They led off with their awesome rendition of "Kick Out The Jams," then jumped into their bug trilogy consisting of "Boll Weevil," "Bug City" ("this is a song about a stay-out-all-night-and-party bug") and "Dune Buggy."

They do some great covers, putting a raw edge on classics like "Video Killed the Radio Star" ("this is a song about how video killed the radio star"). It's obvious that they love music and love playing music. They're also very technically proficient, despite limiting themselves to three-string guitar and two-string bass.

They suprised me and did all their hits in the first portion of their show -- "Lump," "Kitty" and "Peaches" ("this is a song about something you have in your kitchen"). Didn't save anything for the encore, which is kind of cool for a change.

The encore was more like a second set. They must have played another ten songs. PUSA definitely rocks -- if you like the CD, you'll like the concert.

Old man on the back porch
Old man on the back porch
Old man on the back porch and that
Old man is me"

- kaleidosound -
1996-05-13 Jannus Landing, Tampa, FL


1996-05-14 The Edge, Orlando, FL


1996-05-15 The Edge, Fort Lauderdale, FL


1996-05-17 Masquerade Music Park, Atlanta, GA


1996-05-18 The Ritz, Rayleigh, NC


? Tape
1996-05-19 The Boathouse, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, VA


with Super Deluxe and Young Fresh Fellows
1996-05-20 I.C. Light Amphitheatre, Pittsburg, PA


1996-05-25 Rock am Ring, Centerstage, Nürburg, Germany

1996 - Poster - Presidents Of The USA (PUSA) - Rock Am Ring Festival


Rock Am Ring festival. The Presidents of the USA played on Saturday.

Some of the performances were broadcasted on MTV.

with Bryan Amas, Grönemeyer, Mike & The Mechanics, Hereos Del Silencio, Bush, Zucchero, Dave Matthews Band, Goo Goo Dols, Mustard Seed.

1996-05-27 Pink Pop Festival, Landgraaf, Netherlands (Holland)

Poster - Pink Pop - PUSA / Presidents Of USA 96 - Holland 

Kick Out The Jams / Kitty / Video Killed The Radio Star / Peaches / We Are Not Going To Make It

Incomplete setlist?

with DJ's PA, Ebomen, Dj Who Cares, Chemical Brothers, DJ Angelo, Orbital, DJ Dave Clark, Underworld, Radiohead, K's Choice, Bush, Skunk Anansie, Rancid, Metal Molly, Dave Matthews Band, The Prodigy, Rage Against The Machine, Alanis Morissette, Therapy?, Sepultura, Dog Eat Dog, De Heideroosjes

Pro-Shot Video
1996-05-28 2 Meter Sessies, Bullet Sound Studio’s, Nederhorst den Berg, Netherlands

Feather Pluckn / Back Porch / Dune Buggy / Lump / Peaches / Boll Weevil

Sessie #571.

Soundboard tape
1996-06-01 HFStival, RFK Stadium, Washington DC

PUSA - Tour itinerary book 1996 (photo)

Presidents of the USA - Tour itinerary book (photo)

Poster - Ticket - HFStival - 96 - PUSA / Presidents Of The USA


With Goldfinger, Foo Fighters, Cracker, Afghan Whigs, Garbage, Jewel, Gin Blossoms, Everclear, No Doubt, Lush, Jawbox

Audience Tape
1996-06-08 WBCN's River Rave festival, Great Woods Center, Boston, MA



Incomplete setlist. Details taken from a review.

WBCN's 2nd annual River Rave festival. Presidents played on main stage.

with Dishwalla, Everclear, Gin Blossoms, Lenny Kravitz, Sonic Youth, Patti Smith, Cracker, Stabbing Westward, Lush

Festival review
1996-06-09 Salle Albert Rousseau, Quebec, Canada



1996-06-10 Spectrum, Montreal, Canada


with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-12 Concert Hall, Toronto, Canada


with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-13 State Theatre, Detroit, MI

1996 State Theatre Detroit Presidents of the USA


with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-14 Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL

1996 Riviera Theatre Presidents


with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-15 The Egyptian Ballroom, Indianapolis, IN


Audience tape

with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-17 Garage, Cincinnati, OH


with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-18 Nautica Stage, Cleveland, OH


with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-19 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA

Poster - Ticket - Presidents Of The USA (PUSA) - 1996


1996-06-20 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA


with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-21 Late Show with David Letterman, New York City, NY

1996-06-21 - PUSA / Presidents playing on Late Show with David Letterman


Second PUSA performance on David Letterman show.

Other guests: John Travolta, John Sayles
1996-06-21 Roseland Ballroom, New York City, NY


with Fastbacks & Menthol


Presidents of the United States of America / Fastbacks / Menthol

by Al Muzer

It felt as if the Roseland was hosting one of those wholesome, family-friendly Nickelodeon Goo-Fests instead of a rock concert.

An air of feverish excitement filled every corner of the New York City concert Mecca long before the opening act hit the stage as the cavernous club quickly became jammed with what appeared to be a small army of short, hyperactive, constantly moving teen and pre-teen suburban hipsters decked out in brand new Presidents Of The United States Of America T-shirts, big sneakers, baggy jeans and MTV haircuts.

A few paces behind each knot of jabbering, first-time concert goers, three or four sets of slightly-dazed parents put their wallets back into their pockets and watched in wonder as their new-shirt-wearin' hopes for the future vanished into a crowd of pink and green-haired punks, aging hipsters, trendy Gen-Xer's, freshly-shaved Chris Ballew wannabe's, college kids and leather-jacketed metal-heads.

Menthol came on promptly at 7:30 and, try as they might, their loud, glammish, power-rock approximation of Material Issue fell, for the most part, on deaf ears. Moving ant-like across the club floor, the alterna-kids were too busy checking each other out, eluding their parents and making new friends to pay attention to the stage and Menthol left to polite applause after a game 30-minute set.

With one band between them and their heroes, the crowd was more receptive to The Fastback's excellent Go Go's in hyperdrive version of L7 with hooks.

No longer able to contain their Coca Cola-fueled energy, small mosh pits began to form in the audience while pint-sized floaters were politely passed along to an even more polite pit crew. Closing their set with covers of The Raspberries' "Go All The Way" and Sweet's "Set Me Free," the band brought smiles to the faces of parents throughout the club who forgot, for a few minutes, that it was their 10-year-olds out there riding the crowd.

Bouncing in excitement, the future leaders of America jockeyed for a better view during the set change and cheered wildly as the three stringed guitbass and two-stringed basitar they knew so well from MTV were carried on stage.

Riding the screams, basitarist Chris Ballew, drummer Jason Finn and guitbassist Dave Dederer grabbed their instruments and ripped into spirited versions of "Feather Pluckin'" and the MC5's "Kick Out The Jams" that caused an eruption of beer cups, well-behaved mosh pits and happily grinning floaters.

Dodging the occasional love offering (books, magazines, demo tapes, hats, flowers, watches, a urinal cake) thrown to them, the band rocked their fans with favorites from last year's multi-platinum Columbia Records debut ("Boll Weevil," "Dune Buggy," "Back Porch," "Kitty," "Peaches," "Lump," "Body" and "We Are Not Going To Make It") new tunes for an album due out in November ("Bug City," "Big In Vegas," "Mach Five," "Confusion," "Tube Amplifier" and "Twig In The Wind") and twisted covers of "Dueling Banjos," "Video Killed The Radio Star" and The Beatles' "Baby You're A Rich Man."

In an era rife with crime, hunger, homelessness and the very real possibility of, literally, no future; the nonsense lyrics, cartoonish image, curious guitars and Primus-meets-Grand Funk Railroad roar of The Presidents Of The United States Of America makes for great entertainment and a welcome, albeit brief, escape from reality.
1996-06-22 Roseland, New York, NY


with Fastbacks (No Menthol)
1996-06-23 New 9:30 Club, Washington DC

Poster - Ticket - PUSA / Presidents Of The USA

Soundcheck: Nowhere Man (The Beatles cover)

Supersonics / Tiki God / Nowhere Man

with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-24 New 9:30 Club, Washington DC


with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-25 Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA


with Fastbacks & Menthol
1996-06-28 Roskilde, Denmark

Poster - pusa - roskilde festival 1996 - 96


incomplete setlist
1996-06-29 St. Gallen, Sittertobel, Switzerland


1996-06-30 Sonoria, Italy


Sonoria Rock Festival
1996-07-03 Quart, Norway


1996-07-05 Eurockéennes De Belfort, Belfort, France


Incomplete setlist.

Eurockeenes Festival

with Beck, David Bowie, Foo Fighters, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sepultura, Skunk Anansie
1996-07-06 Werchter, Tourhout, Belgium


1996-07-07 Rock Werchter Festival, Werchter, Belgium

1996-07-07 - Presidents of the USA (PUSA) Rock Wearchter '96 ticket


1996-07-08 Brixton Academy, Brixton, UK

Poster - PUSA / Presidents Of The USA / 96 Poster - PUSA / Presidents Of The USA / 96 


with Kula Shaker
1996-07-22 Queens Wharf Events Centre, Wellington, NZ


1996-07-23 North Shore Events Centre, Auckland, NZ


1996-07-24 Triple J Studios, Australia

Dune Buggy / Puffy Little Shoes / Twig In The Wind

Acoustic Radio Show/Interview
1996-07-25 Auckland, New Zealand

Dueling Banjos

Incomplete setlist. One audience member filmed the show, but it's unknown if the video is in circulation. If you know more details about this video, or the show, please contact me.

1996-07-26 Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia

Poster - Ticket - PUSA / Presidents Of The USA - Melbourne, Australia

ticket from


with Custard
1996-07-27 Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia

1996 Festival Hall Presidents

1996 Festival Hall Presidents


Poster - Promo - Presidents Of The USA / PUSA - Australia

magazine ad from


with Custrard

Date & Location taken from Dune Buggy EP (Australian Tour edition), which features tour details.
1996-07-28 Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart, Australia

Bug City

Incomplete setlist.

Date & Location taken from Dune Buggy EP (Australian Tour edition), which features tour details.
1996-07-29 Metropolis, Perth, Australia


1996-07-30 Royal Theatre, Canberra, Australia


Incomplete setlist.

Date & Location taken from Dune Buggy EP (Australian Tour edition), which features tour details.

Twig from this show has been officially released as b-side. More info on B-Side Guide.
1996-07-31 Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia

1996 - Poster - Setlist - Presidents Of USA / PUSA


Date & Location taken from Dune Buggy EP (Australian Tour edition), which features tour details

Toob Amplifier from this show has been officially released as b-side.

Dave Dederer's Tour Diary:

Wednesday, 7/31, Sydney

The last day of July, 1996 finds us in Sydney, Australia, half way through our tour of this country.

I'm just sort of spacing out, looking out the window of my hotel room and boggling at the span of the last year. One year ago, Sony/Columbia records released our debut album, which we recorded for $4,000 in a basement studio and initially released in March 1995 on Seattle's PopLlama Records, a tiny independent label.

Since the album's Columbia re-release, we've sold close to four million records worldwide and toured the U.S. twice, Europe twice and Japan once. We have been on the road for 11 of the last 12 months, first in vans and more recently in fancy tour buses.

We are now on the final leg of touring for the album. This tour turns out to be huge, much bigger even than what we've done in the States. Here in Sydney, we're playing two nights at Hordern Pavilion, a 6,000-seat hall. People wait for us outside our hotels. For the first time, we've had to use pseudonyms when checking into hotels. I mean, we're genuine, grade-A rock stars in Australia.

Sony put together a media event in this city last week to kick off the tour, and they literally brought out a brass band (playing our songs). And clowns on stilts. And bunches of balloons. And confetti. And guys in ninja costumes to present us with triple-platinum records. And lots of Australian stars, like some of the Australian Gladiators (just like the American ones) and one of the girls from the movie Sirens. I don't remember her name but she was really tall and had huge boobs and wanted to have her picture taken with us. She giggled a lot, too.

All that success and hullabaloo has not come without a price. I look five years older than I did a year ago. I feel about ten years older -- my muscles have taken on that particular rock-guy slackness, and I had chronic bronchitis from November through April.

1996-08-01 Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia

Back Porch / Bug City

Incomplete setlist.

This show had previous venue details of Barton Theatre, Adelaine, but official CD releases list the location as Sydney.

Back Porch and Bug City from this show has been officially released as b-side. More info on B-Side Guide.

with Custard

Dave Dederer's Tour Diary:

Thursday, 8/1, Sydney

Wow! What a show last night. The crowd went nuts, singing along through the entire show. I had to overcome a bit of road butt -- must have had something bad for lunch or caught the flu that's going around (it's winter here). Felt fine on stage, what with the adrenaline and endorphins kicking in, but I was swilling Pepto all night. How funny... I'm sure the kids imagine us backstage guzzling champagne and Jack Daniels. I doubt they'd picture me after the show lying on the floor sipping soda water and trying not to puke or poop all over myself. Rock and roll is so glamorous.

Feel much better today. Had a perfect afternoon. Australia's version of Wide World of Sports filmed me and Chris playing nine holes of golf on one of the world's finest courses. Just to get to walk around outside for a few hours was privilege enough. Playing golf seaside on a lovely, blustery day was a bonus and has put a spring back in my step. Ready to rock out again tonight.

1996-08-02 In-Store performance, Newcastle, Australia


1996-08-02 Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, Australia

Date & Location taken from Dune Buggy EP (Australian Tour edition), which features tour details.

With Custard

Dave Dederer's Tour Diary:

Friday, 8/2, Newcastle

We left Sydney at noon for Newcastle, an industrial town two hours of Sydney. Stopped to do an "in-store" in a suburban mall. An in-store is usually a casual appearance at a record store to play a few songs and sign autographs. But this one wasn't so casual, because 2,000-plus people showed up. Turns out, in fact, that some local schools canceled classes for the afternoon because all the kids were skipping to come see us. We played four songs on a makeshift stage inside a multi-level mall atrium; kids were packed onto the floor in front of us and along the railings of the three levels above. There was a full-on mosh pit and girls screaming, Beatlemania-style. We signed for 45 minutes and didn't please everyone. The whole thing freaked me out. Too much screaming and craziness.

Newcastle is a dying industrial town of about people. In a city like this in the U.S., we might pack a 1,000 to 2,000 seat venue. Here we sold out a 7,000 seat arena. My explanation for this is the MTV factor. In the States, people have seen you six times a day on MTV for months before you come to play in their town. There's no mystery left -- fans already know what bands look like when they're performing. In the 1970's a band that had sold as many records as we have (2 millions plus in the U.S.) would play 10,000 seat arenas. I remember going to see my heroes, Ted Nugent and Aerosmith and Bad Company, and to see them on stage (always at the Seattle Center Coliseum) was an absolute miracle. We had no idea what they would look like, how they would move. Every Steven Tyler mic stand flourish and Ted Nugent gonzo monologue was an unexpected bolt from the heavens. I distinctly remember going to see Iggy Pop and thinking that he was going to be this really funky, smooth dancer. Then he comes out on stage and just spazzes out, which completely blew open my notion of what it meant to be cool in rock and roll. These days, thanks to MTV, kids in the States can't have this experience anymore. But Australia has no MTV. Which I think helps explain why most touring bands do well here and the audiences are so energized.

Newcastle is also the home of Silverchair, the teenage rock phenoms who took the States by storm in 1995. They came to our show tonight and hung out backstage. Super nice young guys, really just like your average teenagers -- into cars and surfing and stuff. I talked to Daniel, the singer, about how hard it is for him to keep up with classes what with all the touring and recording. I wondered if they didn't get treated differently by their classmates now, but he said everyone is cool because they've all been going to school together for years.

1996-08-03 Australia

No show?

Dave Dederer's Tour Diary:
Saturday, 8/3, Newcastle to Perth to Sydney

Drove to Sydney and then flew to Perth today, something like driving from Providence to New York and then flying to Seattle. We had some spare time, so we got dropped off in Manley (out by the ocean outside Sydney) and then took the ferry into town. The boat went right past the Opera House; felt like I was in a Qantas ad.

1996-08-04 Entertainment Centre, Perth, Australia


Previously listed under "The Palace, Melbourne Australia"

Date & Location taken from Dune Buggy EP (Australian Tour edition), which features tour details.

with Jebediah

press details

Dave Dederer's Tour Diary:

Sunday, 8/4, Perth

In Perth, the end of the earth. I know from my days as an urban planning grad student that this is the most remote major metropolitan region on the planet. Feels like it, too. We didn't drive out into the hinterlands, but one can feel the open space.

Had most of the day off today, a rarity. Have to go to soundcheck in an hour, at 4:00 o'clock, but my wife, D'Arcy, and I had a nice, relaxing morning. We went out for a walk and had a fantastic lunch. One great thing about Australia, there's fresh tasty food everywhere. We were cruising this crappy pedestrian mall, filled with five-and-dime stores, tourist traps, and other junk shops, and we stumbled on this amazing open-air cafe. I had eggs that tasted fresh from the hen house with homemade bread. Seems like just about every country besides the U.S. finds value in friendly neighborhood cafes that serve cheap, delicious food. You'd have to go to some yuppie cafe in an upscale part of town in a U.S. city to get the breakfast we had.

1996-08-05  Australia

There was no show, but here is Dave Dederer's Tour Diary from this day:

Monday, 8/5, Perth to Adelaide

Playing five or six nights a week for months on end, the big rock show can start to feel stale. When we played smaller clubs, we kept it loose, trying new songs or doing covers of songs that we had never played before. We'd have a few train wrecks on stage every night, but in a small club the audience gets off on that kind of loose energy. Playing to big crowds (1,000+), looseness doesn't work. You've got to deliver a rock show that appeals to everyone from those right up front to the people in the nosebleed seats in the back. You've got to be tight, powerful and concise.

We broke the monotony last night in Perth, but through no effort of our own. Per usual, we got pumped up in the pre-show darkness, stormed the stage, plugged in, and got ready to rock, and waited for the stage lights to come up. But tonight, the stage lights didn't come up. After an awkward interval, somebody got the house lights turned on. I suppose if we were Oasis we would have cursed everyone in the building and then retired immediately to the nearest pub. But we're not Oasis, so we just went ahead and rocked out. For some unknown reason (it's possible I was drinking before the show), I started playing the riff from The Clash's "Brand New Cadillac," and we went from there.

The stage lights got turned on after seven or eight songs. I was kind of disappointed -- I enjoyed the adversity, the break from the monotony of going out and sweating for an audience that you never really see, that's just a hulking presence in the darkness beyond the front of the stage. With the house lights up, we could see everyone in the joint, they were all standing up a dancing, and that vibe just built on itself for the first half of the show, until they fixed the lights.

Of course, as soon as the lights started working, the sound system broke. The monitor system, the on stage gear by which the band hear themselves sing and play, started freaking out, feeding back wildly on my side of the stage for the rest of the set.

After a rock show, the band's road manager settles the contract with the local promoter. The gear we were using tonight was provided by the promoter, and we had paid for it out of the gate. Obviously, we didn't want to pay full price for faulty lights and monitors. In a situation like this, it helps to have a road manager who can be a badass on command. Our Australian road manager was a very quiet, efficient man named Spider. I never found out where the name came from, but Spider was the kind of guy you wouldn't f**k with for a million dollars. Needless to say, we left the building without getting fleeced.

The band usually isn't present when the show is settled, but I've witnessed a few shouting matches through open production office doors. The late Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin's legendary manager, was known for using his considerable bulk and a well-handled cricket bat to get his lads their fair share.

No show tonight so we went in search of a little diversion. Didn't have to look far. There's a casino right across the street from our hotel. Jason, D'Arcy and I went over for a few hours tonight, hoping to continue the run of good luck we had at the blackjack table in Canberra last week. But the dealers were using automatic card shoes that reshuffle three decks after every hand, and we never quite got in the swing of things. I think I lost about a hundred bucks.

1996-08-06 Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, Australia


Date & Location taken from Dune Buggy EP (Australian Tour edition), which features tour details.

previous details was listed as Waves, Wollongong, Australia

Dave Dederer's Tour Diary:

Tuesday, 8/6, Adelaide

Tonight's show, like most we've done in Australia, was at the city's "Events Centre," a large, multipurpose hall suited for everything from rock shows to basketball games to auto exhibitions to every other imaginable occasion that four to eight thousand people might want to attend.

Playing in these venues is disorienting. We generally are driven up to an entrance somewhere at the back of the building and don't leave until the crowd is long gone. All we see of the audience is whoever's out front when we arrive and then the view from the stage. Just ten months ago we were playing in small clubs all across the U.S. where we could have a beer with the crowd before and after the show. In fact, we couldn't get away from the audience, even if we wanted to -- lots of smaller clubs don't have a real backstage area, and sitting in your van in a dark parking lot isn't much fun. So you hang out at the bar.

I guess alienation from your audience comes with mass popularity. People don't so much come to hear us play music now as to be part of some sort of cultural phenomenon, to participate in the "going to see the big deal rock band" ritual. Which is great for our bank accounts but a bit straining on the psyche.

Endured a classic "meet and greet" after the show tonight. The meet and greet is a demeaning nightly ordeal that every touring band has to undergo. Basically, you're stuck in a room with a bunch of people who want to meet you/shake your hand/get their picture taken with you/get your autograph/sleep with you/just say hello...fill in the blank. We do one at every show. Tonight's was archetypal. First of all, it was held in a room (windowless, as always) with "MEET AND GREET" emblazoned on the door. There was the usual crowd: two dozen or so people from our record label and local radio stations and record retailers. There was a woman who had written us asking if she and her cancer-afflicted son could come to the show for free and come backstage. Mom was there, backing each of us into corners and demanding our attention, but her four year -old was nowhere to be seen. There was the close-talker with bad breath who wanted to tell me over and over again, "You guys really kicked ass tonight," or, as they say down here, "You guys are legends." There were four or five guys from a local brewery who wanted to have their pictures taken with us and to give us hats, shirts and other stuff with their logo on it.

I was hoping that at a certain level, bands don't have to do meet and greets any more, but apparently there's no escape. A friend of ours from Seattle who went on tour playing guitar with R.E.M. last year said that the band still does meet and greets and they still argue over who's going to go.

1996-08-07 In-Store Performance, Melbourne, Australia


Dave Dederer's Tour Diary:

Wednesday, 8/7, Adelaide to Melbourne

Flew to Melbourne in the late morning, took a short nap and then went to do another in-store. This was even more chaotic and packed than the one we did a few days ago in Sydney. We played some songs, signed some autographs -- the usual gag. It got a little rough out in the crowd, so D'Arcy cruised around to make sure no one had gotten hurt. Turns out some girl had split her lip on her braces. Another girl, maybe fourteen, was having a hard time breathing, and the first-aid crew brought her into the backstage area.

D'Arcy and Libby, a friend of Jason's traveling with us, both have asthma and knew that this girl was having an asthma attack. The medics had no clue. The girl was asking for her medication, which she had left at home. Both D'Arcy and Libby had the same medication with them, but the medics wouldn't let the girl use it. Meanwhile this poor girl writhes on the floor, gasps for breath, with her face turning all shades of red and blue. These first aid people are lost, telling the girl to, "Just calm down, dear." I eventually lose it and shout at the mall security people to, "Get an ambulance, NOW!"

The ambulance crew shows up fifteen minutes later. We leave the asthmatic girl in their hands. I am shaken, and walking out through a mob of screaming fans only freaks me out more. Don't they know about that poor girl? No, they don't. I want to quit. Why do this kind of thing if people are going to get hurt? I read that a 17 year-old girl died of massive internal injuries at a Smashing Pumpkins show in Ireland. They've continued to tour. I don't think I could have kept going, or would have wanted to. We try to create joy with our music, to communicate moments of jubilant transcendence. To have that energy turn ugly and injurious is deeply disturbing.

1996-08-07 Monash University, Melbourne, Australia


1996-08-08 The Palace Complex, Melbourne, Australia

Mach 5

Incomplete setlist

Details taken from Australian release of II album (disc 2). Mach 5 was officially released as b-side.

with Custard

Dave Dederer's Tour Diary:

Thursday, 8/8, Melbourne

Rereading the notes I've kept for the last week, I see that I've left out the main component of the touring experience, the inexpressible fatigue. Just to travel as much as we have in the last year has been totally draining and disorienting. Top that off with giving an audience our blood, sweat and tears five or six nights a week, and we've reached terminal exhaustion. We joke that we were running on fumes by about March or April and now we're fueled only by the rust in the bottom of the tank.

Three more shows and then we're on our way home. Can't wait to do all the little things that add up to a real life: read the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in the morning, see my family, play guitar and sing just for fun, go to the mountains, hang out with friends that aren't in the rock and roll biz, go out the Crocodile Cafe and Moe to see bands, drink Rainier beer from a can... all these silly little things have been unattainable luxuries for the last year. We will never tour again for so many months.

1996-08-09 Selinas, Sydney, Australia


1996-08-10 Festival Hall, Brisbane, Australia

Body / Carolyn's Bootie / Lunatic To Love

Setlist is incomplete, and incorrect order. Above three tracks has been officially released. More details on b-side guide.

Date & Location taken from Dune Buggy EP (Australian Tour edition), which features tour details.
1996-08-11 Festival Hall, Brisbane, Australia


Date & Location taken from Dune Buggy EP (Australian Tour edition), which features tour details.

Dave Dederer's Tour Diary

Sunday, 8/11, Brisbane

Went out last night after the show with the guys from Custard, the opening band on this tour. They're from Brisbane and wanted to show us a good time in their home town. We all went to the Waterside Workmen's Club, also known as DB's Nightclub. The place reminded me of an old-style men's club in Seattle, the Elks Club, or the Sons of Italy lodge in East Providence where I used to go for dinner when I lived in that city. This was a place where people of all ages, shapes and sizes could get loose and have a good time. Johnny Morris was billed as the feature talent, but most of the entertainment was provided by a young bassist, drummer and keyboardist who played note-perfect versions of all my fave hits from every decade. Johnny spent most of his time pouring drinks and schmoozing, and then he would get up and croon a few classics in each set.

The guys in Custard brought their families and girlfriends and we all got quite lubricated, which is the standard behavior down here. D'Arcy and I danced the night away until about two in the morning. Those hardy Custard fellows were still going strong when we left. It ain't easy being Australian.

Another late start today. We've been getting up at 11 or 12, but today we weren't upright until one in the afternoon. Which is still pretty tame by rock and roll standards. Being a driven, perfectionist go get 'em kind of guy, it's taken me all year to adjust to the stay up late, get up late rock schedule. I'm proud to say that I felt absolutely no guilt getting up at one today. I have successfully adapted.

Monday, 8/12, somewhere over the Pacific

Played our last show last night, and none too soon. I have completely lost touch with reality. Right after the show, I blew up at Chris because I thought he had been flipping me shit at one point during the set. I screamed, I ranted, I raved, I pointed... but turns out he had no idea what I was talking about. I was way off base. Took me a while to cool down, and I apologized, and when we got back to the hotel I felt like such a jerk that I wrote another apology and slipped it under Chris's door. I'm becoming a devil-man, crabby and cranky and snippy with D'Arcy and the other people around me whom I care about. I need a vacation from rockulation.

1996-08-25 Pier 62/63, Seattle, WA

Poster - Ticket - Morphine

Intro / Let's Take A Trip Together / The Other Side / Thursday / The Night / Sharks / Scratch / Potion / Eleven O'Clock / Super Sex / Dana Solo - Summertime / Candy / Early To Bed / Like Swimming / Murder For The Money / Free Love / Chris Ballew intro / This Is What Jazz Means To Me (with Chris Ballew) / Warm Butter (with Chris Ballew) / The Saddest Song / All Wrong / Buena / Radar / You Look Like Rain

Notes: Morphine with Chris Ballew from The Presidents Of The USA as a guest.

Ben Harper and Morphine
1996-08-31 Bumbershoot, Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA

Photo - Chris Ballew - Bumbershoot 1996         Photo - Jason Finn - PUSA - Drums - Bumbershoot 96

Bumbershoot 1996 - Dave Dederer

Photos by Vince Gipson -

Poster - PUSA - Bumbershoot '96 / 1996 / Presidents Of The USA  Poster - PUSA - Bumbershoot '96 / 1996 / Presidents Of The USA

Kitty / Lunatic To Love / Feather Pluck'n - Baby You're A Rich Man / Boll Weevil / Dune Buggy / Naked And Famous / Lump / Stranger / Back Porch / Supersonics / Little Indian Princess / Twig In The Wind / Mach 5 / Tiki God / Video Killed The Radio Star / Peaches / Kick Out The Jams/ Toob Amplifier / We're Not Gonna Make It

Audience tape
1996-09-14 The Big Mele Festival, Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii


with No Doubt, Cypress Hill, Dance Hall Crashers and Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dishwalla and CIV


4th Big Mele Festival. An outdoor rock musical event on Oahu at Kualoa Ranch, with Presidents of the United States of America, No Doubt, Cyprus Hill, Dance Hall Crashers and Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dishwalla and CIV

11:30 a.m. Saturday
1996-09-29 Pacific Park, Santa Monica, California, CA


Nickelodeon's third annual Big Help-a-thon.

A Tribe Called Quest, Groove Theory, Lina Santiago, Republica, Presidents of the U.S., Quad City D.J., Donna Lewis, No Mercy, USC Marching Band and City Kids. R.H.

Show was broadcasted on TV
1996-10-05 Forum, Los Angles, CA

The Presidents play Saturday (Ballew's 32nd birthday) at the Los Angeles Forum in a benefit for MTV "Real World" cast member Pedro Zamora, who died of AIDS.

with Joan Osborne, Extra Fancy, Soul Asylum, and Jewel.


Fourteen years ago, we were introduced to the first annual Concert to Benefit The Pedro Zamora Foundation. This organization raises money towards educating kids about AIDS. Two of our favorite bands – Soul and Asylum and the Presidents of the United States of America – played among many others at this first concert in 1996. - 

1996-10-12 The Elysian, Seattle, WA

Poster - 1996 - Thelysian, presidents, pusa


"Girl with 30 Heads (Party that 2/3 of Presidents of USA played at, although no bands listed on poster) at The Elysian"

1996-10-27 William A. Egan Center, Anchorage, AK


1996-10-30 Moe, Seattle, WA


Presidents plays a surprise Halloween gig.

with 80 Proof, Nightcaps, Wallabeys

1996-11-03 Modern Rock Live, New York, NY

Tiki God / Back Porch / Twig In The Wind / David And The Overtones (clip) / Too Much Monkey Business (Chuck Berry Cover)

Acoustic radio show. Chris Ballew and Dave Dederer answering to fan questions, and playing acoustic songs. Chris Ballew plays a short clip of a Creepy Stick song called "David And The Overtones", an unreleased song from 1975!

FM Tape
1996-11-04 Virgin Megastore, NYC

False date?
1996-11-04 Unknown location


Spin Session Radio Show - Interview and Acoustic songs

Soundboard Tape, Released on the CD "Spin Sessions"
1996-11-04 Virgin Megastore, New York City, NY


Broadcasted on WXRK New York City

Lump from this show was officially released on the Pure Frosting album.

1996-11-04 Politically Incorrected, New York, NY

1996 - Presidents Of The USA (PUSA) at Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher

PUSA 1996 - Politically Incorrect - New York

PUSA at Politically Incorrected 1996

Photos from PUSA fan newsletter

Ladies And Gentlemen pt 1 (youtube) / Mach 5 (youtube)

Rare performance of Ladies And Gentlemen.

Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.

"Tuesday, November 5, was an important day for American citizens. They re-elected the President of the United States, and celebrated the inauguration of a new album by The Presidents of the United States of America. In addition, on that day, Bill Maher filmed his last episode of "Politically Incorrect" for cable.

For the lucky TV viewer, all three events came together on Comedy Central. "Politically Incorrect" had a special two-hour election-day show, with guests like Conan O'Brien, Marilu Henner, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Jerry Falwell, and the Presidents of the United States of America. The band, singer and basitar player Chris Ballew, guitbass player Dave Dederer and drummer Jason Finn, played three songs from their new record, II , and the hit single, "Lump," off of their self-titled first album. Conan was going to join the band in singing "Lump," but at the last minute he chickened out."

1996-11-07 Irving Plaza, New York, NY
Kula Shaker show

Knight on the Town (performed with the Presidents of the United States of America)

Show was webcasted

1996-11-14 Astoria, London, UK

Kick Out The Jams / Lunatic To Love / Volcano / Dune Buggy / Naked And Famous / Lump / Twig / Mach 5 / Feather Pluck'n / Bug City / Tiki God / Toob Amplifier / Peaches

Soundboard Tape, Available on bootleg CD "Satellite 6"
1996-11-17 Irving Plaza, New York

Kick Out the Jams / Lunatic To Love / Volcano / Dune Buggy / Naked And Famous / Lump / Twig / Mach 5 / Feather Pluckn' / Bug City / Tiki God / Toob Amplifier/ Peaches

The Presidents played at Soho Live on Radio 1's "The Evening Session" on 17th November. They were interviewed by Steve Lamaq.

1996-11-29 ?


This show has been listed on few old bootleg trade lists without any venue info.

? Tape
1996-12-01 Inrockuptible Radio Show, Radio France, France

Dune Buggy / Feather Pluckn – Baby You're a Rich Man

Incomplete setlist. Above tracks has been released officially. Check out the Presidents of the USA b-side guide for more info.

Soundboard Tape
1996-12-07 Mercer Arena, Seattle, WA


Deck The Hall Ball: Eels, Fun Lovin Criminals, Stabbing Westward, Luscious Jackson, Silverchair, Presidents of USA, Orbital



Now that alternative rock radio has adopted Top 40 style playlists, one-night festivals with several bands makes perfect sense. Short sets allow each band to play its hit single, without the embarrassment of trying to pad enough material into a full length-set. Who would want to listen to the Fun Lovin' Criminals for more than a half-hour anyway?

Seattle's KNDD "Deck the Hall Ball" crammed seven bands into six-hours at the sold-out Mercer Arena. The diverse line-up included the Eels, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Luscious Jackson, Super Deluxe, Silverchair, Presidents of the United States of America and Orbital.

Kicking things off were the Eels, who turned in one of the night's best sets. Their catchy single, "Novocaine for the Soul," only hints at the band's depth. Pop hooks are hidden behind clever lyrics, creative instrumentation and buzz-saw guitars. An exciting live act as well, the Eels are a good bet to headlining these kind of shows shortly. FLC did not fare as well. Warmed-over funk and unintelligible raps lost the audience early. "Scooby Snacks" has a fun comic criminal vibe to it, but was the only highlight of their short set.

In sharp contrast, Stabbing Westward stormed the stage, making a splashy entrance through clouds of dry ice. While often over-the-top, Westward brought a genuine sense of venom to their material. A theatrical, Reznor-like frontman, Christopher Hall stalked the stage, hurling out epithets and threats between songs. Industrial grooves and bursts of feedback created a sense of metallic mayhem.

Though Luscious Jackson brought some much-needed diversity to a testosterone-heavy bill, they did little more than show up. Appearing bemused to be playing an arena, after an initial call-and-response bit failed, they sleep-walked through a few songs before wandering off. Next up, an unannounced appearance by local heroes Branden Blake and John Kirsch of Super Deluxe. The duo, in perfect harmony as always, offered unrehearsed, acoustic takes on "Years Ago" and "Famous."

In what was billed as their only North American performance this year, Silverchair were who the crowd had come to see. If nothing else, the teenage trio proved they can sound just like any mediocre grunge band twice their age. They opened with an ear-splitting thrash guitar instrumental that showed off plenty of chops -- but with nothing behind them. While clearly an accomplished guitarist, Daniel Johns' song's lack any depth or originality. Live, his singing voice reveals his age, though he has obviously graduated from Rock Star 101, striking poses and engaging in Spinal Tap stage banter. They stomped through their hits, but more interesting was a new track, "Cemetery," which Johns performed solo.

The Presidents write goofy anthems that play just as well in arenas as they did in the local clubs the band was playing not all that long ago. Though plagued by technical problems -- Chris broke the strap for his Flying V guitar on the first song -- the Presidents were even more energetic than usual. Squeezing off 14 songs about bugs and outer-space in less than 45 minutes, including nonsensical, feel-good hits "Lump" and "Volcano," they brought the mosh pit to a frenzy.

Closing the night were Orbital, a two-man English techno outfit pushing the limits of their genre. Though the mainstream rock crowd didn't know what to make of them, their sonic explora
1996-12-08 Salem Armory, Salem, OR


Soundgarden, with The Presidents of the United States of America

1996-12-14 KROQ's Acoustic Xmas, Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, CA

1996 The Presidents Of The USA (PUSA) at  KROQ Acoustic Xmas, Los Angeles

photo from PUSA newsletter


The 7th Annual KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas

with Beck, Orbital, Cake, Eels, Republica, The Wallflowers

Soundboard Tape


There is an audience tape from this date too. It's most likely the same show. Although it's possible that there has been two shows in same day. More details wanted.


'Acoustic' Boys' Night Is Surely No Silent Nigh


There was hardly an acoustic instrument, nor much holiday cheer, on stage during Saturday's six-hour installment of KROQ's "Almost Acoustic Christmas" concerts at the Universal Amphitheatre. Still, the crowd was primed for a long winter's night of rockin', and the radio station delivered: Its seventh annual gift to listeners was a holiday Whitman's sampler of modern alternative rock, from Republica's crunchy techno pop to the Presidents of the United States' punk-funk bonbons.

While the revolving stage's festive rooftop backdrop came complete with a smoking chimney, a Christmas tree and Santa in his sleigh, only a few of the nine acts really got into the spirit of the season. The members of Eels bounded on stage in their pajamas and tore wrapping paper from their instruments before playing their set. The trio also brought an audience member on stage to play bells during a Christmas tune. Beck chose a campy Hanukkah theme, "for all the Jewish people in the house." He and his band wore white suits and yarmulkes, and menorahs dominated the stage during their performance. For the most part, however, this could have been any concert at any time of the year.

Furthermore, despite the presence of a couple of acoustic guitars, Beck's harmonica and the trumpeter in Cake, this show wasn't almost acoustic--it wasn't acoustic at all. So it didn't seem weird that one of the most exciting sets was by British electronic dance music duo Orbital, which wrung from its equipment racks a mini-dance program that was well-paced and surprisingly varied in tone.

This being the "boys" portion of KROQ's two-night program (except that Republica has a female singer), the lineup was heavy with wanky testosterone rock from such acts as the Presidents, 311 and Cake. Each had its own twist on that uninspiring, grooveless hybrid of punk and funk: The Presidents blended it with an overly precious pop sensibility, Cake added an irritating lyrical bent that was meant to be quirky and 311 went for a unity theme, lacing its vanilla funk with reggae beats and whipping the crowd into a frenzy with rap-style vocals and stage moves.

Primed by 311's high-energy performance, the audience exploded with excitement when headliner Bush took the stage. Playing a 55-minute set that was the night's longest, the quartet offered favorites from its brooding punk-pop repertoire, a hybrid of the Pixies and Nirvana, highlighted by frontman Gavin Rossdale's crowd-pleasing solo rendition of "Glycerine."

Although nothing short of the Grinch could have dampened the crowd's enthusiasm, one glitch must be noted: Social Distortion was listed on the lineup but didn't play, and no explanation was given. The hosts plugged the gap with lame DJ introductions and antics, derailing the show's momentum.

(The Wallflowers, who opened the show, are not reviewed here because the press tickets arrived late to the box office, causing reviewers to miss the band's set.)

1996-12-17 Mercer Arena, Seattle, WA

Mach 5 / Volcano / L.I.P / Lump / Naked and Famous / Peaches

Incomplete setlist taken from the concert review.

with Soundgarden, Pond


Thursday, December 19, 1996
Section: Entertainment, Page: C4

Seattle rock fans got two Chrises for Christmas - thanks to last week's rescheduling of a pair of Soundgarden concerts.

Chris Cornell, lead singer for Soundgarden, and Chris Ballew, lead singer for the Presidents of the United States of America, led their respective bands in a fun-filled rockathon Tuesday night at Mercer Arena. (The show was repeated last night.)

For Soundgarden, it was one of the best homecoming shows the band has offered.

The inclusion of the Presidents on the bill (as well as opening act Pond) surprised fans who had wondered who would replace Rocket From the Crypt. (The San Diego band couldn't make the rescheduled dates after Soundgarden postponed because of illness).

``We are Pearl Jam!" the Presidents announced before anyone could see them on the darkened stage. Then a giddy cheer went up when the trio sallied forth with a nutty take on ``Lunatic to Love."

With a lighted plastic Santa Claus and a Christmas tree serving as the only props, the Presidents turned the crowd into a roiling mosh pit of mirthful mayhem.

Soundgarden had recruited the Presidents at the last minute. Explained Ballew, ``They said, `Help!' And we said, `Rock!' "

Teaming Soundgarden (the band with lead shoes) with the Presidents (the band on pogo sticks) was a case of opposites attracting. The former band's brooding, visceral rock contrasted sharply with the latter's nutball exuberance.

The Presidents are merry men indeed. They're a band that seems to be in the holiday mood year-round. Their mere presence added a jolly note to the pre-Christmas bash.

The Presidents, who will appear on ``Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve '97" on ABC-TV, pressed on with ``Mach 5," the first single from their new album, ``II," followed by ``Volcano" and ``Little Indian Princess."

The happy vibes continued with several songs from the group's debut album - ``Lump," ``Naked and Famous" (inspired by the proliferation of half-naked stars on Hollywood billboards) and ``Peaches."

Soundgarden, which took the stage after a short break, had no Christmas decorations. But it had Artis the Spoonman, who performed on the opening song, ``Spoonman," a tribute to the spoon-playing local musician.

Cornell lampooned Seattle's current stadium controversy with a suggestion that Seattle build something nicer than Mercer Arena for local bands to play in. Or else, ``We'll all move to Pittsburgh!" he said.

Soundgarden lead-footed it through a fast-and-loose set of songs, many of them from the new album, ``Down On the Upside."

Cornell's voice was in fine shape despite a cancellation announcement last week that hinted at voice problems. Each band member, in fact, appeared rested and ready.

The band thundered through ``Burden in My Hand," ``My Wave," and the manic and profane ``Ty Cobb." Then Cornell offered a deft and understated solo version of ``Black Hole Sun," the group's best-known song.

Accompanying ``Boot Camp" was a film in which good and evil were intertwined and benign imagery of American family life was juxtaposed with clips of Adolf Hitler and H-Bombs.

The show concluded with an encore that featured the songs ``Dusty" and ``Jesus Christ Pose."

PUSA opened for Soundgarden

1996-12-18 Mercer Arena, Seattle, WA

 Soundgarden played on two nights, and both nights performance by Soundgarden was taped (audience)

? Tape

1996-12-23 Howard Stern, E!


Jenna's White Dress; The Presidents of the USA